Some football fans in Philadelphia celebrated the Eagles’ first Super Bowl title with looting and vandalism in the city’s downtown area, police said.
Most of the thousands of revelers who headed to the city center were exuberant, but orderly, after the Eagles defeated the favored New England Patriots on Sunday, 41-33.
With the city’s first professional football title since 1960 — and its first championship in general since the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series in 2008 — fans began leaving homes, bars and other places Sunday night and headed downtown to Broad Street and City Hall.
Traffic signals were taken down near City Hall, and windows in a nearby Macy’s store were broken. Toppled flower pots blocked one lane of North Broad Street, and an outside awning of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel collapsed under the weight of fans atop it.
Employees of a Rite Aid store reported looting, as did employees of a gas station and convenience store, where looters shouting “everything is free” stole merchandise, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Although police prepared for assaults on light poles by coating them in hydraulic oil to prevent climbing, nearly all the light poles on one side of City Hall had fallen. At least one car was overturned, and police came to the aid of three people who fell from light poles.
“We have had several acts of vandalism where windows have been smashed, and some injuries have been reported around light poles that have been pulled down,” the Philadelphia Police Department said in a statement. “We have one report of looting at a gas station. There have been no fatalities.”
By 2 a.m. Monday, the downtown revelers dispersed — leaving broken glass, crushed cans and plenty of litter. Police only intervened when serious safety hazards, such as a man lighting fireworks behind a crowd of partiers, were noticed.
Police were prepared with barricades installed across several streets prior to the game. Some streets were blocked off by halftime, as garbage trucks and police riding bicycles were sent to strategic locations. Extra lighting at several intersections was also installed to deter trouble. The lights made cellphone selfie-taking easier.
Police did not release information on the number of arrests or the extent of the property damage. Plans for a victory parade will be announced on Tuesday.[embedded content] [embedded content]