June 21--Pittsburgh public safety officials said Friday they are prepping for an influx of people, and the trash they produce, at weekend concerts on the North Side and Downtown.
City officials expect the crowd at the Luke Bryan country music concert at Heinz Field on Saturday to rival the 50,000 people who have attended previous Kenny Chesney summer concerts.
Pittsburgh police will begin handling traffic details entering the Heinz Field parking lots when they open at 11 a.m., and plan to clear the parking lots of tailgating by 7:30 p.m., officials said.
The concert begins at 6 p.m. Police will have bicycle, beat officers and other patrols in the area before, during and after the concert, and help from the Allegheny County Mounted Patrols.
"We anticipate nearly 50,000 people will come by land and water for this concert. I encourage each and every concert-goer to enjoy themselves while showing courtesy to one another so that a good time can be had by all," Public Safety Director Stephen A. Bucar said in a news release.
In addition to the Luke Bryan concert, police were seeking officers to work during the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival this weekend in the Cultural District, Downtown. The festival will feature three stages Saturday and Sunday, and organizers expect to draw more than the 15,000 people who attended last year.
Officials waived the rule that caps the number of hours officers can spend working off-duty details in an attempt to entice officers to work during the jazz festival.
"We are more concerned about public safety than the need to adhere to any written guideline or rule," public safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler said.
Pittsburgh police arrested or cited 73 people, and paramedics treated 150 in and around Heinz Field for the 2013 Kenny Chesney concert. Police said they responded to 10 large fights, and crews hauled 45,000 to 60,000 pounds of garbage.
Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or email@example.com.
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