Plans to build a temporary campground in Fairmount Park offering pilgrims coming to see Pope Francis during his historic trip to Philadelphia have been canceled.
The Francis Fields were designed to house up to 16,000 people in East Fairmount Park north of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and near Strawberry Mansion over the weekend of September 25-27. There was to be space for car camping, RVs and tents.
A lack of sales and the availability of other forms of lodging -- like hotel rooms -- led to the cancellation, organizers with ESM Productions, the company hired to prepare for the papal visit and World Meeting of Families, told NBC10 Friday. They are also producing Saturday's Festival of Families event and the papal mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
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The cancellation came two days after tickets went on sale for camping spots. Access to the campground was to cost $199 per camper and would include security, toilets and showers.
Hotel officials estimate about 3,000 rooms remain available for the weekend.