PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Kenny Chesney won't be in town until Saturday, but his navy is already docking on Pittsburgh's North Shore.
Kevin Coppler brought the Pearl to a prime tie up spot on Monday and fully expects Saturday will be "unorganized chaos."
To bring some order to the chaos on the rivers, the U.S. Coast Guard has drafted regulations for the first time just for the Chesney concert. In fact, in the official federal register of the Coast Guard regulations, it says, "This action is necessary to ensure safety of life on these navigable waters during the weekend of the Kenny Chesney concert at Heinz Field."
Coppler says, "It's definitely a good idea. Last year, there were like seven boats tied together just floating. And then barges try coming through, and those things don't stop."
So, starting at 4 p.m. Friday and until 3 p.m. Sunday, the Special Local Regulations will be in effect from the Rachael Carson Bridge, over the Allegheny, to the Fort Pitt Bridge, to the West End Bridge. During that period, no one will be allowed to anchor in the middle of the river or raft with other boats in the middle of sailing channel.
Lt. Shawn Simeral, of the U.S. Coast Guard, says that will keep the main channel open for barges and other river traffic.
"Rafting off from the wall is not going to be restricted as long as they remain within 100 feet of the shore," says Lt. Simeral.
That means Coppler is going to have to do some measuring with his five fellow boaters who have come to raft off his boat, which is currently tied up to the North Shore. Looking at the stern of the Pearl, Coppler said, "This is 20 feet, he's 14, so I'll be doing some math here."
And members of Kenny's Navy will also not be allowed to anchor or tie up near the boat ramp at Heinz Field. Lt. Simeral says that ramp is needed because "the ferries run right over there to bring people to Heinz Field."
The USCG won't be alone on the water this weekend. Pittsburgh River Rescue, the Pennsylvania Boat Commission, and Coast Guard Auxiliary will be on hand in case a boater anchors in the wrong spot.
"There will be people who will help you and let you know you are not in a space where you need to be," said Lt. Simeral.
The same regulations will also be in force for the Luke Bryan concert at the end of June. A decision about the Taylor Swift concert on Aug. 7 has not been made.
Lt. Simeral says the USCG is not trying to be a buzz kill.
"We put regulations into effect to assure the safety of any vessels that might attend or any people who may be watching on the shore," he said.
As for tailgaters, a parking lot code of conduct was announced on Tuesday.
The following parking lot code of conduct will be in effect:
- Upon entering, fans will receive trash and recycling bags
- Trash must be disposed of properly
- The following are prohibited: solicitation of any kind, the sale of food and alcohol, glass containers, tents, personal port-a-johns, furniture (other than folding lawn chairs and tables), and oversized vehicles.
The NFL's clear bag policy will also be in place for the "Trip Around the Sun Tour." Fans will not be able to bring selfie sticks, coolers, large bags, alcohol and other prohibited items inside the stadium.
For more information on the bag policy, click here.
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