American Football Database
American Football Database

The Aggieville Riots occurred in 1984 and 1986 in Manhattan, Kansas, following football games between Kansas State University and the University of Kansas. They were some of the earliest collegiate sports-related riots in the United States.[1][better source needed]

On October 13, 1984, Kansas State defeated KU 24-7 in football. That evening, Kansas State students and townspeople gathered to celebrate the victory in Aggieville, a student entertainment district in Manhattan filled with bars. An estimated 6,000 to 8,000 people jammed the main street outside the bars. As night fell, the revelers turned violent, smashing windows and signs, overturning a car, and uprooting street signs.[2] Police who attempted to intervene were chased by students who hurled obscenities and bottles at them. Five police officers were cornered for a time and pelted with rocks and bottles.[3] At one point, the Kansas Highway Patrol called Governor John W. Carlin's office to request that he declare a state of emergency and send Kansas National Guard troops to Aggieville – ultimately, this was not done.[3]

Ten people were injured in the riot, including six police officers.[2] Twenty-four arrests were made.[4]

This was not the only sports-related riot that weekend. One night after the Aggieville Riot, Detroit suffered widespread looting and violence in the wake of the Detroit Tigers' victory in the 1984 World Series over the San Diego Padres.

Two years later, despite a number of precautions, Aggieville was the site of another riot after Kansas State again defeated KU 29-12 on October 18, 1986.[4] Students wearing t-shirts that said "Riotville" and "Riot II" mingled amongst 4,000 to 6,000 people that again filled the main street outside the bars. As night fell, the crowd again turned violent. Almost every building in Aggieville had its windows smashed, people climbed to the tops of several buildings, and a 1968 Volkswagen Beetle was rolled over and torched.[4] Eighteen arrests were made.[4] Although the property damage was greater in 1986, injuries were limited.

In 1987, Manhattan was again the site of the KSU-KU football game, but this time the town completely cordoned off Aggieville and brought in police officers from all over the state of Kansas to control entry points and patrol the streets inside.[4] This ended the cycle of violence. A 17-17 tie in what became known as the "Toilet Bowl" left little cause for celebration on either side.

See also

  • Sports riot
  • Student riot