Flashback to 1979. Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois. A double header with the Chicago White Sox hosting the Detroit Tigers. But the second game would never be played because of an incident we affectionately call Disco Demolition Night. Let’s jump into the time machine and zip back to 70’s to give you the whole crazy story.
The set up
To really understand the scene we must understand the attitude of the city. The era of Saturday Night Fever was dying and the folks in Chicago were over Disco. Popular FM disc jockey, Steve Dahl, on local 97.9 WLUP aka The Loop was leading the anti-disco movement on the airways of the windy city. In an effort to boost ticket sales, the White Sox held a promotion partnered with Dahl and the radio station. The details were that Steve Dahl planned to blow up a bunch of disco vinyl between the double header games as a stunt. Fans only needed 98 cents and an unwanted disco record to enter the stadium. Brass at Comiskey expected around 20,000 fans but 50,000 showed up.
Steve Dahl had planned to explode a crate of records in an effort to ring in the death of disco. But there were so many people at the stadium and their albums were not collected so fans threw their records onto the field. Just think, a wave of flying discs covering the the grass like a fleet of UFO’s coming to earth.
Dahl came out to huge cheers. He did his best to get the crowd to riot level energy and then BOOM! A literal explosion and with that, all hell broke loose. Thousands flooded the diamond. Other fans who couldn’t get tickets snuck/broke into the park. Security was useless. Totally out numbered and hopelessly out gunned.
Could you imagine being at a modern game where this happened? That’s such a foreign thought. And all this hostile energy is over what? Dance moves? Hip thrusts? I’ll stop talking for a bit and we can all enjoy this amazing photo.
Riot police had to be called in to help disperse the rabid locals. But the damage had been done. The explosion plus all the extra foot traffic completely destroyed the lawn at Comiskey. Looking back, maybe Disco Demolition Night wasn’t the best idea. I mean just the demolition could have been enough to wreck the playing surface but the full scale riot was the icing on the cake. The next day, the baseball Commissioner ruled that the White Sox had to forfeit the contest based on the fact that it was their own actions that caused the delay of the game.
ScoreBoredSports is here to remind you that in 1979, the Detroit Tigers got a win over the Chicago White Sox because the residents of Chicago really hate a particular type of music. That’s hilarious. And pretty sweet.