PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The countdown is on until Kenny Chesney rocks Heinz Field this weekend.
Fans and city officials are geared up for the big party on the North Shore. But there are lots of restrictions, and weather and traffic could put a damper on things.
KDKA Chief Meteorologist Jeff Verszyla says some wet weather could move though late in the day when the concert is getting underway.
“The overall flow though is going to stay out of the south and west [Saturday], so it’s going to stay warm and humid through the day, unstable,” said Verszyla. “And with an approaching front, that will likely set off more widespread or numerous showers and maybe a few thundershowers [Saturday] evening and night.”
Packed with commuters on Friday, the lots on the North Shore will be teaming with country music fans all-day Saturday.
“Tomorrow afternoon, the parking lots will open at 1 p.m.,” said Heinz Field Spokesperson Burt Lauten, “and you have to have a ticket to the concert to get into the parking lot.”
That means, prior to 1 o’clock, the lots will be closed and so will the streets around the stadium with police at every intersection as well as on the bridges and ramps leading to the North Shore to make sure you keep it moving.
That’s not to say fans can’t come by T or on foot.
“They can come down here to the park, and they go walk the sidewalks, we ask that they don’t set up shop,” says Pittsburgh Operations Chief Guy Costa. “But again, they are welcome to come down here, there are some restaurants they can patronize.”
The gates to Heinz Field will open at 4 p.m. with music in the Fed Ex Great Hall, and the first downbeat on the main stage comes at 4:45 p.m. Click here for more on what you can and cannot bring into Heinz Field.
“You’ll have four different acts prior to Kenny Chesney; he’s scheduled to go on late evening,” said Lauten.
Eric Church takes the stage at 7:20 p.m.
Those still in the parking lots at 7 p.m. will be directed to head into the concert or leave.
Meanwhile, down on the riverbank, Public Works crews installed a barrier about four feet from the river’s edge to prevent boaters from partying on the riverwalk.
But some boaters are not happy about those barriers.
“Absolutely ridiculous, it’s a fire hazard,” said boater Kevin McCue, of Gibsonia. “If there is an emergency on our boats you can’t get through the barrier. I don’t know what the mayor is trying to accomplish here.”
Undercover Liquor Control Board officer will also be patrolling the parking lots.
As for getting to the concert, PennDOT says they are scaling back plans to close the inbound lanes of the Parkway West this weekend.
They’ll now close from 10 p.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday from I-79 to Parkway Center. The closure was supposed to run through Monday morning.
As a reminder, the outbound side will close at 10 p.m. tonight and reopen at 10 a.m. Saturday.