Pittsburgh prepares for Taylor Swift takeover this weekend

PITTSBURGH — With just days until Pittsburgh turns into “Swift-burgh,” preparations at Acrisure Stadium are well underway, and around the city, hotels, parking, and restaurants are also ramping up for the big day.

Southern Tier Brewing Company anticipates record-breaking sales for this weekend’s sold-out Taylor Swift concerts and will be preparing accordingly.

“We are fully staffed; we’ve got beer taps at both ends of our entrances. We have an extra delivery this week. They’ve been prepping up on pretzels all week. We are going to make sure we have everything we need to feed the masses,” said Anna Brailey, a manager at Southern Tier.

“We expect to be barely standing room only. We put as many tables in the beer garden as we can, and our only restriction is that if you’re coming in, you are spending some money,” Brailey said.

It’s not just North Shore restaurants that are gearing up for the “Swifties” invasion.

It’s sold-out hotels, too. Experts say 6,000 downtown rooms have already been booked. Parking lots and public transit will feel the impact: Pittsburgh Regional Transit announced extra light rail trains will run to and from the stadium Friday and Saturday and for fans who’ve waited for months.

“I sat in the queue all day to get our tickets,” said Courtney Stone, who is taking her two daughters.

Despite being locals, Stone said she considered getting a hotel.

“I am going to just drive us down because, then, if we can get back to my car, they can at least fall asleep if it takes us hours,” Stone said.

With North Shore hotels sold out and nearby lots going for upwards of $60, experts said this weekend may be the biggest of the summer.

“We think it’s going to be record-breaking,” said, Jerad Bachar, the president & CEO of Visit Pittsburgh.

And that’s saying something after last year’s four mega concerts of Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, Metallica, and Billy Joel attracting 160,000 fans and leaving an economic impact of $41 million.

“People are coming in for this concert all over the region so we know there is going to be a lot of out-of-town visitors who are going to stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants,” Bachar said.

Officials said they won’t be able to tally the exact impact until after the concert weekend, but said this will be a record-breaking concert for the city.

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