- Richard Smith
Red Bull Arena – NJ/NY Gotham FC
Photos by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43
Red Bull Arena 600 Cape May St Harrison, NJ 07029
Year Opened: 2010
Gotham Is In New Jersey
NJ/NY Gotham are members of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) representing the New York/New Jersey market. The club started in 2009 as Sly Blue FC in the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) and later joined the NWSL for its inaugural season in 2013. The team’s former home was Yurcak Field on the campus of Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey home.
Red Bull Arena opened in 2010 after a lot of political activity and is now the home to the Red Bulls. Located in Harrison, New Jersey, just on the other side of the Passaic River from Newark, Red Bull Arena seats 25,000 seats and is owned by Red Bull GmbH, which also owns the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer (MLS), the stadium’s main tenant.
In April 2021, Sky Blue FC officially changed its name to NJ/NY Gotham FC. The owner of the team is Phil Murphy, who is also the current Governor of New Jersey. WNBA player Sue Bird, NBA player Kevin Durant, and NFL great Eli Manning are members of the ownership group along with former Sky Blue / NJ/NY Gotham player Carli Lloyd.
The stadium has also been home to other events such as the Premier Lacrosse League, local commencements, and many concerts.
Food & Beverage 4
Red Bull Arena offers a variety of food options at a variety of concession locations. You will find that only about half of the stands are open for Gotham FC matches but you will still find plenty of food options.
Soft Drinks can be found at most stands and you can fill and refill your drinks fairly easily on your own. A $40 season-long free refill cup can be purchased, as well as single-day cups. Red Bull Energy Drinks are also found throughout the stadium and are sold at the same general price as outside of the stadium.
There is a wide variety of beer available at Red Bull Arena.
Red Bull Arena offers a great atmosphere for fans. The enclosed nature of the stadium offers decent protection from the weather for fans, as well as keeping the sound loud and enclosed. Gotham FC only uses the lower bowl of Red Bull Arena and the atmosphere is not quite as loud and rowdy as at a Red Bull match but is still a great place to watch soccer action.
On the west side of the arena before the gates open, there is a place for kids to get their energy out.
There are stairs that will immediately take you up to the tight concourse as soon as you enter. There are elevators also available, but not escalators. There is a great deal of Red Bulls and Metrostars team history displayed along that concourse, but little of Gotham FC.
There is still a lively supporter section that keeps the sounds loud.
The area of Harrison that Red Bull Arena is located within used to be solely an industrial area, but it has become better over the years. That is partially due to the stadium, but also due to its proximity to Newark as well as a nice, new PATH train station that can get you to New York City in minutes.
In the local area, there is a Five Guys Burger and a good Korean taco restaurant, named Takorea, that are worth a stop before or after the match. There are a few other restaurants in the area, as well as an Element Hotel.
Newark is also a quick walk away via a bridge. You could even park there at a place like Iberia Tavern & Restaurant and walk over after enjoying a nice meal. The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and the Prudential Center are also close by.
Gotham FC has a nice following and has decent attendance at Red Bull Arena.
The main supporter group is called Cloud Nine, which is a leftover name from when the team was Sky Blue FC.
This writer was expecting the worse in regards to accessing the Harrison area, but it was better than expected.
Parking in Harrison is pretty easy if you follow to this exact address on your GPS: 890 S 3rd St, Harrison, NJ 07029. This will take you to the back way into the Harrison Parking Center where parking is a decent $15. Walking from the garage to the stadium is a little funky due to construction but it will be easy to figure out.
There are closer lots for $20 but expect to wait in them as traffic is worse closer to Red Bull Arena.
The PATH train station is located between Red Bull Arena and the Harrison Parking Center and is a great option to get to the stadium. The construction in the area is mainly because of the updated PATH station but it looks like that will all be worth it when finished.
As mentioned before, parking in Newark at one of the many public lots or the Iberia Tavern & Restaurant lot is an option. We would recommend you check the Prudential Center or NJPAC calendar of events before doing so. The game we attended at Red Bull Arena was when the MTV Video Music Awards were being held that same night at the Prudential Center, so downtown Newark was a bit of a mess.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets can be had for under $40 making Gotham FC a great value. With parking for $15, this is shockingly a great value for a sports event in the New Jersey/New York area.
There are more expensive seats, depending on the experience you desire from the Red Bull Arena experience.
The supporter section, Cloud Nine, while small was very active and loud.
Gotham FC has been around for a while in the league and has a great amount of history that hopefully, the team will be able to add to the Red Bull Arena experience.
Watching Harrison, NJ change to a different city is a bit fascinating on its own.
A trip to Red Bull Arena for an NJ/NY Gotham FC is a great way for a sports fan to see high-level teams at a decent value.