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March 1, 2015

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El Super Clasico:

After ‘really, really bad day,’ fans fear for future of soccer in Las Vegas


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Fights break out on the field after El Super Clasico soccer game between Chivas and Club America Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at Sam Boyd Stadium.

El Super Clasico - Chivas Fan Beaten

A Chivas fan lies motionless on the field after being beaten nearly unconscious by Club America fans after El Super Clasico soccer game Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at Sam Boyd Stadium. Launch slideshow »

Soccer Fans at El Super Clasico

Fights break out on the field after El Super Clasico soccer game between Chivas and Club America Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at Sam Boyd Stadium. Launch slideshow »

Chivas vs. America Fan Brawl

Metro Police officers talk to an injured fan after a fight between fans of Chivas Guadalajara and Club America before El Super Clasico soccer game at Sam Boyd Stadium, Wednesday, July 3, 2013. Witnesses said 150-200 people were involved in the altercation. Launch slideshow »

Chivas Defeats Club America

Narciso Mina, left, (7) of Club America and Kristian Alvarez, left, (3) of Chivas Guadalajara jump to head a ball during El Super Clasico soccer game at Sam Boyd Stadium Wednesday July 3, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Rowdy fans and massive brawls among Mexican soccer fans at El Super Clasico exhibition match Wednesday night has fans worrying that major clubs may avoid the area in the future.

Fans brawled in a parking lot before the game and on the field after Chivas scored against rival Club America at Sam Boyd Stadium that ended with hundreds of fans on the field. Dozens of people were injured throughout the night, including six in a pregame parking lot fracas.

Their behavior at Las Vegas’ first high-profile soccer match since Real Madrid faced Santos Laguna last August has fans worried that major soccer clubs might see the area as less attractive.

Alvaro Puentes, program director for ESPN Deportes in Las Vegas, said match organizers should take a cue from Mexican stadium security, which has separate entrances for fans of opposing teams and don’t allow glass bottles or other possibly dangerous projectiles into the stadium.

The violence is a bad omen for future soccer matches in Las Vegas, he said.

“This was a really, really bad day for soccer in Las Vegas,” Puentes said. “There is another soccer game coming soon between Morelia and a team from El Salvador and I heard that maybe they will cancel the game because this was so bad.”

Officials expected tension between fans during the match due to the history between the clubs, the size of the crowd and the heat, but blamed the fights mainly on the behavior of unruly fans, stadium manager Mike Newcombe said.

“One thing we can do is prepare,” he said. “We unfortunately can’t control everyone’s behavior.”

Vince Garate, member of U.S. soccer fan club American Outlaws, said fans were constantly trying to push the limits of security. He pointed to the relative calm during breaks in the match and in the stadium’s bathrooms, but once fans began climbing onto the field the situation grew violent.

“I saw no problems in the stands at all until people started jumping on the field, then everyone started losing their minds,” he said.

Garate said the rivalry between the clubs, which he compared to the baseball rivalry between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, led him to believe there would be some conflict, but events escalated far too quickly and dangerously.

“This is a friendly, it shouldn’t have gotten out of hand like that,” he said. “I really hope it doesn’t affect us having another game.”

Sun reporter Tovin Lapan contributed to this story.

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  1. Soccer is okay, but not these people from wherever they come from.....and that type of fans.

  2. We have had fights at hockey games, fights at and after college football games, fights at NBA games....the common denominators seem to be booze and poor security.

  3. Goats are usually passive

  4. Apparently this is a no-win situation. If the security is too tight, there's a cry of discrimination.

    With that being said, some people attending the game willfully and purposefully broke the law. Bringing in items they KNOW to be prohibited! I am surprised there weren't any guns or knives used in the fights. And, what about those being treated at the hospitals? Will those bills be paid by the taxpayers? Are these individuals insured? Are they even in this country legally?

    There are too many issues involved to permit such an enormous ethnic game of intense "hate" towards rivals. Las Vegas has its share of illegals, gangs, and troubles associated with Mexicans, much to everyone's misfortune. There appears to be less assimilation into the American way of life, and more emphasis of staying loyal to Mexico and its culture and traditions.

    My parents immigrated, but they would not even speak their native language to us, the children. They wanted us to excel at school and fit into the American way of life. Their English was broken and far from perfect, but it became my first language.

    We learned all about our heritage, our culture and traditions within our family and so we had the best of BOTH worlds. America is supposed to be the "melting" pot of all peoples seeking to become Americans.

    This country has LAWS - immigration laws on down to the local laws concerning attendance to a sporting event. When you are willing to break the law, and do so en masse, there is no amount of security that can change the mindset of the offenders.

    There's no respect for America by so many people willing to break the laws, and still expect to be embraced and "understood" by the American society. The leaders of the Mexican community must assume responsibility for changing the attitudes of their people.

    Due to the large numbers of Hispanics, America is being FORCED to give and bend to their demands for producing information in Spanish. Providing ESL classes at taxpayer's expense. Learning to accept their culture, even if it means gangs and violence living among us.This is wrong. It's not American. It's forcing a country to become YOUR country, instead of YOU becoming citizens of America.

    If you want to kill one another, rent the stadium and have the brawls of your life. Gang against gang, rivals against rivals. Invite your friends and families to watch. Do so at your OWN expense, and care for your wounded and dead on your OWN dime. Get as lawless as you want in a secured arena, with all of the security on the outside so no one can get out until you are all done tearing each other apart.

    This is not directed to the MANY law abiding citizens of Mexican origin.It is directed to the LARGE faction of violent offenders, lawbreakers, and those refusing assimilation.

    It's sad that America's birthday has been tarnished by such an egregious display of unAmerican activity.

  5. Don't blame this on poor security, blame it on violent soccer fans. I have been to several Red Sox - Yankee games in both cities and never saw a fight. After a game, if you go into any bar around Fenway Park, Red Sox and Yankee fans will be partying together regardless of the outcome. It's called perspective. We all have to get up and go to work. Good riddance soccer we don't need you. I'll admit, soccer highlights are spectacular, but the other 89 1/2 minutes are watching the grass grow. And the clock goes the wrong way. And why the he** do they keep playing after 90 min and no one knows when the game is going to be over, we'll just call it "extra time."

  6. There are many events that brawls break out at, such as weddings, concerts, rodeos, and many places, such as malls, parks, casinos, and even school grounds. But where is it policy or even customary to abolish these events or shutdown these places known to have brawls. There aren't, yet now we hear propaganda to eliminate soccer as a venue by some. These folks never liked the sport to begin with and their typical fashion respond , "throw the baby out with the bath water" is to never have soccer events again is out of touch.

    There are no excuses or even rational to defend the actions of the fans who without regard for others spoiled a long standing rival game with violence. What happens in other countries or sport events have nothing to do with one another, this is our time now and we make it what we want. If we want a violent fan based venue so be it, let's call it that and have at it. But if it is going to be soccer then let's have fun and watch the game- cheer, laugh, cry, even hope the best for another team's hurt player, but fighting by fans is done. No one has to be big brother and force us to be social. Now- Pass and Go.

  7. The ESPN commentator has said it perfectly .... "They need to upgrade the security and prohibit bottles and dangerous objects at the games. These problems have been solved all over the world. The promoters are too cheap to hire properly trained and sufficient security. I went to the Real Madrid game - there were fights all over the stadium, drunk guys yelling and screaming and the security guys ignored them. By the second half there were no security guards to be seen in our section. Very disappointing and I would not go back because the atmosphere was charged with danger.

    If you want to promote soccer, spend the money on crowd control - you need overwhelming force and well trained guards. You could even get dozens of volunteers to work in exchange for allowing them to watch the games.

    Do it correctly !!!

  8. thank you KVG2009 and Ranchhand - you really did get the meaning of my post.

    Several "fans" attending this "sporting" event, admitted to breaking the law and going to their cars to bring in bottles of booze, when they noticed the security was lax.

    Let me put it another way: Because there are no police on the street in front of my home, I can go back into my home, bring out a weapon and start firing at my neighbors. (It's not MY FAULT).

    Or, how about this: Because the security is lax at the department store, I can shoplift because I can get away with it. (It's not MY FAULT).

    Choosing to BREAK a law, just because you are pretty sure you can get away with it, IS A STUPID DISGUSTING EXCUSE.

    Having a moral compass, or knowing right from wrong and still choosing to do wrong, just because no one is watching IS the exact attitude that is destroying this country.

    People feel entitled to do what they want to do, and given the opportunity to willfully BREAK THE LAW, is not their fault if their is no one to stop them but themselves.


    So, we do need BIG BROTHER??? We do need to be supervised 24/7 by drones, cameras, and armed guards? You can't have it both way people!