Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park- On this day in 1979

Thirty-three years ago today was Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park in Chicago. The idea came from Chicago DJ Steve Dahl, the plan was between games of the twi-light doubleheader between the Tigers and White Sox, they were going to bring a big crate out on the field filled with disco records and blow them up.

From the get go things didn’t go as planned. A reported 9o,000 fans showed up [the ballpark ownly seated 52,000}  Many fans were denied admission, others climbed over walls to get in. They had to close the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago due to the traffic.

Dahl and company emerged between games went to centerfield, Dahl was dressed in army fatigues and helmet. The crate was rigged with explosives. Dahl led the crowd in the chant of “Disco Sucks.” When the crate was detonated the explosives tore a small hole in the outfield grass surface and a small fire began. As the White Sox came out to warm up for game 2- all hell broke loose. Thousands of fans began running out onto the field, starting fires and rioting. The game would have to be forfeited.

The legendary baseball owner Bill Veeck owned the White Sox. He was famous for his promotions. This would be the one that backfired. Bill took the heat for this event although it was his son Mike who was really the one behind it all.

Years later I would really enjoy staying up all night listening to the re-broadcast of Steve Dahl’s radio show  he did with Gary Meier on WLUP-Chicago. What a funny and great show that was. Eventually Steve and Gary would have a falling out and go their separate ways. Classic radio while it lasted. Below is Steve Dahl in 1979.

3 responses to “Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park- On this day in 1979

  1. I remember reading Veeck’s account of this fiasco in his book ‘Veeck – as in Wreck.’ Extremely funny. He was way too self-effacing for the powers-that-were in baseball during the time he owned clubs. Too bad, because he could have really spiced things up. Excellent post about a bizarre but very memorable event.

  2. I loved “Veeck As In Wreck”.. one of my favorite baseball books. there is a new biography out about Veeck- I haven’t read it yet but will get to it soon.. it’s gotten great reviews… The craziest promotion had to be ‘ten cent beer night’ in cleveland in the mid 70’s..bad idea..and they did it when billy martin was in town with the Rangers.. I bet Billy had a few..

    • Yes, Veeck was a great promoter, but 10-cent-beer night was not one to put on the resume, though it made for great reading. I bet many fans spent more time in the concession line than watching the game. I’ll have to keep an eye out for the new biography.

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