Mayor Peduto wants promoters held accountable for stadium concert cleanup

Trash sits on the sidewalk outside of Heinz Field along the North Shore on Sunday, June 22, 2014, remaining from the previous day's tailgate crowd from the Luke Bryan concert.
Trash sits on the sidewalk outside of Heinz Field along the North Shore on Sunday, June 22, 2014, remaining from the previous day's tailgate crowd from the Luke Bryan concert.
Photo by Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
| Sunday, June 22, 2014, 9:36 a.m.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said on Sunday that the city will demand that concert promoters shoulder extra cleanup and public safety costs tied to a Luke Bryan country music concert at Heinz Field the day before, even as other observers praised many visitors for more tidy behavior.

“We've worked too hard to build the quality of life in Pittsburgh to let others get away with destroying it. My administration will investigate further ways to hold promoters more accountable for these costs and impacts, while recognizing the economic benefits such large events bring to our publicly owned facilities,” read a written statement attributed to Peduto.

Peduto was not available to elaborate, spokesman Tim McNulty said. McNulty said he did not know the scope of the expenses or which promoters the city might attempt to bill for those costs.

“We have to look at all that this week,” McNulty said.

Peduto's statement noted more than 300 incidents that public safety officials handled during Saturday's concert and related parties in North Shore parking lots, including 154 calls to emergency dispatchers.

The city will pay several workers about $2,000 for collecting trash and scrubbing public areas around the football stadium, said Public Works Director Mike Gable. Six laborers worked overtime hours through Sunday morning to help clear that scene, which does not include privately owned parking lots in the neighborhood.

North Shore-based Alco Parking Corp., which owns most of those lots, could not be reached.

Gable said the aftermath appeared less overwhelming than the mess that concertgoers left after a Kenny Chesney country show last June, when crews hauled off garbage topping 45,000 pounds. The mess from the Chesney show drew national attention. Many attendees said the atmosphere this weekend was calmer.

“We like to think everybody's getting a little better each year,” Gable said.

He praised Alco and Heinz Field for what he called better planning and preparation.

Visitors received trash and recycling bags, and officials placed 120 portable toilets along the sidewalks — up from 80 for the Chesney show.

McNulty said he wasn't sure whether Peduto talked with venue managers or other groups involved in accommodating Bryan, whose evening concert drew about 50,000 people. A Heinz Field manager and California-based Live Nation Entertainment, which promotes Bryan, could not be reached.

Pittsburgh reported making at least 18 arrests and writing 37 citations in and around the stadium. The figures do not include several arrests in the area that might not have been related to the concert, police spokeswoman Sonya Toler said.

She said most of the people arrested or cited list addresses outside Pittsburgh, including in Ohio, Texas and West Virginia. Some identify their homes in Kittanning, Harrison City and Scottdale, Toler said.

Initial statistics appeared to lag the problems that police reported after the Chesney concert. Officers arrested or cited 73 people — and paramedics treated 150 — at and around that show.

Emergency responders answered 100 medical calls for the Bryan concert and took 34 people to hospitals. Officers reported 15 fights.

Arrests included three for defiant trespassing; two for assault; and one for resisting arrest. At least four involved public intoxication.

Police handed out 20 citations for scalping, 10 for public urination, six for disorderly conduct and one for public intoxication, according to the preliminary numbers.

Adam Smeltz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5676 or

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