Arts & Entertainment

Camera crews, fans, vendors jockey for position, tickets outside Staples Center

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Television cameras from as far away as New Zealand formed the biggest crowd down on Chick Hearn Plaza at the L.A. Live complex, as news outlets broadcast plans for Michael Jackson’s memorial next Tuesday. But KPCC’s Molly Peterson says the few fans and souvenir vendors were enthusiastic.

T-shirt vendor: He’s still livin', he’s still walking and talking in our hearts! Buy a t-shirt, wear it or share it!

Molly Peterson: A young woman, her black hair in a messy bun, her eyes bleary and blinking, crossed the street with a small girl cradled in her arm.

Adriana Ortiz: My name’s Adriana Ortiz, I’m from the city of East Los Angeles.

Peterson: Ortiz was headed home after a night camping out in hopes of tickets.

Ortiz: We started out with nine, but then we ended up with three. But we did it!

Peterson: News of a lottery to get into the memorial disappointed Ortiz in the morning. But not for long – she put her name in for a ticket just minutes after the Jackson family and AEG, which owns the Staples Center, announced the plan. She said she expected millions of people to do the same but with a smile on her face she said at least she’d have a short trip to get back.