By Shirley Hawkins
Police were summoned to restore peace at the Foot Locker store in the South Bay Galleria when a fight broke out over the new Air Jordan XI Retro Concord tennis shoes.
The shoes, which come in either solid black or a black-and-white combination, went on sale at 5 a.m. Friday.
Witnesses said that dozens of customers were pushing and shoving before police were summoned and sales were halted.
The shoes, considered a collector’s item, are so popular that when police ordered customers to leave and come back at 8 a.m., the customers wouldn’t depart from the mall.
The shoe, named after famed former Chicago Bulls basketball player Michael Jordan, cost $180 dollars.
Similar incidents were reported across the country in North Carolina, Atlanta, Seattle and Indianapolis. In New York, two people were taken into police custody after fighting over the shoes.
Police in Seattle had to control disputes that broke out over line-cutting or pushing and were forced to use pepper spray to break up brawlers at another store.
A pair of Air Jordan XI Concord sneakers usually sells for $400 on the Internet but retail for $180 at stores. The shoe line is estimated to bring in $1 billion annually.
Michael Jordan retired from the Chicago Bulls on April 16, 2003.