New Jersey state police in riot gear were dispatched to MetLife stadium with tear gas, armored vehicles and a helicopter to disperse an unruly crowd of youths reportedly trying to break through a jammed door during the Summer Jam festival.
Thousands of concert-goers hoping to attend what was advertised as “the hottest hip hop event of the year” were faced with sealed and barred doors at MetLife stadium, while a thick line of armored police faced off against rioters just outside the building’s entrance.
It was not immediately clear what caused the major disturbance in the first place, as some reports suggested a number of youths did not get a refund for their tickets and started a row. The concert had already started at the time. Conflicting reports described the stadium’s doors as being shut either prior to the incident or after the row began.
As the gates were closed and blocked by the police, some of the frustrated fans started throwing bottles at the officers, smashing against their shields. Police responded with tear gas and detained some of the rioters. Several people reportedly got tased. An armored police vehicle was parked to block the entrance.
New Jersey State Police have issued a statement saying that “security personnel at one of the entrance gates to MetLife Stadium were confronted by crowds attempting to illegally enter the sold out Summer Jam concert by climbing over fences and forcing their way through.”
According to the police statement, the gates were shut after this confrontation and troopers were called in for assistance. It also insisted “all people outside of the gates depart the MetLife grounds to avoid congestion when the concert lets out.”
Police could not immediately report on the number of arrests made during riots.
The concert’s organizer, HOT 97, has issued a statement on its social media promising to refund all unscanned tickets. Some people said they had spent over $1,000, but had been unable to enter the venue.
While all further entry was denied after the doors shut, the event inside the stadium continued.