Supplement Feature - July 2009
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Stadium Solutions

An Inside Look at Outdoor Sports

By Richard Zowie

Red Bull Arena
New York Red Bulls
Harrison, N.J.

The New York Red Bulls are a professional soccer team in Major League Soccer, a league that's trying to get soccer to thrive in America. Currently, the Red Bulls play in Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., but will soon move to Red Bull Arena, a new stadium located in Harrison about nine miles southwest of their current, temporary home.

The 25,189-seat Red Bull Arena features many upgrades from Giants Stadium (which, until about 2010, serves as the home stadium for the NFL's New York Giants and Jets), according to the team Web site. The seats are closer to the action on the field, putting first-row spectators 21 feet from the touchline. The arena, in short, is designed to have a look more conducive with soccer facilities worldwide. It will be compliant to the World-Cup governing league of FIFA (the French acronym for International Federation of Football Association).

Andrew McGowan, Red Bulls vice president of communications, described the new stadium's layout as an oval configuration with seats closer to the playing field and just seven yards from the sidelines and nine yards from the end zones. The stadium features an upper and lower bowl with more seating in the east side of the stadium's upper level.

"The seating layout at Red Bull Arena puts the fans up close to the action," McGowan said. "Any of the seats will be fantastic for soccer. There are no obstructed seat locations."

The stadium roof features translucent polycarbonate and aluminum, and all the seats are covered from inclement weather.

The arena also will feature 30 luxury suites (20 in the lower level and 10 in the upper level with each suite having a capacity for 12 seats).

On each end of the stadium there will be a video board, including one that's a 360-degree wraparound message board. There will also be in-stadium displays of more than 300 video flat-screen panels along with field-level LED signage in both end zones and on the opposite player bench.

Red Bull Arena should be ready for soccer in 2010, and for the Red Bulls, perhaps not a moment too soon. While Giants Stadium has 80,000 seats, it's more of a football stadium.

"It is not a stadium conducive to soccer," McGowan explained.