PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Public Safety officials are preparing for a busy weekend in downtown Pittsburgh.
Two Pirates games at PNC Park, Pittsburgh PrideFest events and the EQT Equality March, the last weekend of the Three Rivers Arts Festival — and, of course, a viewing party for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final at PPG Paints Arena.
With everything going on, Pittsburgh Safety officials are worried about the amount of people who are expected to be downtown this weekend. Adding to their worries, temperatures are expected to climb into the high 80s.
Add it all up, and extra security steps are being taken to keep people safe, especially given what we’ve seen during events across the world.
At a news conference Friday, officials outlined some of their plans for making sure everyone stays safe.
“There will be a lot of assets being used that the public will not see behind the scenes, to include plainclothes officers, observers in high vantage points throughout the city, and the camera system,” Public Safety director Wendell Hissrich said.
Patrols will round up old outdoor furniture and couches before Game 6 to prevent any fiery celebrations in the event the Penguins win the Stanley Cup.
“If you have something on your lawn or front porch that’s not designated as lawn furniture, it will be removed,” Chief Darryl Jones of the Pittsburgh Fire Department said.
And Pens fans won’t be able to flood to the South Side after the game. If the Penguins win, officials will restrict access to the South Side, so if you want to be there to celebrate, you have to get there before or during the game.
“What we don’t want is after the game, people pouring in, because we’re going to be trying to get everybody safely out of the South Side,” Pittsburgh Police Cmdr. Ed Trapp said.
Celebrations won’t last all night long. Police will start to send people home about 90 minutes after the end of the game.
“At the end of 90 minutes, we’re going to make announcements that it’s time to go, and then if necessary, we’ll help move the crowd out of the streets,” Trapp said.
The Delta Foundation is also adding some new precautions for PrideFest celebrations this year.
Pittsburgh Pride kicked off with a Michael Jackson tribute band Friday. Jennifer Hudson will play Saturday night. And new this year, a 300-foot zip line.
Also new this year, more water barriers and other security steps.
“There’s been lots of changes for all large scale event planners in the city,” said Chris Bryan from Pittsburgh Pride. “Not just Pittsburgh Pride. The Regatta. The Arts Festival. Children’s Festival. All of us have new security measures in place.”
Light Up Night last fall was one of the first events where the city used large dump trucks filled with sand as barricades to protect crowds. Pride will also use trucks as barricades.
Last year, a drunk driver injured nine people when she lost control just outside the Pride Fest area.