Papal mass tickets gone in 30 seconds, scalped minutes later

atthevatican
Pope Francis delivers his blessing to faithful during the Angelus noon prayer from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

All 10,000 free tickets the Archdiocese of Philadelphia made available for fans to attend the Papal Mass on the evening of Sept. 27 were gobbled up Wednesday night in 30 seconds.

It took close to 6 minutes, however, for scalpers to post their reservations for sale on eBay.

Tickets to the pope's key event, which is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 27, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at Eakins Oval along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, were marked as available at 8 p.m. and were marked as unavailable at 8:01 p.m.

By 8:06 p.m., an auction claiming to have eight tickets to the Mass appeared on eBay. The price: $200 per ticket.

On Craigslist, four auctions sold tickets for prices ranging from $1 to $100.

While this was the marque event, two other events also sold out rapidly.

At 4 p.m. Wednesday, another 10,000 tickets were made available for the closing ceremonies for the World Meeting of Families, the Festival of Families celebration. The festival will be held from 5 to 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 26 at Eakins Oval. Tickets to that event sold out in two minutes.

Fewer than 20 minutes after the closing ceremonies tickets were reserved, three tickets to the festival were available for the "Best offer" on Craigslist. Two others followed with asking prices ranging from $1 to $125, although the more expensive post was flagged by the website and subsequently removed. Four tickets to the closing ceremony for sale on eBay, however, ranged from $1.29 to $780.99.

And the gobble-up times for these events were fast across the board. On Tuesday, roughly 390,000 believers were out of prayers after the 10,000 available tickets to see Pope Francis hold court outside Independence Hall on Sept. 26 were also reserved in two minutes.

Tickets to that event - where the pope is expected to address a crowd of 30,000 about religious freedoms and immigration - were also made available on scalper websites Tuesday afternoon and were selling at a high of $1,500 and a low of $1.

Tickets to all three events were made available on a first-come, first-served basis on the WMOF's website. They are free, and are limited to four per person.