Fan Arrests, Injuries, Trash Overshadow Kenny Chesney’s Pittsburgh Show
Kenny Chesney and three of country music's hottest openers played for 50,000 screaming fans at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field on Saturday (June 22), but the day's most memorable numbers may be the 73 arrested or the nearly 150 treated on site or at medical facilities.
Police say at least 10 large fights broke out during the pre-show tailgate. The parking lots were forced to open early -- at 9AM according to CBS News -- because lines of cars were backing up local traffic. Kacey Musgraves didn't begin her opening set until 5PM.
KDKA in Pittsburgh, Pa. reports that 49 people were arrested inside Heniz Field during the concert, and 24 were arrested outside the venue. Most were for public intoxication, aggravated assault or disorderly conduct. WPXI reports other arrests were for public urination, marijuana possession and scalping.
ALCO Parking president Merril Stabile says they'll consider changes for next year, if Chesney returns to Pittsburgh (there is a Facebook campaign to prevent that). Charging for parking in addition to tickets could help reduce the number of people who come to tailgate without a concert ticket. Another option is charging a higher rate for those who come early. City safety leaders are also considering changes after cleaning up a mess they estimate to be five times larger than that of an average Pittsburgh Steelers game.
The Pittsburgh Trib reports that it took crews 15 hours to clean up this year's mess (estimated at 45,000 - 60,000 pounds of trash) -- about three hours longer than last year. Among the unusual debris? Homemade toilets, portable pools and couches. Many officials say this is one of the dirtiest and rowdiest crowds to ever come to Heinz Field.
As for the show, a review in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette gave the 'When I See This Bar' singer high marks. Eli Young Band and Eric Church were also praised, with reviewer Scott Mervis predicting Church will soon be headlining similar shows. The No Shoes Nation Tour will resume on June 27 in St. Louis, Mo.