Rioting fans throw police barricades into the streets June 19, 2000 in Los Angeles, CA following the Los Angeles Lakers'' victory in the NBA Finals. Celebrations after the victory soon turned violent as fans lit vehicles on fire, smashed windows and hurled rocks and bottles at policemen and firemen.
In 1984, the Tigers started the year 35-5 and ended it with a World Series championship capped by Kirk Gibson’s mammoth home run off Goose Gossage in Game 5 at Tiger Stadium. Then a city in decline went bonkers. Fans around Tiger Stadium looted and burned police cars. The vanquished San Diego Padres feared for their lives when the crowd surrounded the team bus and started rocking it. A police escort was required for the Padres to escape unscathed. Detroit did not learn its lesson, however. Seven people were killed during the chaos following the Pistons’ NBA title in 1990.
Los Angeles, 2000
There’s a saying in sports: "Act like you’ve been there before." In 2000, after the Lakers won their first championship in a dozen years by defeating the Indiana Pacers, Lakers fans didn’t adhere to that adage. The fans rioted, flipping police cars and lighting bonfires. Lakers fans also rounded out the decade with two other riots, after their championship wins over the Orlando Magic in 2009 and the Boston Celtics in 2010.
Following a defeat to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final, Vancouver dealt with the Canucks’ loss in a completely illogical manner. Fans were responsible for vandalizing property and businesses, causing extensive damage. This riot produced the memorable photo of a couple’s kiss on the street amid the chaos.
Canadiens fans have been known to riot when it comes to their team. The storied franchise’s last title, in 1993 over the LA Kings, saw the most damaging riot from this fan base. Fans were responsible for an estimated $2.5 million in damages, and police reportedly made 168 arrests. Montreal also saw $2 million in damage after a 1986 title. In 1955, fans tore up a 15-block area after officials released tear gas in the home arena because of their unruly behavior during a regular-season game.
A gimmick Disco Demolition promotion for the White Sox between games of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers quickly devolved into a debacle. The idea was to blow up a container filled with disco records in a publicity stunt after the first game, then continue with the doubleheader. However, following the detonation, the massive, mostly drunk horde quickly got out of control and stormed the field. The Chicago police eventually restored order, but the White Sox wound up forfeiting the second game of the doubleheader.
In 1974, the Cleveland Indians attempted a promotion that has commonly become known as Ten Cent Beer Night. We’d say it went horribly wrong, but how could it have gone right? During a game against the Texas Rangers, fans could buy unlimited beers for 10 cents. Predictably, this led to stands full of unruly fans ready to explode. Stemming from an argument on the field, the crowd became unhinged and began throwing objects onto the field.
In February 2012, 79 people were killed in a riot at a soccer match after Al-Masry club’s rare 3-1 win over Al-Ahly club from Cairo. Al-Masry supporters rushed the field. According to a FOX News report, health ministry official Hisham Sheha said the deaths were caused by stabs by sharp tools, brain hemorrhage and concussions.
After the Broncos won their first championship by upsetting the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII, some 10,000 fans took to the streets to loot, vandalize and overturn cars. There were 20 arrests. When the Broncos made it back-to-back titles the following season, a smaller crowd of about 1,000 caused a disturbance that ended in a haze of tear gas.
The 2004 Red Sox earned their trip to the World Series following a historic comeback against their arch rival, the New York Yankees. Although Game 7 was in Yankee Stadium, celebrations among fans in Boston lasted late into the night and, eventually, confrontations broke out between fans and police. The clash between police and fans ended with the death of one fan.
Las Vegas, 1997
On June 28, Mike Tyson tried to bite off Evander Holyfield’s ear in a heavyweight bout at the MGM Grand. Amazingly, the scene outside the ring was even more wild. More than 50 people were injured during a postfight stampede set off by the sound of gunfire. Restaurants in the casino slammed their doors shut to keep the crowd out. People stole chips off the tables. Was there really gunfire? Accounts differ. MGM officials said champagne bottles popping caused the uproar. If so, the crowd’s jitters were understandable. Nine months earlier, rapper Tupac Shakur was shot and killed outside the MGM Grand following a Tyson fight.