A Look Back: The Nassau Coliseum Santa Brawl

What Happens When 1000 Santas invade an NHL Hockey Game? We look back at the SantaBrawl.

At the Water Cooler we love a promotion that gets people talking.

So imagine how much we LOVE a promotion that people are still talking about 20 YEARS LATER.

Of course a fight breaking out isn’t ideal, but sometimes it’s a blast to be able and look back and laugh at a promotion that went a little further than expected or got a little out of control.

This from

The promotion: The Islanders offered anyone that showed up to the game dressed as Santa free admission, as well as the opportunity to parade across the ice during the first intermission. Even though the Islanders had made the playoffs in consecutive seasons (following a seven-year playoff drought) it was still an organization that hadn’t won a playoff series since 1993, was struggling on the ice that year (14-16-2 record on the season), and experiencing a significant dip in attendance (down 14 percent from the previous season).

In short, they needed butts in the seats and this probably seemed like a fun holiday promotion to get a few extra people in the building.

The Islanders expected only about 250 Santas. More than 500 showed up, though some estimates had the number as high as 1,000 Santas.

As tends to happen when a bunch of people show up to the same event dressed as Santa, things quickly devolved into chaos (ever experienced Santa-con? No? Good. Keep it that way).

During the first intermission all of the fans dressed as Santa took to the ice and began their parade. That was when everything hit the fan. A number of Santas removed their jackets to reveal New York Rangers jerseys, the primary rival of the Islanders, resulting in a small, but not terribly violent, brawl on the ice.

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