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CONCERT DATE: October 9, 1974 (8.30 pm) Abilene, TX.

Elvis Crowd New Coliseum Record

Abilene Reporter News
October 10, 1974

The sellout crowd of 8,604 at Elvis Presley's Wednesday night concert in Taylor County Coliseum broke by 273 persons the old one-night record of 8,331.

That former record - was set March 8 by- the Lawrence Welk show, also a sellout but with fewer chairs set up on the arena floor.

For the Elvis concert, the stage was moved back, allowing for more seating.

Coliseum Manager Joe Cooley, who had worked for a few years to land Presley, said Thursday, "I thought it was a delightful crowd; there were very few problems and I thought the crowd just couldn't have been any better."

He added that the company which brought Elvis here is the same one that handles John Denver "and our request for him is in. We showed them what we can do, but we'll just have to wait and see what happens."

Cooley said that aside from the revenue of the Elvis show he was seeking the prestige of having him in Abilene and having a facility to hold such stars.

The coliseum opened in September 1969, and has drawn large crowds on many occasions, including two shows by The Carpenters, Chicago, the Doobie Brothers concert this spring, several days of ice show and circus performances, as well as many country & western and other performances during the three years.

Until Elvis actually came onstage, more than a few people said they didn't think he would ever come to Abilene.

One Presley band member said the only smaller hall he could remember the show playing was in Monroe, La.,where approximately 8,100 seats were available. The biggest Presley crowds were two Houston Astrodome shows of about 45,000 each, he said.

Elvis himself seemed pleased by the enthusiasm of Ihe turnout of fans, who paid a "bargain rate" of $5 to $10 per ticket, compared with reportedly much higher Las Vegas and similar Presley concert prices.

Courtesy of Archie Bald