September 08, 2015
The 10,000 free tickets to see Pope Francis speak at Independence Mall were claimed quickly Tuesday.
The tickets became available online at noon on a first-come, first-serve basis with a limit of four tickets per person.
Reservations for all 10,000 tickets were placed within two minutes and the website experienced 394,000 unique pages views during that time, said organizers for the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015.
As noted previously, 10,000 tickets for the Festival of Families and 10,000 tickets for the Papal Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be made available online Wednesday, September 9th. Additional details regarding the reservation process will be shared later today.
Pope Francis will speak on immigration and religious liberty on Saturday, Sept. 26 in front of Independence Hall. He will use the same lectern Abraham Lincoln used when delivering the Gettysburg Address.
The speech is Pope Francis' first public event in Philadelphia. Following the speech, he will participate in the Festival of Families on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. He also will serve a papal Mass on the Parkway on Sunday, Sept. 27.
Pilgrims do not need tickets to attend the Parkway events, but a significant chunk of the Parkway — including the best sightlines — is reserved for ticket holders.
Parkway tickets initially were allocated only to the 219 parishes in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Catholic Social Services, among other select groups. But backlash to that announcement forced event organizers to release additional tickets to the public.
The ticketed portion of the Parkway stretches from Eakins Oval to 20th Street.
Pope Francis will parade down the Parkway prior to the Festival of Families, providing an opportunity to see him up close. A shorter parade also is being planned for the papal Mass.