Several hundred rock music fans went on a wild spree yesterday at the Orange Bowl while waiting to buy tickets to a concert in Tampa. Offices were plundered and wrecked before police drove the crowd outside with tear gas and billy clubs.
"I've never seen anything like it," said one ticket-buyer, Jerry Delaney, 18, of Lighthouse Point, Fla.
Delaney stayed around and eventually got his tickets to the Led Zepplin concert scheduled for June 3.
A spokesman for Swan Song Inc., the recording company which handles Led Zepplin, said in New York that a small group of youths apparently broke into the stadium office on Saturday night, ripped some telephones off walls and poured lye or lime onto the playing field.
"With the combination of whatever happened last night and the kids being there today (Sunday) when tickets went on sale, there was some problem," said the spokesman, Mitchell Fox.
"But it was not just because of kids going to buy Led Zepplin tickets."
There was no official explanation of what caused the trouble.
Nor was there an estimate of damages. However, photo darkrooms, a first-aid room, and offices of the Miami Dolphins football team were broken into. Photo materials and old game programs were thrown across the floors and out onto the playing field.
Miami police said they found 500 to 1,000 young people in and around the stadium when they answered the trouble call sometime after 4 a.m.
They called for the crowd to disperse, but about 200 people didn't respond, a police statement said.
When the remaining crowd threw rocks and bottles at police, tear gas was used to force the people to leave the stadium. Police said 16 officers were cut or bruised by flying rocks and bottles, but none was hurt seriously.
There was no official account of injuries to civilians, but some bloody shirts were reported in the ticket line that re-formed outside the stadium fence.
There was one arrest - an assault charge against a 29-year-old Miami man officials said had been pointing a high-powered revolver at police.