Michael Jackson's memorial service on Tuesday is expected to jam tens of thousands of fans into downtown Los Angeles, but it's also creating a monumental problem for city officials struggling to figure out logistics and how to pay for the massive police presence.
"The bottom line is public safety, but there's a cost," Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine told FOX News." And if the Jackson family's gonna spend 25 thousand dollars on a gold casket I would think that AEG and the Jackson family could help defray the costs so its a safe and secure environment for mourners that want to come."
Zine, a former member of the LAPD, also led an effort last month to help the city — which is operating at a $500 million deficit — find private funding to cover the cost of police overtime for the Los Angeles Lakers victory parade.
“We’ve done Laker parades. There’s no precedent for this,” said Councilwoman Jan Perry, who is acting mayor while Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is on vacation in Africa and City Council President Eric Garcetti is in Japan.
City officials and AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips, the promoter for Jackson's concert tour and operator of the Staples Center, were expected to announce Friday the details for Jackson's funeral, which is expected to start at 10 a.m. PDT.
Speaking at a news conference Thursday, Phillips said that while there will be no charge for tickets to the event, he had no specifics about what kind of memorial service was being planned or how tickets would be made available and distributed.
“It’s all up to Katherine,” Phillips said, referring to Jackson's mother.
The Associated Press and Los Angeles Times contributed to this report.