Organizers from the World Meeting of Families will make 10,000 tickets available to see Pope Francis celebrate Mass on the Ben Franklin Parkway on Sunday, Sept. 27.
The ticket giveaway comes one day after the archdiocese made another batch of tickets available to see the pope address immigration on Independence Mall — only to see some of those tickets — given away for free — appear on Ebay and Craigslist for hundreds of dollars.
Organizers say anywhere from one to two million people could attend the papal mass — a crowd so large that some in attendance may not be able to see the pope.
Tickets for the papal mass are not required, but ticketed pilgrims will be given access to a special area that is closer to the main events.
Today’s giveaway, which kicks off at 8 p.m., isn’t the only way to get close to Pope Francis. The Archdiocese is also distributing tickets to parishes throughout the Delaware Valley. It’s unclear how many local churches are handling them, but the number appears to be about 150,000, an estimate based on the expected crowd size and the area that will be given over to ticketed patrons.
The need for tickets has angered some observers, who say organizers waited too long to tell people that tickets would be required to get near the pope.
The World Meeting of Families will also give away 10,000 tickets for the Festival of Families starting at 4 p.m. Wednesday. That event is held on Sat. Sept. 26 on the parkway.
The festival and papal mass tickets will be made available through the website for the World Meeting of Families at www.worldmeeting2015.org/tickets.