Rowdy Fans, Brawls Plague Las Vegas Soccer Game; Questions Arise About Security
PRESSING CONCERN: In Las Vegas, Ray Brewer wrote, “Most of us witnessing the chaos before and after an exhibition soccer game between heated Mexican rivals felt cheated. Some of us also felt threatened.” The game “turned out to be an absolute disaster thanks to idiotic actions from a few groups of fans,” and they “might have ruined any chance of big-time soccer returning.” Security “needs to be immediately addressed.” If Las Vegas “wants to be considered a major league town, we can’t have rookie-level security crews and strategies.” The on-field security “provided wasn’t from professionals, it was game-day workers with little training” (LASVEGASSUN.com, 7/4). The LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL’s Ron Kantowski noted “judging by the headlines and the message boards, people question whether top-flight soccer, or even Major League Soccer, should return to Las Vegas.” He added, “My opinion remains resolute: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” If stadium security “would have read multiple stories in this newspaper about the intensity of the Mexican soccer rivalry ... perhaps faces don’t get bloodied, and flares don’t get hurled onto the field.” Once people “move on and reaction from this thoughtless knee-jerking subsides -- and somebody thinks they can make another buck on exhibition soccer -- then the New York Red Bulls might play Sporting Kansas City at Sam Boyd Stadium” (REVIEWJOURNAL.com, 7/7).
NEW VIBE: In San Diego, Matt Calkins noted the Club America-Liga MX club Tijuana Xolos exhibition on Saturday night at Petco Park, dubbed the San Diego Clasico, was “definitely not a Padres game.” There were “fans in the upper deck,” as well as “bands in the parking lot.” Petco Park “got a shot of Red Bull that it hadn’t felt in a while,” and the event was “5-Hour Energy personified.” For a friendly “involving a Xolos team without five of its starters, there was a remarkable buzz in the park.” Calkins: “At Petco Park, you couldn’t have taken the crowd out of it with tear gas and a SWAT team” (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 7/7).
HOST WITH THE MOST? In San Jose, Elliott Almond noted San Jose State Univ.'s Spartan Stadium on Saturday hosted a doubleheader in front of a “crowd of 22,389.” Latin Entertainment promoter Rene Villanueva previously has hosted games at Candlestick Park, O.co Coliseum, Sacramento and Fresno. But “none of those events resembled the shows at Spartan Stadium with six Mexican teams in San Jose in the span of six days.” Villanueva said, "San Jose is a better market for soccer. I don't know why" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 7/7).