July 12, 1979: Disco Demolition Night (video)

BleedGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 11, 2008
Messages
53,636
Reaction score
3,722
Points
113
per Axios Sports:

42 years ago today, Chicago's Comiskey Park descended into madness during the most ill-advised promotion in major league history. (Yes, even worse than 10-cent beer night.)

The backdrop: Disco had usurped rock as the most popular music genre in the 1970s, ruffling plenty of rock-fanatics' feathers — none more so than Chicago-based shock jockey, Steve Dahl.

  • The White Sox devised "Disco Demolition Night" with Dahl's radio station, 97.9 WLUP, to drum up attendance amid a lackluster season.
  • The plan was to let any fan trade in a disco record for a 98-cent ticket to the White Sox-Tigers doubleheader, and between games Dahl would blow up the lot of them.
What happened: 50,000 rowdy rock fans showed up at Comiskey Park, nearly double what the White Sox anticipated. After Dahl set off the explosion, mayhem ensued.

  • Fans stormed the field, riot police followed and the damage was so extensive that the second game was ruled a White Sox forfeit.
  • Fun fact: This remains the last AL game to be forfeited. In the NL, that honor belongs to the Dodgers after a 1995 baseball giveaway promotion went awry.


Win Twins!!
 

oak_street1981

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
3,657
Reaction score
458
Points
83
I regret I did not find a way to get to Comiskey Park when I has living in Chicago right out of college. The next time I thought about it it was being knocked down, as I drove by. I vividly recall riding by it on the Dan Ryan as kid on our long family summer trips east, many years before that. We almost always went right through the heart of Chicago (my dad must have hated the central Illinois landscape as much as I do) and stopped a few times to see the Lakefront or one of the two big Museums.

Non-biased Chicago people who know claim the place was way nicer that Wrigley if you factor out the neighborhood.

I actually appreciate the "new Comiskey" for what it is. It is not great, but has some good features if you are sitting in the lower deck. The tickets are low cost, the concessions decent, with open views to the field from most concourses, and nice areas to stand around in the outfield. It is an easy, fast, cheap and relatively safe trip from the Loop on the Red Line.

The fairly large renovation they did in the years before their last World Championship, cut down the worst seats in the upper deck and added a retro looking roof over the stands, so the place does look a lot better than it did back in 1990.

Today I'd take it over all the domed stadiums and a few others.
 
Last edited:

short ornery norwegian

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 9, 2011
Messages
11,627
Reaction score
3,377
Points
113
On AXS TV, they have a show called "Music's Greatest Mysteries." (spoiler - most of them aren't real big mysteries...)

But, they did a segment about Disco Demolition Night. Didn't realize that Steve Dahl was only 25 at the time and had only been working in the Chicago market for a couple of years. Disco Demolition Night - and the resulting publicity - pretty much made Dahl's career. Also, Dahl had been working at a different Chicago station, but got fired when the station changed to a disco format, so a lot of his beef with disco was personal.

And, according to some of the talking heads on the show, disco record sales started to drop after the event and radio stations started dropping disco formats for rock or Adult Contemporary, so they were making the case that Disco Demolition Night really did help bring about the decline of disco as a viable format.
 




Top Bottom