Toyota Stadium security employees had their hands full Sunday night after a match between the Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas descended into chaos.
A number of incidents in the stands lead to the mass removal of the visiting supports section with just 15 minutes left to play.
According to The Dallas Morning News, the move was highly unusual but for the safety of everyone involved, Frisco officers requested that Dynamo fans retreat to their chartered buses which were parked a short distance from the east gate.
A number of incidents have taken place during Texas Derby games at Toyota Stadium in the recent past. The Morning News reports that two years ago Houston fans set off three pyrotechnic devices within an exclusion zone surrounding an egress point.
Past incidents were likely part of the decision-making process in removing the rowdy Houston fans, who were told that they were being removed for their own safety and faced arrest if they did not comply.
The Texian Army supporters' group and a member of the Independent Supporters Council are reportedly collaborating with fellow ISC members, and other groups to work towards the eradication of such issues for future games.
Dallas FC and the Houston Dynamo both released statements about the incident.
Houston Dynamo Statement:
Everyone in our club is extremely appreciative of the large number of loyal and vocal Dynamo supporters who traveled up to Frisco on Sunday night to support our team, and we obviously wish we had given them a better result on the field. Unfortunately, as the game progressed, a small number of incidents occurred between fans of both teams. The Toyota Stadium security staff and local law enforcement recommended - in the interest of fan safety - that our fans be escorted out of the facility prior to the end of the match in order to prevent any further escalation. Taking that recommendation into consideration, along with the scoreline at the time, our staff agreed to assist in the interest of everyone's safety and security.
FC Dallas Statement:
Our primary goal at Toyota Stadium is to ensure the safety and security of all fans, guests and visiting supporters who attend FC Dallas matches. During the FC Dallas/Houston Dynamo match on Sunday, August 25, 2019 at Toyota Stadium there were a number of incidents involving fans of both teams, including physical altercations among the Houston supporters as well as incidents involving FC Dallas fans. After consulting with the visiting supporters' liaison and Soccer Security Agent as well as local law enforcement, Toyota Stadium security and the Dynamo supporters' representative mutually agreed it was in the best interest of all parties involved that the visiting supporters be escorted from the stadium. This decision was made in the 76th minute of the match. The exit process began in the 80th minute of the match. The visiting supporters loaded onto their buses without incident.