PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- With a record-breaking crowd expected at the Garth Brooks concert this Saturday, the city has developed a plan to ensure the event runs smoothly.
Nearly 73,000 people are set to fill Heinz Field on May 18 -- the stadium's single largest crowd ever. As such, the Department of Public Safety will work with several other law enforcement agencies -- including Pennsylvania State Police, Liquor Control Enforcement, Port Authority Police and Heinz Field Security -- to ensure everyone's safety.
While there won't be the 27-foot-tall watchtower that was present for the rowdier Kenny Chesney crowd last year, the public safety department says they will be monitoring the concert from above the ground.
There will be "high vantage points from the stadium and from buildings surrounding the parking lots," Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said in a press conference Thursday. "Sometimes we use air assets from the State Police. We have that availability -- it's always nice to be able to look down on a crowd. And we'll also be utilizing our security camera system throughout the city."
Watch the full presser here:
There will be mounted police officers, as well as officers patrolling the area's rivers. Inside the stadium, there will be 32 EMS personnel and two physicians.
The department also said officers on motorcycles will help direct traffic and two cycle units will monitor parking lots.
"The weather should be ideal," the public safety director said. "We're not looking at a lot of problems as long as individuals keep hydrating themselves — and that's with water and not alcohol — we should be okay."
Other information from the public safety notice:
- Parking lots will open at 2 p.m.
- Cars cannot wait in roadways prior to the lots' opening
- After the concert begins at 7 p.m., tailgates and other parties will no longer be permitted in the parking lots
- Be prepared for changes in the weather, as the forecast predicts temperatures near 80 degrees and possible thunderstorms
- Drink responsibly and stay hydrated
In addition, the Port Authority of Allegheny County says they will offer increased light rail -- or "T" -- services starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday to meet demand.
To increase efficiency following the event, the public transit agency says outbound rail cars will not stop at North Side Station. Those who want to go to North Side Station should exit at Gateway Station and take an inbound rail car to North Side Station.
The last rail car to Liberty Station is set to leave Allegheny Station at 11:37 p.m. For those traveling outbound past that time, Port Authority says free shuttle buses going to Hillcrest, Lytle, Mesta, South Park Road, Munroe, Sarah, Logan Road, King's School Road, Beagle, Sandy Creek, West Library or Library stations will be provided at Washington Junction.
Despite these changes, the public transit agency warns long waits are still expected.
Port Authority encourages anyone with trip planning needs to call Customer Service at 412-442-2000.
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