Russia, Moscow, Sokolniki stadium crowd incident 10/03/1975

The Sokolniki Tragedy 1975

One of the deadliest tragedies involving a hockey game occurred on March 10, 1975.
It happened 41 years ago and much of it was clouded in mystery until recently. This happened at the height of the cold war era. The 1972 Summit Series was still very fresh in the memories of hockey fans.


MOSCOW, March 12—An undisclosed number of persons were apparently trampled to death on Monday as they sought to leave a sports arena after a hockey game.

How chewing gum killed several dozen people in the USSR

Chewing gum had a complicated and even tragic relationship with the Soviet Union. Once, it even caused a fatal stampede.


Ordinary “Wrigley’s” chews, which cost a cent in the store, caused the death of 21 people on March 10, 1975 in Moscow, in the Sokolniki arena. On that day, a match took place in the arena between the USSR junior hockey team and the Canadian youth team “Barrie Colts”, which at the end of the game and after the game began to throw packets of chewing gum in the stands. The spectators, mostly schoolchildren, who came to the game rushed to catch chewing gum, and the mess turned into chaos, which ended in the deaths of several people.

The tragedy after the hockey match in the Palace of sports “Sokolniki”: then the Soviet students staged a stampede because of... foreign gum.

The first half of the 70s was held for Soviet schoolchildren under the sign of gum. Imported, of course, because domestic was not yet produced. Foreign gum was a rare thing – sometimes the whole class chewed one plate. She was begged in tourist places by visitors, who often specially brought rubber bands to share with children. The fascination with the Western product, of course, was not encouraged. Children were forced to spit gum out publicly, frightened by stomach diseases, scolded at meetings and complained to their parents. Paradoxically, but soon the state was faced with the need to establish the production of Soviet gum. This is due to tragic events.

Crazy in Sokolniki: tragedy, which appeared in the USSR Patriotic gum

The first half of the 70‑ies of the last Soviet schoolchildren under the sign of gum. Imported, of course, because domestic had not yet produced. Boys and girls went crazy for scarce colorful liners. Exchanged them, collected, invented the game. And the elastics used to chew the whole company at a time.

The little-known story of Russia’s worst sporting tragedy

Along a staircase into Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, flowers and photos commemorate the football fans who died in Russia‘s worst sporting tragedy.

Vladimir, who lost six colleagues, has chosen red and white flowers – the colour of Moscow’s Spartak team.

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