Last month, a Kenny Chesney concert at Heinz Field resulted in plenty of arrests, even more trash, and a flood of public attention to the problem.
Now, the Steelers are miffed about the decision of folks within the broader stadium/parking structure to talk publicly about the situation.
According to WTAE-TV, a Steelers sent a letter to Pittsburgh’s Stadium Authority, which owns the parking lots in the vicinity of Heinz Field, complaining about the things said in the aftermath of the event.
The Steelers contend that Merrill Stabile, the president of Alco Parking, “chose to publicly slander the fans at Heinz Field, which caused serious concerns for Mr. Chesney’s management.” The Steelers also claim that the remarks “could hamper efforts to promote future concerts at Heinz Field.”
Stabile defended his comments in an email to WTAE.
“My philosophy in solving a problem is to first acknowledge that there IS one,” Stabile said. “Therefore, I saw no benefit in stonewalling the media or denying that there was a problem. I saw more benefit in being proactive and acknowledging that the volume of garbage was extremely high and that WE (Alco Parking) need to do better for future events of this nature.”
Stabile also said the letter from the Steelers represents a “feeble attempt” to blame him if Chesney decides not to return to Pittsburgh.
“If the Steeler organization is waiting for an apology from me, I can only characterize my sentiments with a title to an old country-western song, ‘If the phone don’t ring, it’s me,’” Stabile said.
Maybe Chesney can sing that one if he ever returns to Heinz Field.