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  • Richard Smith

Red Bull Arena – New York Red Bulls


Photos by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.14

Red Bull Arena 600 Cape May St Harrison, NJ 07029

New York Red Bulls website

Red Bull Arena website


Year Opened: 2010

Capacity: 25,189

 

Running With The Red Bulls

Major League Soccer (MLS) started in 1995, and one of the founding teams was the New York/New Jersey MetroStars which played in Giants Stadium. The New York Bulls are the successor to that franchise having been purchased directly by Austrian company Red Bull GmbH, producers of the Red Bull Energy Drink. After briefly being Red Bull New York they changed to the more American style New York Red Bulls name.

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 also owned by Red Bull GmbH.

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 not go hungry at Red Bull Arena.

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.

Atmosphere 5

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.

The loudness of the arena is pretty great and you should expect to hear the Rage Against The Machine song “Bulls on Parade” quite often. This writer didn’t complain, although some may not enjoy the reliance on loud and aggressive music. There is also a live DJ spinning the tunes.

On the west side of the arena before the gates open, BULLevard, the Red Bulls pre-match activity area, is a place for kids to get their energy out. You may also find this a place for some giveaways from various companies. We enjoyed a unique peanut butter confection we had never heard of before (and forgot its name already) by some food company.

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 team history displayed along that concourse including the Metrostars greats.

The supporter sections keep the sounds loud even without the PA system.

Neighborhood 3

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 it’s 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.

Fans 4

The Red Bulls have a great following and have good attendance averaging over 20,000 fans per game.

Red Bull fans are led by the three main supporter groups. Empire Supporters Club, Garden State Ultras, and the Viking Army.

Access 4

This writer was expecting the worse in 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 and there are many tailgaters and parties there.

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.

Return on Investment 5

Tickets can be had for under $20 making the New York Red Bulls 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.

Extras 4

The supporter sections are a great extra as they are very active and loud.

We enjoy the various rivalries for the Red Bulls (the I-95 Cup with Philadephia Union, the Hudson River Derby with New York City FC, and the Atlantic Cup with DC United)

The Red Bulls are an original MLS franchise and they do not forget the great players from the Metrostars days.

Watching Harrison, NJ change to a different city is a bit fascinating on its own.

Final Thoughts

A trip to Red Bull Arena for a New York Red Bulls is a great way for a sports fan to see high-level teams at a decent value.

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