HomeNewsBusinessFootballUSA

New York Red Bulls downsize arena after attendance struggles

The New York Red Bulls have covered parts of the upper deck at Red Bull Arena with tarps in order to reduce the number of empty seats on view at each home game.

The Major League Soccer team drew an average announced home crowd of 18,583 last year, down from 21,175 in 2017.

This year the team – based in Harrison, New Jersey – have announced crowds of around 15,000 for three games thus far in the 25,000-capacity arena but the actual attendances have been far lower.

The Red Bulls have not commented on how many seats have been covered up, why the initiative was taken or how permanent this move will be. “It’s not great optics for any team playing in a soccer-specific stadium,” noted former United States defender Alexi Lalas.

A stadium redesign could be in the works. “If we were to build the stadium today…we’d have built the stadium with a flexible capacity system,” Red Bulls general manager Marc de Grandpre recently said. “Now as we refresh…we have to rethink the environment. Fans’ demands have evolved.

“We have to look at more open space concept areas where we can create communal areas where fans can congregate and watch the game together, which we don’t have many of in the building right now.”

Further reading: Atlanta United use fans as ambassadors to enter global elite for attendance

Most recent

After launching in Miami this spring, the Sports Decision Makers Summit – from SportBusiness and Sportel – came to London's Rosewood hotel on July 9-10. This is what we learned from our expert speakers. W

Liverpool FC decided to arrange its own tour of the United States this summer, rather than compete in the pre-season International Champions Cup, because the club preferred to be "independent" and have more freedom to arrange opponents, dates and venues.

As the Tour de France moves towards its conclusion in Paris, Kevin Roberts talks to Ralph Denk, team manager of the German Bora-Hansgrohe team about the business of running and funding an international cycling outfit.

As France's Ligue 1 is staging a four-team tournament in Washington DC this week, Bob Williams looks at how it aims to expand its reach into the US and improve overseas media-rights income.