Los Angeles is literally shutting down to honor the lives of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna.
Authorities expect that 20,000 mourners will attend the Monday service at the Staples Center, where Bryant spent 20 years as a Los Angeles Laker. Businesses and restaurants in the surrounding L.A. Live area will be shuttered out of respect for the city’s tremendous loss. The city also announced that businesses will be closed and streets will be barricaded Monday from 10 a.m. PT to 1 p.m. PT as the public gathers to say goodbye, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The pair were killed along with seven others in a tragic helicopter crash in Calabasas, California that left the nation shocked last month. They were laid to rest in a private funeral service attended by immediate family last week.
The Staples Center, Bryant’s professional home throughout his entire career, is the perfect venue for his public memorial. The facility is often referred to as the “house that Kobe built.”
There’s other symbolism embedded in the details of the service, including the date, 2/24/2020, which corresponds to the jersey numbers of the Black Mamba, who wore No. 24, and his daughter, known as Mambacita, who wore a No. 2 jersey. The ticket prices of $24.02, two for $224 or $224 each, pay homage to those numbers as well.
Unlike another recent public memorial in LA, held for the late rapper Nipsey Hussle last April, there will be no processional prior to the service.
Those who are not attending the memorial have been advised to avoid the area entirely. “Heed our message: There will be nothing to be seen here,” said Staples Center President Lee Zeidman. That message extends to the screens outside of the facility. They will be completely darkened during the service.
The larger California community will not be completely excluded from the memorial though. Several public spaces in Orange County, including Orange County Great Park soccer stadium, and the Santa Ana City Hall will serve as designated watch centers as the service airs on local news and Spectrum News 1. It will also be live streamed on Tidal, ABC News Live, Roku, Hulu, Facebook Watch and Apple TV.
“It’s a reminder how much unity we have, though. We are one city that believes in each other, believes in something bigger than ourselves, and we will absolutely do everything to make sure that this is done so that everybody can come to it as well,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.