The Who returning to Cincinnati for first performance since 1979 concert tragedy

CINCINNATI — Over 40 years after a crushing incident killed 11 people at Riverfront Coliseum, famed rock band The Who have announced a return to Cincinnati.

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The band announced their 2022 tour dates Monday which includes a stop in Cincinnati May 15 at TQL Stadium, the home of Major League Soccer’s FC Cincinnati. The band had previously announced a Cincinnati tour stop in 2020, but the tour was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Concert proceeds will go to the P.E.M. Memorial, a scholarship fund created in the memory of three Finneytown High School students, Stephan Preston, Jackie Eckerle, and Karen Morrison, who were killed at the concert, our news partners at WCPO-TV in Cincinnati report.

“I’m very excited about the fact that we leave behind a legacy for Cincinnati that that goes forward for you - and that’s really important,” Roger Daltrey, the band’s lead singer, told WCPO-TV.

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“We had this planned for 2020. As it turned out, the pandemic, in some ways has been a blessing because (TQL Stadium) wasn’t finished in 2020. So we were going to be playing a much smaller venue. We’re now playing in an even larger venue, which obviously will raise more revenue.”

The band refuses to play at Riverfront Coliseum, now known as the Heritage Bank Center, and had considered playing at Northern Kentucky University. However, when the band decided they wanted to play in the city, FC Cincinnati’s Co-CEO Jeff Berding stepped in to help make the band’s return possible, WCPO-TV reports.

“When we designed the stadium, it was to have big events happen in Cincinnati, that would promote Cincinnati on the world stage,” Berding said.

After the band saw a mock-up for a show at TQL Stadium, and what it would potentially look like, the group’s manager Bill Curbishley said they were sold.

“When I heard about the soccer stadium, I jumped for that straight away,” Curbishley told the news station. “Because it’s in the heart there. And guess what? It’s something new. It’s something to breathe life into the community. And it’s the first show they’ve ever had, so it makes a statement.”

Tickets for the May 15 concert will go on sale Friday at 10 a.m.

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