Post-Chesney concert mess sparks debate among Pittsburghers, fans



PITTSBURGH - Pittsburghers are responding to the mess left behind in parking lots following the Kenny Chesney concert Saturday at Heinz Field.

SPECIAL SECTION: Kenny Chesney in Pittsburgh

Crews began cleaning the Heinz Field parking lots early Sunday morning, and most were cleared in time for the Monday morning commute.

But in light of the piles of garbage, empty beer bottles and even furniture, some are calling for a ban of future Chesney concerts. A “Ban Kenny Chesney from Pittsburgh” Facebook page has been created, sparking mixed reactions.

Livy Hantz said in a Facebook comment, “It's because all of the irresponsible hoopies who don't think there are repercussions to their actions."

“The mess is not country. Country people take care of their messes.  It's like city folks going to something and taking their city trash with them,” said Jim Bennett.

Donna M. Giel said, “They are local young people there just for the party. They show up early in the morning, party all day and then slowly trickle out once the concert starts. This phenomenon has grown each year and seems exclusive to Pittsburgh.”

In another Facebook post, Whitney Hodgson said, “If this was done at Wiz Khalifa there would be hell to pay and racial slurs thrown left and right. This is beyond ridiculous. It's disgusting. It's trashy. And it's pathetic."

The Sports and Exhibition Authority and the Pittsburgh Public Works were in charge of the post-event cleanup.

In addition to the mess left behind, Saturday’s heat was a challenge for both Chesney fans and Pittsburgh Police.

According to Allegheny County Emergency Services, 30 people were taken to the hospital, 150 patients were seen by EMS at the scene, and five arrests were made throughout the day. Over 100 police officers and 43 paramedics were working at the event.

In addition, the Bureau of Liquor Control said that a minor patrol was conducted at Heinz Field on Saturday during the concert. As a result, 35 minors were cited for underage drinking, one minor was cited for a false identification and eight juveniles were cited for underage drinking.

Nearly 58,000 people attended the Chesney concert.

Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.