The Staples Center, where Bryant played his home games for all but the first couple seasons of his career, was the natural choice for a venue. After Bryant’s death, fans flocked there to grieve, leave flowers and mementos, and yell “Kobe!” while chucking paper balls into a trash can. It’s also hosted two public memorial services before, for Michael Jackson and Nipsey Hustle.
The City of Los Angeles coordinated with Bryant’s widow Vanessa, the Lakers, and the Clippers, who have a game that evening against the Memphis Grizzlies. The date was chosen in part for its numerical significance. Gianna’s number was 2 and Kobe’s for the second half of his career was 24, so 2/24 makes a whole lot of sense.
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti said previously that “We are one city that believes in each other, believes in something bigger than ourselves and we will absolutely do everything to make sure that this is done so that everybody can come to it as well.” That might be difficult, as the Staples Center has a maximum capacity of around 19,000 and thousands more will want to attend the event. The Los Angeles Times said that entry to the event is expected to be “severely restricted,” leaving most fans to watch on television.
This information has been confirmed by the Times and others, but it has yet to be officially announced by the city of Los Angeles. And beyond the time and place, there aren’t many other details about what the memorial will actually consist of.
But if you’re planning on watching the event on TV — it will undoubtedly be carried live on ESPN and cable news networks — then you can go ahead and clear your schedule for the morning of February 24 for what will undoubtedly be quite the emotional spectacle.
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