Vanessa Bryant announced that the city of Los Angeles will host a public memorial at the Staples Center for Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant and the seven others killed in the Calabasas helicopter crash last month.
The service is set to take place February 24, at 10am.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the date was chosen after a conference amongst Vanessa, Staples Center officials, and the Lakers organization. The symbolic date of the memorial reflects Gigi’s jersey number (2), the jersey number worn by Kobe (24) and the number of years the Laker icon spent with the franchise (20).
Immediately following Kobe’s death, thousands of fans gathered in makeshift memoriam at the Staples Center — where Bryant served twenty years as a legendary Laker. People have traveled from around the world to pay their respects at the center grounds.
“I think one message that I would say is this is not just about a man who was a basketball player,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “This is about a father, this is about a leader, this is about a filmmaker, this is about an artist, this is about somebody who was so much more than just how he was on the court.”
“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.”
Major city coordination for the event has begun and information on guest seating and tickets for the ceremony has not yet been issued.
The Staples Center has previously held public memorials celebrating the lives of musical talents Michael Jackson and Nipsey Hussle. The arena seats 20,000.