City Aims to Control Chesney Crowd New Measures Target Parking, Safety, Trash

By Kuhrman, Ivy | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), May 28, 2015 | Go to article overview

City Aims to Control Chesney Crowd New Measures Target Parking, Safety, Trash


Kuhrman, Ivy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


The city of Pittsburgh will close streets to limit tailgating, pass out trash bags and increase police and EMS presence in an effort to control the expected 55,000 fans at Kenny Chesney's Saturday concert at Heinz Field.

Mr. Chesney, his fans and Heinz Field and Pittsburgh officials received much criticism for events at his last Pittsburgh show in 2013. Police arrested and cited dozens for fighting, public intoxication, disorderly conduct and underaged drinking, and Allegheny General's emergency room was busy with patients suffering from heat exhaustion and intoxication. One estimate said as much as 50,000 to 60,000 pounds of garbage was left in parking lots on the North Side mainly due to tailgating.

Measures planned by the departments of Public Works and Public Safety to limit tailgating and prevent a repeat of events were outlined in a news release Wednesday morning.

Streets around Heinz Field will be closed from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. to limit tailgating before the concert. Parking lots will open at 1 p.m., three hours before Heinz Field opens to concertgoers at 4 p.m.

Much of the parking was presold to those who purchased tickets, and only the vehicles of ticket holders will be allowed in lots.

When the concert begins at 5 p.m., people in the lots will be asked to go inside or to vacate the premises if they are not ticket holders. People must vacate the lots by 7 p.m., and no tailgating will be permitted during the concert.

Alco Parking has developed a parking lot code of conduct for guests to follow. The code asks that guests park only in their designated space, comply with parking lot staff and police, and leave lots within one hour after the concert ends. The code also prohibits solicitation, food and alcohol sales, glass containers, personal portable toilets, tents, furniture, and oversized vehicles.

"We want people to enjoy themselves but do so responsibly," said Merrill Stabile, president of Alco Parking.

"The majority of these concertgoers do act responsibly; unfortunately it's just a few that can often give the rest a bad name," he continued. "There are rules, and we want everybody to be respectful of everybody else there and to try to make the whole concert experience a good one."

To manage the trash that will accumulate, vehicles will be provided with trash and recycling bags, and 200 additional portable toilets will be available in the Heinz Field lots and on General Robinson Street. …

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