Belfast Telegraph

Red faces over Springsteen fine

A council has accepted that putting parking tickets on Bruce Springsteen's tour trucks ahead of a landmark gig by The Boss was "a little embarrassing".

A parking attendant stuck the tickets on the lorries as Springsteen prepared to play the first-ever gig at the brand new, £60 million Leeds Arena.

Bemused fans watched the council enforcement officer ticketing the huge articulated vehicles that were parked on double yellow lines outside the venue at the north end of the city centre.

And pictures of the over-zealous warden soon started circulating on social networks.

Leeds City Council, which had been heavily promoting the concert as the start of new era of music events for the city and the region, acknowledged it was embarrassing, even though the officer was only doing his job.

It said that, given the special circumstances, the ticket would not have to be paid.

A city council spokesman said: "We accept this is a little embarrassing but, to be fair, the attendant was doing his job - if a little too efficiently.

"These were somewhat unusual circumstances with a very large tour involving a tight turnaround of vehicles arriving from the previous night's show in Cardiff on the opening night of a brand new venue.

"The parking tickets were legitimately issued as the area concerned had double-yellow lines and was outside the agreed area for trucks to park to access the arena.

"Having considered the special circumstances, the tickets were quickly cancelled.

"When you prepare a city to open and host a huge, state-of-the-art new venue, you're bound to get the odd teething trouble.

"This was the only slight problem on a historic night for Leeds as the months and years of planning came together to put on an incredible show which everyone who was there will never forget."

One bystander told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "A couple of jobsworths have come down here - the stick they have got from people is hilarious.

"They are not parked illegally, they are just parked down a side street."

The 13,500-seat arena is a prestige project for Leeds, which has missed out on big touring attractions in the past because it has not had a large arena like Sheffield, Manchester and Nottingham.

Springsteen's sell-out appearance may have been the first at the new venue but the official opening will not be until September, when Sir Elton John plays.

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