WITH ALL the Pope Francis madness surrounding the last weekend in September, the Flyers are one of the few organizations not making changes to their schedule . . . at least not yet.
Yesterday, on the day Temple University announced its campus will close on Friday, Sept. 25, the day before the pope's arrival in Philadelphia, a Flyers spokesman returned a text message to the Daily News indicating that the team still plans to play its third preseason game that night against the New York Islanders at the Wells Fargo Center.
Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m., and that's where potential travel problems could come into play.
Mayor Nutter and other national and city officials met with the press last week to discuss the plan for road closures when Pope Francis comes to Philadelphia, Sept. 26-27. The list of road closures is long, and getting around the city throughout the weekend undoubtedly will be a hassle.
According to Pennsylvania Transportation Secretary Leslie S. Richards, starting at 10 p.m. (minutes after the game is due to end), all of the Vine Street Expressway and parts of I-76 and Route 1 will be closed. The Benjamin Franklin Bridge also will shut down to vehicular traffic at the same time, though PATCO trains are still set to run Friday night, possibly with an adjusted schedule.
SEPTA's Broad Street and Market-Frankford lines will be operating with limited stops, though it's unclear when that starts.
Interstate 95, which is right next to the sports complex, will remain open, though with some exit ramps into Center City closed.
The Walt Whitman, Betty Ross and Commodore Barry bridges are scheduled to remain open for the weekend.
The Flyers and however many fans show up better hope the game ends in regulation.