Professional sports can bring communities, and even the entire world, together. They can also lead to some pretty outrageous incidents. Sports riots are scary and dangerous but these three recent examples took a turn for the weird.
By the end of game seven of the 2011 NHL championship round, which resulted in the Boston Bruins defeating the Vancouver Canucks, fans were already getting violent on the streets of British Columbia’s largest city. Fans at an outdoors viewing area threw bottles at a screen and things went downhill from there. In the hours that followed, stores were looted, cop cars were set on fire, 140 people were injured, and an audience at a touring production of the Broadway musical Wicked found themselves trapped inside the theater while mobs of drunken hockey fans tangled with authorities outside.
The Seattle Super Bowl Quiet Riot (February 2014)
Sports fans in America often riot whenever their hometown team wins a major championship. However, when the Seahawks won their first Super Bowl in 2014, the streets of Seattle stayed relatively quiet. A video of celebratory Seahawks fans politely waiting for a crosswalk signal to change went viral. However, later that evening, things got at least a little bit ugly. A few fans threw bottles at local police, several businesses had their windows smashed, and bonfires around town had to be extinguished by the Seattle Fire Department. An iron awning in the city’s historic Pioneer Square was heavily damaged but not by a drunken mob hurling bricks. Several fans decided to dance on top of it and accidentally broke 17 of its laminated glass panes.
The Melbourne Darts Riot (January 2015)
Professional darts has become increasingly popular in Europe and Australia in recent years. Part of the appeal? The crowds in the stands, which are often more entertaining than the participants themselves. Darts fans like to dress in all sort of kooky costumes…and drink tons of cheap beer during matches. Things got out of hand during a recent invitational tournament at the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne. A fight broke out in the crowd and a bizarre brawl ensued. Within moments, fans dressed as comic book characters like Batman and Robin began throwing punches at other fans wearing medieval-style armor and/or Bananas in Pajamas costumes. Chairs and tables went airborne. Meanwhile, a group of guys dressed as Oompa Loompas from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory entered the fray to assist the injured. By the time the police showed up, the crowd had reportedly destroyed the entire seating area.
For more sports trivia, check out Uncle John’s Sports Spectacular Bathroom Reader.