As many as four people were stabbed in the stadium parking lot after the Denver Broncos game, at least the third incidence of violence at National Football League venues this season.
On Thursday night outside the Sports Authority Stadium Field at Mile High in Denver, three males were found stabbed after the Broncos lost to the San Diego Chargers, police reported.
"Stadium Management Company is aware of an incident that occurred in a parking lot adjacent to Sports Authority Field at Mile High," the company said in a statement released Thursday night. "We are currently working with authorities to gather more information."
According to police, the incident took place about 9:55 p.m. in the stadium's Lot F near the intersection of Dick Connor Avenue and Federal Boulevard.
"It was obviously a very chaotic scene and investigators have their work cut out for them," Denver Police spokesman Steve Warneke told reporters.
Three men were taken to hospitals and one was reported in critical condition. Police said they believe a fourth stabbing victim fled the scene.
Police said they were still investigating and were unsure if the stabbings were connected to the game.
"There were witnesses and we've transported them to police facilities to be interviewed," Warneke said.
Earlier this month in Kansas City, Mo., a man died after an altercation in the Arrowhead Stadium parking lot during Kansas City's game against Denver.
In September, a teenager suffered a concussion and a broken arm and nose at Candlestick Park in San Francisco after what police said was an attack during the 49ers' game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Violence is nothing new in sports worldwide. Pictures of exuberant fans overturning cars, setting fires and trashing buildings have become as common a feature as the victory parade during the post-championship season.
While violence has been limited in the United States, the phrase "soccer hooligan" has gained wide popularity to define the passions unleashed by international football. In 1969, El Salvador and Honduras fought an actual war (that lasted about 100 hours) in part caused by the outcome of a qualifying match for the World Cup.