Vigil marks 33rd anniversary of The Who concert tragedy - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Vigil marks 33rd anniversary of The Who concert tragedy

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

About two dozen people gathered outside the doors of US Bank Arena, formerly Riverfront Coliseum, on Monday night to remember the eleven people who died outside the venue during The Who concert on December 3, 1979.

All of the 18,348 tickets sold out in an hour and a half.

The $10 admission price got you in the door, but did not guarantee a seat.

The Who performed a sound check, and thinking they were missing the concert, the crowd pushed forward. Only two doors were opened.

"You prayed because you was being shoved towards the doors," said Craig Ransom, who attended the concert. "When we walked in, there was a whole pile of shoes laying there, and I really didn't hear about it until I was inside and then I really didn't believe it."

The victims died of asphyxiation. Their story was told in newspapers from coast to coast.

"We just sat on pins and needles and just waited," said Peggy Wilson, who's 21-year-old sister, Connie Sue Wilson Burns of Miamisburg, went to the concert. "When the door bell rang we knew it was bad. I went and got my mom, and she knew right away. They didn't have to tell us," said Wilson.

The tragedy changed concert seating regulations in Cincinnati and across the country.

No longer were patrons permitted to purchase general admission or festival seating tickets. Every seat was reserved.

Organizers of the vigil say they are close to gaining permission to construct a memorial on the site, but no plans have been finalized.

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