Cincinnati, OH Crowd Crush At Concert, Dec 1979

RIverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati



Cincinnati (UPI) -- Officials today blamed "festival (unreserved) seating" for creating a crush at the doors of Monday night's "The Who" rock concert in which 11 people were trampled to death.
"We can make an assumption that one of the major problems was festival seating," said Mayor J. Kenneth Blackwell. "There was a demand for good seats."
Half of the sold-out crowd of 18,000 held tickets for unreserved seating at Riverfront Coliseum. The other half had reserved seats.
"This will probably lead to a campaign to end festival seating at future concerts," said Cincinnati Safety Director Richard Castellini.
The 11 young people were trampled to death, and another 20 injured, immediately after the first two doors were opened to an initial throng of 7,000 youngsters who had been waiting several hours in the near freezing weather.
Some were drinking beer or whiskey. Others were smoking marijuana
Witnesses said the doors simply could not accommodate the crush of excited fans rushing for good seats to see the popular rock group on national tour.
"The crowd was just pushing and pushing and pushing," said Buford Meir, 18, of Miamisburg, Ohio. "It was horrible."
Candice Momper, 21, of Covington, Ky., said when she got to the doors, "I couldn't believe what was happening up there."
"There were people piled up. Off their feet. On the ground. At least 20 of them. Some were unconscious. The crowd couldn't see people were piled up till they got up there. Then the crowd from behind just kept pushing so much that people kept walking over them."