PHILADELPHIA – The Secret Service says the Philadelphia parkway where Pope Francis is celebrating Mass next week is projected to hold 230,000 to 280,000 people — about a quarter of organizers' crowd estimates for the event.
Special Agent David Beach said Friday about 80,000 ticketed people will fill the 3 1/2 blocks in front of Francis' altar for the Sept. 27 Mass.
He said the rest of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway area, from 20th Street to near City Hall, will hold about 150,000 people. He said another estimate showed that area with about 200,000 people.
Beach said getting through security could take 2 to 3 hours.
Organizers have said they expect a half-million people for a festival featuring Francis on Sept. 26 and more than a million for the Mass.
The city and organizers didn't immediately respond to messages.