As tens of thousands of mourners gather for Kobe Bryant's public memorial, the Staples Center is being outfitted with heavy security. Video footage taken by KNX 1070 Newsradio reporter Jon Baird outside the center, where some 20,000 people are expected to gather, showed officers walking through the barricaded streets.
Security is expected to be tight for the public memorial at #StaplesCenter for #KobeBryant and his daughter. Fans are already lining up. Starts in a little less than 3 hours. @KNX1070 pic.twitter.com/Zdnv1V31tT— Jon Baird (@KNXBaird) February 24, 2020
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Police Chief Michel Moore said that although they are not expecting any disruptions, "all officers will be in uniform and the Los Angeles Police Department will be prepared for spontaneous events citywide."
He added that the area surrounding the venue will be barricaded off to further ensure safety and dissuade those without tickets from coming to the venue.
"This entire area will be barricaded off," Moore said. "As a matter of respect...honor the family wishes and allow this event to go as smoothly as possible."
Barriers will stretch from Pico Boulevard to Olympic Boulevard, and only those with a ticket to the memorial and matching identification will be allowed past the barriers. Additionally, Staples Center President Lee Zeidman said that the businesses at L.A. Live will be closed Monday morning.
Although mourners began arriving to the venue hours before its scheduled 10 a.m. PT start time, ticketholders will not be permitted to enter the Staples Center until 8 a.m. PT, according to Los Angeles Times sports columnist Arash Markazi.
They will be allowing ticketed guests to enter Staples Center at 8 a.m. No one outside of security and media is being allowed near the arena at the moment. pic.twitter.com/jdHC5Pk9Ta— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) February 24, 2020
As fans enter the arena, they will see 33,643 roses placed around the center stage, each representing a point that Bryant scored throughout his two-decade-long NBA career. The NBA legend entered the NBA as the 16th overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets and was immediately traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for veteran center Vlade Diva. He played for the team for 20 years before retiring in 2016, becoming known as one of the NBA's all-time greats and being named an NBA All-Star 18 times being part of five championship teams.
The celebration of life will also feature guest speakers and performers, though it remains unclear who those names will be.
Fans can watch the memorial on a number of broadcast networks, including BET. It will also be streamed on ETLive.com and CBS All Access as well as other platforms.