Pittsburgh Mayor Blasts Need for Luke Bryan Concert Cleanup

June 24, 2014

Public safety officials broke up 15 fights, ferried 34 people to hospitals and responded to at least 150 emergency calls related to a Luke Bryan concert in Pittsburgh, Mayor Bill Peduto said Sunday in calling for event organizers to pick up part of the tab.

About 50,000 fans descended on Heinz Field for Saturday night’s show by the country superstar. But tailgaters, who arrived up to nine hours before the event, left behind mounds of trash in parking lots, surrounding neighborhoods and in the Allegheny River, Peduto said.

At least seven people were arrested, and public works employees were still cleaning up Sunday morning, Peduto said in a statement.

“The continued trashing of our city has to stop,” Peduto said. “There is no reason … (for taxpayers) to bear the burden for outsized amounts of garbage removal and public safety response.”

The aftermath appeared less overwhelming than the mess left after a Kenny Chesney country concert last year, when crews hauled off more than 45,000 pounds of garbage, public works Director Mike Gable told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. More than 70 arrests were made at that show.

While acknowledging the economic benefits of big concerts, the mayor said the city will begin billing promoters and related private parties for city money spent on cleanup and public safety efforts. Bryan’s promoter did not immediately respond to a message from The Associated Press.

Tailgaters on Saturday were given trash and recycling containers, which appeared to help.

“It’s definitely cleaner than it was last year. People aren’t just throwing their trash on the streets. They’re using the bins and bags,” Ryan Callahan, 25, of Delmont, told the Tribune Review on Saturday.

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