Last month, GoLocal Providence dubbed Mansfield’s Xfinity Center “New England’s Most Dangerous Place” – and they may be right.
In a survey of data obtained from the Mansfield Police Department, they determined that there have been “more than 2,300 arrests and detentions during just 89 concert nights” since 2012 at the extremely popular and successful Live Nation-owned outdoor concert venue.
The venue made headlines earlier this summer for a number of hospitalization incidents, an alleged rape, and a curfew violation. As of September 6, the summer-only, 20,000-seat venue hosted 27 concerts this season – during which 320 arrests occurred. Thevast majority of the arrests involved drugs, alcohol, and/or disorderly conduct, and people (including minors) in their teens and 20s.
The Warped Tour event on July 10 saw an increase in EMS and police calls. Significant spikes in arrest and detainment numbers also occurred on August 23 and 25, the days of the Braid Paisley and Drake vs. Lil Wayne shows, respectively.
Law enforcement and government officials blame the astounding numbers on two factors: the young, inebriated crowds drawn to these concerts and the hard-to-control lawn seating. According to GoLocal Providence:
Mansfield Chairman of Selectman George Dentino is making a political push to remove the lawn seating from the Xfinity Center, the site of the alleged rape incident.
“In a full house you have about 7,000 people out there elbow to elbow in the grass,” Dentino said. “It lends itself to altercations.”
There’s no problem if the people don’t come in impaired, or get themselves impaired or intoxicated through drugs,” Dentino continued, adding that the lawn area is attractive to individuals using drugs or alcohol because it is not well-lit and difficult to supervise. “We see a lot of drugs coming in with pills.”
Dentino also believes there are not enough law enforcement officers on hand:
“The Mansfield police have been exceptional out there, the Mansfield Fire have been super,” Dentino said, specifying that there is a pat-down system in place at the gate to Xfinity Center. “They do a nice job at the lawn, but they can’t control the lawn. You can’t use 7, 9, 10 people up there for 7,000 [fans].”
As Mansfield residents and officials grow increasingly wary and frustrated with the situation at the Xfinity Center, the owners of the venue have apparently declined to comment or offer solutions.
Dentino told GoLocal Providence last month that he expects to present a plan of action to the rest of the selectmen after the season ends. The last concert of 2014 was Ed Sheeran on Tuesday night.