Sports riot

Sports riots are riots that occur during or after sporting events. Most riots are known to occur after the event is done, but some have been during the game (see football hooliganism).


A rioter stands on a car during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup riot

The following are various examples of a sports riot:

This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
Riot name Date Description
Nika riots[1] AD 532 In what is known to be one of the first forms of sports rioting, supporters of the chariot racing team, Greens, revolted against the Byzantine Empire's leader and supporter of the Greens' rival Blues, Justinian. At least half of the Empire's capital of Constantinople (now Istanbul) was burned by the rioters, and 30,000 people were killed.
1909 Scottish Cup Final April 17, 1909 After the Scottish Cup ended in a tie, instead of going into extra time, an angry crowd invaded the pitch and tore down the goalposts, as well as attacking the mounted police, resulting in over 100 injuries.
Richard Riot[2] March 17, 1955 After the suspension of Montreal Canadiens great Maurice Richard, angry fans wreaked havoc in Montreal, and Richard had to make a public appeal to end the riot.
1964 Lima football riot May 24, 1964 In the worst riot in association football history, the host Peru was losing to Argentina, and before the game ended, the fans ultimately rioted, and the police fired tear gas into the crowd, as well as padlocking the gates, leading to 318 deaths, with many from asphyxia.
Båstad riots May 3, 1968 Demonstrators protested the participation of Rhodesia and South Africa in the Davis Cup, which led to intervention from the Swedish Police.
1971 South Africa rugby union tour of Australia 1971 In South Africa's tour, anti-apartheid groups protested, even resulting in a state of emergency in Queensland, leading to 700 people being arrested.
Ten Cent Beer Night June 4, 1974 Ten Cent Beer Night was a promotion held by Major League Baseball's Cleveland Indians during a game against the Texas Rangers at Cleveland Stadium on Tuesday, June 4, 1974. The idea behind the promotion was to attract more fans to the game by offering 12 U.S. fl oz (354.9 ml) cups of 3.2% beer for just 10 cents each (regular price was 65 cents) with a limit of six per purchase.[3] During the game, fans became heavily intoxicated, culminating in a riot in the ninth inning.
Disco Demolition Night July 12, 1979 Disco Demolition Night was an ill-fated baseball promotion that took place on July 12, 1979, at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois. At the climax of the event, a crate filled with disco records was blown up on the field between games of the twi-night doubleheader between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers. Many of those in attendance had come to see the explosion rather than the games and rushed onto the field after the detonation. The playing field was damaged both by the explosion and by the rowdy fans to the point where the White Sox were required to forfeit the second game of the doubleheader to the Tigers.
1981 South Africa rugby union tour of New Zealand 1981 10 years after the controversial tour of Australia, South Africa began its tour of New Zealand, and like the '71 tour, South Africa became an international pariah due to its apartheid law. Protestors eventually revolted and broke into the country stadiums before and during games, leading to 2 of the games being cancelled.
Aggieville Riots 1984
In 1984 and 1986, after 2 college football games between rivals Kansas State and Kansas, a group of 6,000 celebrating KSU fans, after a 24-7 victory, crowded into a bar, and eventually became rowdy, and initiated a riot. 2 years later, after KSU once again defeated KU, this time 29-12, another group of 6,000 KSU fans, this time wearing "Riotville" shirts, rioted again, and also torched a Volkswagen Beetle.
19 May incident May 19, 1985 In Workers Stadium, rioting Chinese fans were silenced by the People's Armed Police.
1986 Montreal Stanley Cup riot[2] 1986 After the Canadiens won the finals, fans took to the streets to celebrate, and ended up rioting.
1993 Montreal Stanley Cup riot June 9, 1993 A year before the riot in Vancouver, Montreal was struck by a riot. In the epicenter of the riots, Ste. Catherine St., stores were looted and police cars were set on fire. The riots eventually caused $2.5 million in damage,[4] $3.7 million in 2016 dollars.[5]
1994 Vancouver Stanley Cup riot[6] June 14, 1994 In one of 2 riots in Vancouver, the National Hockey League team Vancouver Canucks lost to the New York Rangers in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. In what was supposed to be a congregation of 50 to 70 thousand fans led to riot after a man fell into the crowd. Policemen attempted to aid the man on bicycles, which the fans attempted to take, and the police fired tear gas into the fans, initiating the riot.
2000 UEFA Cup Final riots May 17, 2000 The Wednesday before the UEFA Cup Final, a fan from Copenhagen was stabbed, and eventually, a group of Galatasaray fans confronted and provoked a group of Arsenal fans in a bar, starting a brawl. Later, approximately 500 Arsenal fans[7] attacked from the main road behind the Galatasaray fans. This caused a severe riot in the city square with several restaurant facilities used by fans to fight each other with iron bars and knives also being used.[8] This lasted about 20 minutes[7] before the police attempted to break up the fight with tear gas.[9] The violence, which reportedly included fans from other English clubs,[10] lasted for 45 minutes.[11] There were further also clashes at the airport the day after the game.[12]
2006 Basel Hooligan Incident May 13, 2006 Fans of FC Basel 1893 stormed St. Jakob-Park in the waning minutes of a game against FC Zürich. Zürich eventually scored, and ended Basel's chances of a threepeat Swiss Super League championship. In an attack of Zürich player Iulian Filipescu, who scored the winning goal, a flare was thrown at him, and Filipescu and teammate Alhassance Keita was forced to kick at the fans before police detained the hooligans.
2007 A.S. Roma–Manchester United F.C. conflict[13] April 4, 2007 During a game between A.S. Roma and Manchester United F.C., groups of fans started throwing missiles over a barrier that was to separate the fans, prompting Italian riot police to enter the stadium, which eventually sparked a brawl.
2008 Montreal riot[2] 2008 After the Canadiens defeated the Boston Bruins in the playoffs, fans began rioting in celebration.
2010 Montreal riot[2] 2010 Montreal was stricken with a fifth riot after the Canadiens defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7.
2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup riot[14] June 15, 2011 17 years after the '94 riot, Vancouver is faced with a second riot, after the Canucks lost, also in Game 7, to the Boston Bruins. Unlike in 1994, the fans met at giant screens, where Game 7 was being televised. Shortly before the game's end, fans began throwing bottles at the screen, as well as burning Canuck and Bruin jerseys and flags. The riot eventually escalated when fans began overturning and burning cars. In all, the fans burned 17 cars, as well as a fire truck, and ultimately, 85 rioters were arrested.
2012 European Men's Handball Championship riots[15] January 24–25, 2012 After a match between Croatia and France, Serbian hooligans attacked several Croatian fans, including a notable incident where a group of Croatian fans who were heading home were attacked by 50 masked men with axes, stones and bricks, and a fan was stabbed, with a Croatian van being set alight.
Port Said Stadium disaster[16] February 1, 2012 In Port Said, Egypt, 79 people were killed by Al-Masry Club fans using knives, swords, clubs, stones, bottles, and fireworks as weapons, who were attacking the Al-Ahly S.C. players.
2014 World Series civil unrest October 29–30, 2014 After the San Francisco Giants defeated the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 World Series, Giants fans set fires, vandalized buses and police cars, shattered windows of businesses, scrawled graffiti, and threw bottles at police. Two people were shot, one person was stabbed, and a police officer was badly hurt from fireworks exploding. 40 arrests were made.[17][18]


  1. "CLIO History Journal - Justinian and the nike riots". Retrieved 2012-08-14.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Cops gas hundreds of Montreal youths hours after Habs fans celebrate win - ESPN". 2010-05-13. Retrieved 2012-08-14.
  3. Lebovitz, Hal. "10,000 six packs?" The Plain Dealer June 9, 1974: 2C
  4. "SPORTS PEOPLE: HOCKEY; Cup Riot Bill is $2.5 million". The New York Times. July 4, 1993. p. 8.8.
  5. Canadian inflation numbers based on Statistics Canada. "Consumer Price Index, historical summary". CANSIM, table (for fee) 326-0021 and Catalogue nos. 62-001-X, 62-010-X and 62-557-X. And Consumer Price Index, by province (monthly) (Canada) Last modified 2016-01-22. Retrieved March 2, 2016
  6. "There Is No Joy In Vancouver". The New York Times. 1994-06-15.
  7. 1 2 Vivek Chaudhary (2000-05-19). "Surprise attack by Arsenal fans seeking revenge sparked battle". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
  8. "Will hooligans ruin Euro 2000?". BBC News. 2000-06-06.
  9. "Three more stabbed in Copenhagen". BBC News. 2000-05-18. Retrieved 2011-12-29.
  10. "Violence not over, fans warn". BBC Online. 18 May 2000. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
  11. "Charleroi lobby yet to learn lessons of Heysel". London: The Guardian. 2000-05-26. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
  12. Vivek Chaudhary and Jamie Wilson (2000-05-19). "Turkish and English fans clash at airport". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
  13. "Violence flares as Manchester United and AS Roma supporters clash at Old Trafford | Mail Online". 2007-04-10. Retrieved 2012-08-14.
  14. "From bad to brutal: Timeline of a riot | British Columbia". Retrieved 2012-08-14.
  15. "Serbia apologizes to Croatia for attack on fans at European handball championship". St. Albert Gazette. The Associated Press. January 25, 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-14.
  16. "Egypt football pitch invasion leaves dozens dead". The Guardian. London. 2012-02-01.
  17. S.F. picks up the pieces after raucous Giants revelry, San Francisco Chronicle, October 30, 2014.
  18. San Francisco Giants fans take to streets after World Series win, Reuters, October 30, 2014.
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