Hoekstra: An oral history of Disco Demolition Night

From Dave Hoekstra at Chicago Magazine on July 5, 2016:

On July 12, 1979, the Chicago rock station WLUP-FM and the Chicago White Sox collaborated on a twinight double-header originally called Teen Night. After the events of that evening, it would come to be known as Disco Demolition.

People who brought a disco record to Comiskey Park were admitted for 98 cents (97.9 is WLUP’s position on the dial) to see the Sox play the Detroit Tigers. In terms of draw, it was perhaps the most successful promotion in the history of Major League Baseball. The middling White Sox had been averaging about 18,000 fans a game in a stadium that seated close to 45,000. An estimated 70,000 showed up that day.

After the first game, WLUP personality Steve Dahl and his sidekick, Garry Meier, took to the field to blow up a large box of the collected records as Dahl led the crowd in chants of “Disco sucks!” Soon after the records blew, people flooded the field. They tore out seats and lit bonfires in the outfield. Eventually, the police arrived on horseback.

Because of the resulting field conditions, the second game was canceled and the White Sox were charged with a forfeit.

Thirty-seven years later, Disco Demolition remains one of the most infamous events in baseball history—and an iconic cultural moment. Here, the people intimately involved in the promotion, as well as those in attendance, recount how it went down.

Read the full article here: http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/July-2016/The-Night-Disco-Died/

Originally published: July 5, 2016. Last Updated: July 5, 2016.