Another country concert is coming to Pittsburgh, and this time the city is preparing with new rules and increased law enforcement to gear up for Jason Aldean’s 38,000 fans at PNC Park this Saturday.
City officials announced Tuesday that parking lots will open at 2 p.m., instead of 11 a.m. and parking lot operators will be handing out trash and recycling bags to concert goers. The number of port-o-johns has been increased from 160 to 200. Tailgating once the concert begins is not permitted; anyone without a ticket at 7:30 p.m. will be asked to leave.
Open container and littering laws will be enforced by additional police funded by PNC Park, the Pirates and the city of Pittsburgh. Horse mounted police will be patrolling the area, and PNC Park will have 17 medics on hand.
The changes come after a Luke Bryan concert at Heinz Field last month, when public safety officials broke up 15 fights, took 34 people to hospitals, responded to 150 emergency calls and spent days cleaning up the mess.
“I think that we help to enable part of the problem by opening the lots early, by allowing there to be trashing, to be almost accepting of the fact that this type of behavior would be accepted by the city," Mayor Bill Peduto said at a news conference Tuesday. "What we’re trying to say is we want country music concerts to come to Pittsburgh. We want a lot of concerts to come to Pittsburgh, but we want people to behave in a responsible manner.
“The additional cost will be borne by those that will be involved in the promotion of the event, then those that will be profiting from it, parking lot operators and promoters through the Pirates.”
After the concert, public works crews and parking lot operators will work through the night to clean up the North Shore. Inspectors from the city Bureau of Building Inspection may cite lot owners for any litter not cleaned up by Monday.
Several streets will also be closed to bring in the equipment for the concert. North Shore Drive from Tony Dorsett Drive to Mazeroski Way, and Mazeroski Way from North Shore Drive to W. General Robinson will all be closed. The closures start early Thursday morning and will last until Monday night. Also the Roberto Clemente Bridge and Federal Street will be closed Saturday morning.