Red Bull Arena (New Jersey)





Red Bull Arena is a soccer-specific stadium with a translucent, partial roof. It is located in Harrison, New Jersey, on the waterfront across the Passaic River from Newark, and is the home of the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer.

Initial planning



The original plan, announced on July 1, 2004, was to move the MetroStars (as the New York Red Bulls were known at the time) from their home at Giants Stadium by the beginning of the 2006 season. Negotiations between MLS and the state of New Jersey dragged on until an agreement was announced on August 5, 2005, for the MetroStars to build and complete construction of a new dedicated soccer facility for the 2007 season. Concerns about environmental clean-up at the selected site forced another delay. Additionally, though the groundbreaking took place September 19, 2006 and construction was set for November 2007, that was delayed by one month when Red Bull GmbH bought out the MetroStars club from Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), changing the club's name in the process. After projections of opening during the 2008, and then the 2009 season, on January 23, 2009, it was announced that the arena opening would be delayed until 2010.

According to Erik Stover, Red Bulls managing director at the time, Harrison Redevelopment Agency chairman Peter B. Higgins was "quite simply the reason that the New York Red Bulls have a new home in Harrison. His vision and leadership guided us through numerous difficulties." The late Mr. Higgins' contribution is memorialized by the street naming as Pete Higgins Boulevard at the main gates along the west side of the stadium.

Red Bull buyout and new design



In addition to purchasing the team, Red Bull bought out AEG's $100 million share of the stadium, an after effect of lasting disagreements between the two corporations regarding their plans for the facility. Their differences prompted a significant delay in the early stages of the stadium's construction. After the naming rights of the soccer team were acquired, leading to the name Red Bull Park, Red Bull instituted a number of changes to the stadium's original design, which sparked tension between the Austrian-based energy drink company and AEG. Red Bull opted out of AEG's plan to construct a stage in the stadium for performances, one that would have increased profit margins for the group.

Construction of Red Bull Park began in late December 2007 with an undetermined 2009 completion date. The updated design was completed by Rossetti architects from Los Angeles and was built by New Jersey-based Hunter Roberts Construction Group, LLC. The new design featured a roof extending just past the field's touchlines with 60 feet (18 m) of the roof being translucent to allow for natural light. The first row of seating is approximately 21 feet (6.4 m) from the touchlines. The design is on par with those of soccer stadiums around the world. It looks similar to the Hypo-Arena in Klagenfurt, Austria in appearance. The stadium has 30 luxury suites and 1,000 premium seats.

Construction



Construction commenced on Red Bull Park on January 3, 2008, including the first of 3,000 timber piles driven into the ground to support the new stadium. On January 11, 2008, Erik Stover was announced as the new GM of Red Bull Arena during construction and then on after. He has served as GM of Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego since 2005. On February 20, 2008, a CAN$28â€"$30 million contract was announced with Structal-Heavy Steel Construction to assist in the fabrication and construction of steel components. Fabrication began offsite in the second quarter of 2008, and erection in Fall, 2008. Total project size is estimated at 9,000 tons of structural steel.

The first steel girder was put in place on August 19, 2008. The arena was reported by the New York Times to be 55% complete on March 27, 2009. The last major beam for the roof was topped out on April 14, 2009. Enclosure panels started going up on May 7, 2009. The first section of the Red Bull Arena roof was completed in August 2009. The underground drainage and turf-heating system installation began on August 18, 2009.

A soft opening of the stadium, a match between the Red Bulls Under-18 Academy team and the United States U-17 men's national soccer team scheduled for March 13, 2010, was postponed due to heavy rain and high wind. The facility instead opened on March 20, 2010 as the Red Bulls played a friendly match against Brazilian club Santos FC, with the first official match, the MLS season opener against the Chicago Fire, took place March 27. Joel Lindpere became the first player to score a goal at Red Bull Arena.

In December 2010 the stadium was named Project of the Year (Sports/Recreation) by Engineer News Record â€" New York.

Events



Red Bull Arena hosted its first-ever international soccer game in May 2010, when Turkey beat the Czech Republic in front of a crowd of 16,371. The stadium also hosted an exhibition between Ecuador and Colombia in October 2010. The game drew a sellout crowd of 25,000.

It also hosted the finals of the 2010 Churchill Cup in rugby union.

Red Bull Arena hosted its first-ever concert, with Dispatch on June 18, 2011.

In addition, Red Bull Arena hosted the 2011 MLS All-Star Game on July 27 versus Manchester United.

On October 8, 2011, Red Bull Arena hosted its first New Jersey high school soccer game when the Harrison Blue Tide hosted the Kearny Kardinals in both boys' and girls' soccer matches.

On October 11, 2011 Red Bull Arena hosted its first United States men's national soccer team match, as the US squad lost 1â€"0 to the Ecuador national football team in an international friendly.

On November 13, 2011, Red Bull Arena hosted the semifinals and championship match of the 2011 Big East Conference Men's Soccer Tournament, a college soccer tournament.

On July 28, 2012, Red Bull Arena hosted the Trophée des champions, between the champions of Ligue 1 and the winners of the Coupe de France : Montpellier HSC vs Olympique Lyonnais. Lyon won on penalties after the match ended 2â€"2. The match was organized by Ligue de Football Professionnel.

International soccer matches

Transportation



The stadium can be reached via the Harrison station on the Port Authority Trans-Hudson system. Free shuttle buses run from Newark Penn Station and New Jersey Transit's Newark Broad Street station. The nearby Jackson Street Bridge crosses the Passaic River to the Ironbound neighborhood in Newark.

References



External links



  • Official website
  • Across the Hudson: Red Bull Park by Curbed.com
  • Interactive guide NY Times


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