Luke Bryan fans trash Heinz Field lots. Here’s how we fix it.
I don’t know why this is bothering me more this year than before, but it is. Another summer mega concert and more media coverage of the trash storm left over by people who act like the garbage they left behind. I think that what started to anger me was the reaction on Twitter late Saturday from people saying that if you have a problem with the trash that you “hate fun”.
There’s a difference.
There’s having a good time and then there’s thinking you’re entitled to act like pigs because you paid a lot of money to park in a lot and get tanked.
A ban on tailgating won’t solve much. There are other lots that were able to have tailgating just fine, it was the lot next to the stadium that was the big issue. If you ban tailgating the people will go elsewhere. Steelers fans party all day and leave the lot respectable. Pitt fans do the same thing. Heck even Pirates fans deserve to get loaded the way the team has played this year and they’re still respectful. There might be garbage bags laying around but no one is asking you to scrub the lot, just pick your trash up and put it in a bag. There are people who will collect it.
Types of Fans
We don’t hear about problems of this magnitude with tailgating at First Niagara when Jimmy Buffett is in town and those people party HARD. For some reason though it’s THIS show. It’s the mega country music crowd or, as I saw in one comment, “Hick Hop”. I’ve worked many events focused around alcohol thanks to “Should I Drink That?” and EVERY SINGLE BEER FEST has the same problem. Early session is the responsible fans and the late session is the drunk fest with knuckleheads looking to get tanked fast.
It’s not the alcohol, its the traits of the people drinking it. If you’re already a slobbish jag, you’re going to be like that no matter what.
What can be done?
I honestly don’t see the purpose of opening gates 8 hours before a show but also I have better things to do than sit in a parking lot that long. Yeah you can tell me its all about the experience but EIGHT HOURS? Even 4 hours is a bit much. Pace yourselves people!
Here are a few ideas
- Sell garbage bags - Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said that something needs to be done and handing out a couple of garbage bags to every car obviously isn’t cutting it. I’ve heard that places to put the garbage once bagged by fans was a problem also. Maybe this is your chance to buy a few cases of bags from Costco and sell them cheap at various spots.
- Shriner go cart garbage pick up service - I love these guys in every parade. They drive their go-cart cars and trucks in patterns and perform tricks. Grab a few of those and have people put their trash in it. Better yet, have a recycling bin open for people to toss empties. Even better, ask for a donation and you’ll pick up their trash.
- Recycle for discounted parking - Have a big collection site in the parking lot for people to drop off their bottles/cans/plastics. The container(s) are on a scale. If the scale meets a certain goal weight, your parking stub is good for 1/2 off parking at another event. They can find out if they met the goal by going to the website on the back of the ticket which… you can also sell ad space on. WHAT? Oh yeah. Get sponsors. WAIT! They have the option to opt into a texting service for updates. If at any point you thought “Well you’re encouraging them to drink more!” I ask that you relax and have a local beer.
- Stop being pigs – That’s an obvious one that I’m sure someone will say “You can save money and stop being idiots!” so this bullet was for you.
Granted there a lot of logistics behind everything but this is just a brain storming session after my morning run and Special K breakfast.
So what am I getting at? These shows bring A LOT of money into the city (parking, hotel, tourism and patronizing local businesses) and no matter how you try to spin it, that’s what it comes down to. They’re not going away so instead of complaining yet again about the same degenerates ruining it, let’s work towards a solution. That’s what Pittsburghers do, we fix what people say is impossible.