Enemy territory: worst places to root for the visitors

So what are the worst places to visit to root for your team. There are going to be random jackasses everywhere, that’s not what I’m talking about. If I went to Philly wearing a Giants jersey I would pretty much expect to be assaulted. Same with Boston and wearing a Yankees jersey. But at Yankee stadium I’ve only seen some ribbing and verbal jabs that were returned. What are the stadiums that are the worst?

I’ve gone to Red Sox games in Fenway three times (the last time a few weeks ago) wearing my Yankees cap, and never had the slightest problem. Hardly anybody seemed to notice. The only remark I ever received was “You’re brave!” (with a smile).

At most Red Sox games I’ve been to at Yankee stadium I’ve seen fights somewhere in the stands, but never any close to me. However, I’ve seen fans in Red Sox gear nearby who got a most mild ribbing. I’ve seen fans vocally rooting for other teams that likewise only got some trash talking in return.

Yankee Stadium generally isn’t a problem for visiting fans as long as they aren’t jerks about it. If you’re standing on your seat yelling “Yankees suck!” you’ll be a target, otherwise it’s not too likely.

I’ve seen fights at all of the New York area stadiums. I don’t recall seeing any that had to do with team rivalry. Mostly just drunk morons.

I will say that fighting at games seems to happen less often than when I was younger.

Gotta be Oakland, Philly, and Cleveland.

I don’t think anywhere in the US will compare to places abroad, particularly soccer/football. All of Italy, Istanbul in particular between Besiktas/Galatasaray/Fenerbahce, and Argentina come to mind. I believe that visiting fans aren’t even allowed to attend matches in Argentina.

20 something years ago at Munich Oktoberfest we watched the Italians beating each other up over soccer.

Never understood the phenomenon. Is it safe and reasonable to assume that in the absence of sporting rivalries, these are people who would seek out fights and reasons to fight? Or is it a widespread yet ultimately culture-bound phenom wherein folks grow up learning that fans fight opposing teams’ fans and are expected to do so, and learn to aspire to kick ass on behalf of their chosen teams etc?

If I were going to engage in violence on behalf of my “team”, it would be a political party, I think; there, we have at least the pretense of underlying meaning and purpose and the notion of genuine impact on folks as a consequence of the outcome (of the elections, I mean, not of voters fighting in the streets. That would ultimately remain pretty silly and useless). How the heck do you get emotionally charged up enough about a sports team to not only care about the outcome of the game but to want to hurt the folks rooting for the other side? Is it a phenomenon that took root in countries where it’s not safe to be ardent political supporters of people whose politics you like, so that it works like a substitute for involvement in things that matter? (Well, sort of matter. “Matter” in theory. I do think electoral politics is only marginally more “real” and “relevant” than football, and the players less skillful and adept).


I’ve spent a lot of time at Yankee Stadium in my day, and never saw opposing fans getting seriously hassled. I understand perfectly that outsiders might feel a little trepidation, but I’ve never seen anyone cusring or throwing beer at visiting fans. At most, there’s been some (mostly) good-natured ribbing.

I can’t and won’t say that assaults never happen. I’m sure they do, and it’s a damn shame. But I’ve never seen it happen, and I don’t think it’s common.

And nobody’s ever given me a hard time about my Giants cap at Dallas Cowboys- a little jovial teasing is the worst I’ve ever had to endure.

Not many sports fans treat their opponents as warmly and courteously as Nebraska Cornhusker fans do… but very few are complete jerks.

Celtic/Rangers has a lot of Catholic/Protestant tensions involved.

In Spain the immense majority of any soccer field will be safe, but right behind either goal is a spot that’s more likely than others to be a bad location. That’s a favorite spot for season holders of the hooligan bent; for example, Madrid’s Ultra Sures would sit behind the stadium’s southern goal (sur means south), Osasuna’s Indar Gorris also sit behind one of the goals, etc.

I’m not sure how this thread made it this far without my beloved Dodgers. The last game I went to was the night after that Giants fan was beaten into a coma. There are a very unfortunate number of assaults there every year.

I saw some Indian cricket fans in a stadium in Pakistan a decade or so ago. They were… gently ribbed and that’s all.

Yup. I would not want to be in the Rangers end of the ground supporting Celtic.

College football: USC, Ohio State and Michigan are all pretty bad, with, IME, overly aggressive fans. But it might be just the locals for USC and Michigan - I’ve always seen very well-behaved and friendly Trojan and Wolverine fans when they come visit. Ohio St. not so much.

I’ve heard stories of cars with Michigan plates getting vandalized when parked anywhere near the OSU campus, particularly around the time of the annual OSU/Michigan grudge match game.

Which is so insanely stupid I can’t even begin. This town gets totally bullshit over college football.

Edit: Location, Columbus OH.

AHunter, there have certainly been cases, particularly in politically unfree countries, where sports team affiliation becomes a surrogate for forbidden political expression. One example would be the rivalry between FC Barcelona (anti-Franco) and Real Madrid (pro-Franco) during the fascist era in Spain. An interesting article in a recent New Yorker discussed how soccer teams in early twentieth century Egypt were identified with the nationalist movement or with supporters of the British protectorate.

But as a general rule, I think it is a cultural phenomenon where fighting at matches is tolerated, therefore people who like to fight become fans. I have certainly noticed in my lifetime that fighting has become less tolerated, and therefore has gradually become less common.

To the OP, I would not recommend sitting in the bleachers at Wrigley Field wearing an opponent’s cap. Actually, I wouldn’t recommend sitting there at all if you don’t like drunken idiots.

I was once sitting way up in the upper deck at the Oakland Coliseum wearing a Giants jacket (they weren’t playing the Giants that day), and I had several entire sections to myself. A foul ball went into one of the empty sections, and I ran to look for it. The only other person close enough to try for it was another Giants fan, and the Jumbotron showed us scrambling for it. Boos ensued. The only time I have ever been threatened with violence for wearing the wrong stuff was wearing Giants garb at a White Sox game

Oakland Coliseum, wearing the gear of whoever the Raiders are playing.

I attended a game in about 1998 and rooted for the other team (the Miami Dolphins). Silently. Wearing neutral clothing.

I saw Dolphins fans being pushed around after the game for no good reason. Well, except for beer, that is.

Back in 1983 I went to Cominskey Park in Chicago, wearing a KC Royals hat and waving a KC Royals pennant. The Royals won, surprisingly enough. I hadn’t been hassled during the game(I was with friends) but the Royals players were jeered at a lot, and insulted. I took off my hat and rolled up the pennant for the ride back to my school.

That’s not the worst that has happened to anyone associated with the Royals at Comiskey Park. Don’t forget when first base coach Tom Gamboa was attacked by fans on the field. (Ok, it was at US Cellular, formerly “New Comiskey”).