The Jersey Shore is quickly becoming a go-to venue to watch the live broadcast of the Papal Mass and avoid the massive crowds expected in Philadelphia.

The Mass on Sept. 27 will be shown live on a large screen at the Cape May Convention Hall, beginning at 4 p.m.

Admission will be free. There is a maximum of four tickets per person. Tickets are available at all Cape May churches, the city clerk's office, and the information desk at the Convention Hall.

Distribution of the 818 tickets began Tuesday at 1 p.m.

"It was the most popular question and phone call of the day," said Laurie Howey Taylor of the city's Department of Tourism, Recreation and Civic Affairs.

Doors for the Mass will open for theater-style seating at 3 p.m. Sept. 27. If seats are remaining, those without tickets will be admitted at 3:30. There will be no standing-room-only admissions.

"We want people who want to celebrate together in a nice setting to have a place to go," Taylor said.

The dress code is casual attire; no beach attire will be permitted.

Businesses at the Shore are promoting the papal visit as a respite from expected crowds in Philadelphia.

Bars and restaurants are also bringing in large-screen TVs to broadcast the Mass. There will also be a blessing-of-the-sea ceremony in Cape May over that weekend, and a Sept. 25, night-time showing of the Whoopi Goldberg film Sister Act at the Convention Center.

- Melanie Burney