NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The “Shelter in Place” order at Nissan Stadium before the Taylor Swift concert Sunday night has local and out-of-state fans upset and wanting answers.
“Me and my sister called two weeks in advance to say if the weather is bad, do you have proper accommodations to shelter everyone? The answer was, ‘Yes; we absolutely have proper accommodations,” said Jennifer Ortiz, a Swiftie from Indiana.
It was a sold-out show, and the Ortiz family said what happened Sunday night was a nightmare after traveling from Indiana just for this concert.
A safe place to shelter 70,000 anxious Swift fans inside Nissan Stadium on Sunday night was not what the Ortiz family said they experienced.
“It’s just a swarm of people and pretty much gridlocked. People are pushing, and nobody is moving. We got to an area, and everyone said, ‘Hey, about 50 feet ahead is blocked.’ So they didn’t have full access to the stadium open where you could even spread out,” Ortiz said.
Instead, Ortiz said her husband and their three daughters, who are six, eight, and 13 years old were among thousands of fans crammed, standing shoulder to shoulder for hours in a small area she believes was only a third of the ground level of the stadium.
“There was absolutely no coordination of security. They didn’t have anything planned or managed. My daughters were getting increasingly more and more upset with the situation because they couldn’t breathe. People around us were passing out. Medics were trying to get through,” Ortiz said.
Once her daughters started to hyperventilate, Ortiz said it came down to leaving or potentially risking their children’s safety, so they left.
“They said, ‘Get us out of here; we feel afraid to be trampled.’ No amount of money we’ve spent and for me and all the other fans that were there, we’ve spent considerable money and time to get the tickets, planning, and getting the hotel, and we said forget it. Their safety is too much,” Ortiz said.
Almost four hours later, Nissan Stadium lifted its “Shelter in Place” order so Swift could take the stage, but by that time, the Ortiz family was already back at their hotel.
“Nissan Stadium has a lot to own up to in this. I called them this morning. I called their box office and asked who was responsible for this, and their answer was TicketMaster. I don’t think so; I think that this falls on Nissan Stadium,” Ortiz said.
Now, she wants action from Nissan Stadium.
“I want them to step up. I think they need to step up for the fans that left. I think they need to reimburse the cost of tickets, but again reimbursing the cost of tickets that we waited hours for and got face value. I want my kids to get that experience. I guess I thought they were going to get it in Nashville, where Taylor Swift is from. We specifically targeted this city, and I thought they were going to get that experience there, and now if we get it all, it’s going to be in a different place,” Ortiz said.
A spokesperson for Nissan Stadium did not comment on this but said they’ve responded to all medical calls, most of which were minor and not severe.