On Sunday night, Denver police, better prepared for possible rioting than the last time the Broncos won the Super Bowl back in 1999, wound up arresting 12 people during postgame celebrations.
Police spokesman Sonny Jackson told the Denver Post that the 12 people were arrested for criminal mischief, starting fires and throwing objects at officers. He added that two other people were arrested on gun-related charges. Police had closed streets downtown as well as Interstate 25 off ramps into downtown to prevent crowds from mushrooming; they were equipped with pepper spray as they readied for rioters. Light rail service was terminated to travel to the LoDo area and the MallRide was temporarily shut down, according to 9News.
The closed streets were reopened at 12:45 a.m. Monday.
Although one police cruiser had its window shattered, Jackson said, “Overall, things went pretty well. There were a handful of people who were somewhat unruly.” Dancing and chanting celebrants flooded Market Street.
Officers wearing riot gear and wielding batons and pepper spray worked in groups as they protected the area; some pepper spray and gas-filled pepper balls were fired around fans near the mall.
Raucous celebrations also broke out in Fort Collins and Boulder.
In 1999, 20 people were arrested in Denver after the Broncos’ Super Bowl victory; damage was estimated at $200,000. In 2001, after the Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup, sixty-three people were arrested.