Despite attempts by Philadelphia city council members to shut down next Tuesday's free outdoor Metallica concert, the hard rock quartet have
vowed to go through with the show as originally planned.
But as of Friday afternoon, officials with the CoreStates Complex, which had scheduled the event in their immense parking lot, were
proposing to move the show indoors.
"We owe it to the fans to fulfill our obligation," said Metallica's management in a prepared statement, released at 6 p.m. (PST) Friday. "By
playing outside [in the CoreStates Complex parking lot] we can meet the demands, no matter how many people come to the event. Our goal is
to accommodate the fans, address the city council's concerns and meet all needs commensurate with an event of this magnitude."
To head off the city council's stated intention to take legal action to stop the concert from taking place, attorneys for Metallica have filed a
motion to "insure that the show will not be moved," according to management.
Last Monday the group announced plans for the outdoor show to celebrate the release of their new album Re-Load (Nov. 18). But by
Wednesday, city officials were voicing what they said were residents' concerns regarding security, sanitation and noise issues.
On Friday morning, CoreStates management gave in to the council's objections, proposing the event take place inside the 18,000-capacity
CoreStates Spectrum, rather than in the open lot, which could hold more than 100,000 fans. During a meeting, Complex President Peter Lukko
presented council members Ann Verna and Frank DiCicco with the option of holding the concert indoors, at which time they pledged not to
take legal action.
"After full consideration of all the concerns and issues that have been raised by our community and its city council representatives," Lukko said
in a prepared statement, "we have concluded that we will not be able to accommodate the band on the parking lot and the better alternative is to
hold the concert indoors at the CoreStates Spectrum."
That proposal apparently did not satisfy Councilman DiCicco. "If it's indoors, it will answer many of the concerns, but not all of them," said
Robin Schatz, spokeswoman for DiCicco. Among the greatest fears still unanswered, according to Schatz, are the potential traffic snarls during
the week not only from the Metallica show but other previously scheduled events.
The night before Metallica is scheduled to play, South Philadelphia will play host to a Philadelphia Eagles football game and a concert by the
recently reunited Jane's Addiction. The same day that Metallica plays will also see sports fans pouring into the area for a Philadelphia Flyers
hockey game in the neighboring Spectrum II facility.
"As long as it is indoors that answers Councilwoman Verna's concerns," said
Verna spokeswoman Kathleen Murray Friday. Verna specifically expressed concern about the noise level of the heavy metal band. "We had
received information from air management that an outdoor concert like that would definitely exceed the city's air management code," Murray
After considering the proposal of holding the show in the Spectrum, however, Metallica stood firm and chose to charge ahead with the parking
lot plan. "Our concern with our fans is always safety first," the band's management said in their statement. "Which is precisely why we want to
keep the concert in the parking lot... Only by playing outside can we meet the demand of the fans, and put on a show that is the safest for both
the city and Metallica's audience. Anything short of the planned outdoor concert... is of paramount concern to us, and could create a potential
problem with regard to public safety."
The concert has divided residents of the South Philadelphia neighborhood where the 90-minute concert is scheduled for 3 p.m. "It ain't like
40,000 people haven't hit South Philly before," said Peter Brown, a local musician. [Sat., Nov. 8, 1997, 9 a.m.