COMPLEX COULDN'T BE a better term to explain what it will be like this weekend to negotiate the streets around the stadium complex in South Philadelphia.
What already was a weekend packed with events took on a new dimension once the Phillies made the World Series, with Games 3, 4 and 5 at Citizens Bank Park. That sets up the following scenario:
Tomorrow: Flyers vs. Devils at 4 p.m. at the Wachovia Center; the Celtic Thunder dance troupe at the Wachovia Spectrum at 8 p.m.; and Game 3 of the World Series at the ballpark at 8:35.
Sunday: Eagles vs. Falcons at 1 p.m. at the Linc; the Who performing at the Center at 7:30; and Game 4 of the World Series at 8:35.
Monday: Game 5 of the World Series at 8:29 p.m.
Can the schedule-maker who has the Phantoms on a five-game road trip please take a bow?
That Flyers game already was moved from 7 at night to 4 in the afternoon to try and ease congestion tomorrow. It will a bit, although a 1 o'clock start would have helped a lot more. But a NHL Players Association rule restricts two teams that play the night before from playing too early the following day. The Flyers and Devils play at 7 tonight at New Jersey before heading to Philly to complete the home-and-home series.
To help alleviate some of the crush on the roads, SEPTA has said it will run Broad Street Line "Sports Express" trains from 6:25 to 7:35 p.m. all 3 days. That means that trains will operate from Fern Rock every 10 minutes and stop at Olney, Erie, Girard, Spring Garden, Race-Vine, City Hall and Walnut-Locust. Local service also will be running. That puts the last express train down at the ballpark around 8:05, giving fans plenty of time to settle into their seats and see some of the pregame festivities. Express trains will leave the stadium complex after the game.
Express service also will be implemented Sunday morning to handle the throng headed to the Eagles. Those will run from 10:10 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. Service on the Market-Frankford Line also will be upgraded starting at 6:30 p.m., but you are reminded that shuttle buses will replace regular El weekend train service between 30th Street Station and 69th Street Terminal because of construction.
Finally, eight parking lots will be available for commuters who want to drive downtown and then take SEPTA. Those include city-operated lots at the following locations:
* AutoPark: JFK Plaza Garage - 15th & Arch streets
* AutoPark: Center City Lot - 15th & Arch streets
* Gateway Garage: 15th & Vine streets
* AutoPark: Gallery Mall - 10th & Filbert streets
* AutoPark: Jefferson - 10th & Ludlow streets
And Parkway Lots at the following locations:
* Broad and Race streets
* Broad and Wood streets
* Broad and Callowhill streets
Parking will cost $5; SEPTA tokens ($2.90) will be available from parking-lot attendants. Those lots won't be available Monday until after 5:30. *
- Paul Vigna