The Kobe and Gigi Bryant public memorial has been set for Monday, Feb. 24 at Staples Center -- with organizers expecting a MASSIVE turnout, and Vanessa Bryant just announced it.
The date (2/24) is significant -- #24 was Kobe's jersey number and #2 was the number his daughter, Gigi, wore. Worth noting, Vanessa's IG post announcing the event has 24 butterflies.
We're told the event will take place in the morning -- because the Clippers have a game against the Memphis Grizzlies later in the evening. Our sources say the Clippers had to sign off, because, technically, they have Staples rented for the whole day.
We're told owner Steve Ballmer, and head coach Doc Rivers gladly agreed because there's such solidarity and love for Kobe and his family. Plus, the significance of the 2/24 date was not lost on them.
The other issue will be crowd control around Staples. When Michael Jackson and Nipsey Hussle's memorials were held there ... all the surrounding streets were shut down to anyone who didn't have a ticket. You simply couldn't get near the arena. They haven't announced yet how it will work for Kobe and Gianna's memorial.
Event organizers had been discussing a venue for days -- going back and forth between Staples and The Coliseum over concerns about the size of the crowd.
Staples -- where Kobe played for most of his 20-year NBA career -- only holds about 20,000 people. The Coliseum in Downtown L.A. holds closer to 80,000.
As for the event itself, we're told several high-profile people will speak about Bryant -- but organizers are still nailing down the official list.
Kobe and Gigi passed away in a helicopter crash on Jan 26 in Calabasas, CA., along with 7 others.
The Lakers held a massive tribute for all of the victims before and during the Lakers' January 31 game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Not only was the arena filled with fans -- all wearing Kobe shirts -- but outside, hundreds of people packed the surrounding area to remember the Lakers legend.