Pope Francis landed in the United States Tuesday, ready to tour Washington, New York and Philadelphia. While many thousands of people want to get an in-person look at the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, it will be incredibly difficult unless they have a ticket to one of his appearances.
While some events are open only to members of the clergy, such as the prayer to be held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral Thursday in New York City, tickets that have been made available to various events have been hot commodities. For the pope’s speech Saturday at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, the 10,000 tickets that were available were gone in 2 minutes.
Scalpers were selling tickets on the Web for up to $5,000 apiece. Some ticket sales have been limited as to who may get them, such as tickets to watch the pope drive through Central Park Friday, which were available only to New York state residents, according to the New York Post.
If you don’t have tickets to one of the pope’s appearances, chances are you won’t see much of him. Central Park will be open the day of his visit, but the parade's route along West Drive between 72nd and 60th streets will mostly be limited to those with tickets.
The only way people without tickets to an event may be able to actually see Pope Francis is Wednesday when, after meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House, he will tour the White House grounds in the popemobile. Francis will tour the Ellipse park near the White House and the National Mall sometime around 11 a.m. after his meeting with the president, and people are welcome to line the streets.
— Emily Mekinc (@WBJEmily) September 14, 2015
But the key to seeing the pope in Washington, with or without a ticket, is getting there early enough. Security gates are scheduled to open at about 4 a.m., and spectators must get through the gates by 10 a.m.
No food or drink will be allowed past security officers, who also will be checking for other restricted items. Entry is scheduled to be east of the Ellipse on Constitution Avenue, west of the Ellipse on Constitution Avenue, east of the Washington Monument near Jefferson Drive and 15th Street NW and west of the Washington Monument near 17th Street NW.