Vanessa Bryant confirms public memorial service for Kobe and Gianna with 24 butterflies, ticket prices skyrocket
The memorial service for Kobe and Gianna will be held at the Staples Center on February 24
While it was already all but confirmed that the public memorial service for Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others who lost their lives in a tragic helicopter crash two weeks ago would take place at Los Angeles' Staples Center, it is now official.
Vanessa, Bryant's grieving widow, took to Instagram to post an invitation to the public memorial which will be a 'Celebration of Life'. The invitation featured 24 butterflies in purple and yellow, which are the colors of the Los Angeles Lakers, where Bryant spent the entirety of his basketballing career.
And of course, the Staples Center was where Bryant plied his trade for most of his career with the Lakers. It is also lovingly referred to as the 'house that Kobe Built,' since it was where he led the team to five NBA championships.
The date is also a significant one: 2/24/20. MEAWW previously reported that the date corresponds with the No. 2 jersey worn by Gianna, the No. 24 jersey worn by Bryant, and the 20 years he spent at the Lakers.
While other potential locations for the memorial like the LA Memorial Coliseum was briefly considered, there was the feeling that it was always going to be held at the Staples Center because of its significance to Bryant's career and life.
There is also the fact that there is precedence when it comes to hosting public memorials at the Staples Center. Both Michael Jackson and Nipsey Hussle had theirs hosted at the 20,000-seater arena over the past few years.
It wasn't easy to secure, however. According to TMZ, Steve Ballmer, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, who also call the Staples Center home, and their coach Doc Rivers had to sign off on the memorial as they had technically rented the arena for the day for a game between the Clippers and the Memphis Grizzlies.
Because that game is scheduled for the same evening, the memorial service will begin by 10 am and will wrap up in good time.
There will also be some arrangements made by authorities to ensure order. It is expected that the blocks surrounding the center will be closed off to anyone who doesn't have a ticket, just as it was done during the services for Hussle and Jackson.
But tickets for the event are by no means cheap, with USA Today reporting that as of Thursday afternoon, prices ranged from $780 to $6,534. Those who can't afford one can always visit the makeshift memorials that have popped up outside the center, which thousands have visited already to pay their respects.
Vanessa has reportedly requested to receive some of the candles, basketballs, stuffed animals and other items left in tribute to her husband and her daughter.