Hours before it is scheduled to start, fans are already arriving at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant's public memorial. Videos and photos from reporters outside of the multi-purpose arena where Bryant spent his two-decade-long NBA career show fans — many donning the Lakers' colors of purple and yellow and Bryant's jersey numbers of 24 and 8 — slowly beginning to trickle in.
Fans in purple and gold who have tickets are slowly starting to line up outside Staples Center. Doors open at 8 a.m. pic.twitter.com/VwiLEmpuY4— Kelli Johnson (@KelliJohnsonTV) February 24, 2020
Fans began arriving to the venue as early as midnight, with Fox LA journalist Kelli Johnson meeting up with two fans who drove to Los Angeles from Bakersfield donning airbrushed outfits paying tribute to the late Lakers legend.
Y’all know Kern County will always have a piece of my heart. These two fans made the drive from Bakersfield and say their day began at midnight. They had their white sweatsuits airbrushed for today’s event and say it’s a celebration of life #KobeFarewell pic.twitter.com/RnIKbTIj63— Kelli Johnson (@KelliJohnsonTV) February 24, 2020
Meanwhile, KNX 1070 Newsradio reporter Jon Baird shared a video of two fans who had arrived more than four hours early, the duo taking a moment to capture photos outside of the Staples Center. Both were seen wearing purple and yellow outfits with the Lakers logo and Bryant's numbers.
The memorial is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. PT, with some 20,000 mourners expected to pack into Staples Center to say their final goodbyes to the NBA legend and the eight other victims of the Jan. 26 Calabasas helicopter crash.
The Los Angeles Police Department is encouraging those without tickets to stay home, as the "entire area will be barricaded off." Figueroa Street will be blocked off from Pico Boulevard to Olympic Boulevard, and fans must present both a paid ticket to the memorial and a matching I.D. to enter. Those who attempt to breach the barricades will be arrested, L.A. Police Chief Michael Moore warned.
The memorial will be broadcast on multiple networks, including BET, CNN, and E! News. It will be livestreamed by CBS News, ETLive.com and CBS All Access, as well as the ET Live app on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or Apple TV, ABC News, Hulu Live TV, Sling TV, Yahoo Sports, and Facebook Watch.