Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Papal events tickets 'unsold'

Thousands of tickets for papal events remain unsold, according to a report the BBC is running.

Robert Pigott, BBC religious affairs correspondent, says that "the relatively slow uptake of passes for the big events appears to indicate less enthusiasm among Catholics to see Pope Benedict than they showed for his charismatic predecessor John Paul II 28 years ago."

There may be some truth to that. But the main reason is the logistical challenge -- allocating tickets to pilgrims via dioceses and parishes, ensuring that supply matches demand, is no small feat, especially in the small time the Church has had (because of delays in fixing the venues, due in part to the election campaign and change in government) to organise it. In 1982, people could just turn up; this time, they have to go in coaches or as part of named groups.

The BBC is reporting Bellahouston Park has been reduced from 100,000 to 80,000. The Guardian is quoting a "church spokesman" who "said only they hoped "tens of thousands" would turn out, and admitted it depended very heavily on the weather."

CV coordinator Jack Valero -- who has been on BBC Radio West Midlands and BBC Radio Coventry this morning -- says that Cofton Park (photo) will be 50,000 rather than 60,000.

But the report does not say that Hyde Park -- which doesn't require coaches and crack-of-dawn coach journeys -- will be full to bursting.