PNC Center Crackdown

A New Jersey assemblywoman has asked the state to suspend the liquor license at the 17,500-capacity PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel because of alleged alcohol-related injuries during a concert while officials work on a plan to nip the activity in the bud.

The Asbury Park Press reported that 15 concertgoers – 13 of them reportedly underage – were taken to a nearby hospital following the May 18th Gwen Stefani concert at the Live Nation-run venue. The drinking allegedly took place in the venue’s parking lot.

Assemblywoman Amy Handlin said in a letter to the state Alcohol Beverage Control it is time to get a handle on what she believes is a bad situation.

"Clearly, this problem has gotten worse, and we can’t allow another summer season to proceed without a severe crackdown," Handlin wrote.

Handlin acknowledged that not all minors were drinking at the shed but asked that PNC’s liquor license be revoked to send a message to officials that surveillance needs beefing up, the paper said.

"We’re heading into a season where there are many, many concerts that are geared to a younger audience," she said. "This raises the question: ‘Do we need to have a fatality before action is taken?’ I would hope not."

Live Nation spokesman John Vlautin told Pollstar the company is working with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, which owns the facility and state police on a plan to further crack down on underage drinking.

"Along with our food and beverage partner Aramark, we at Live Nation follow a stringent protocol to ensure that underage patrons are not served alcohol inside the PNC Bank Arts Center," Vlautin said. "We are confident that these rules and regulations have been successful. We will continue to examine our policies with regard to pre-show parking lot activity and make adjustments as necessary."

Officials expect to have a revised plan in place prior to the Honda Civic Tour stop June 6th.