FROM THE DESK OF ERIK STOVER: RED BULL ARENA EDITION

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited.  Red Bull Arena is finally here.  After years of delays, slow downs and restarts, North America’s greatest soccer venue opens its doors on Saturday.

Since this experience will be new for everyone attending the Grand Opening, we strongly encourage you to make extra time for travel.  It will be a beautiful day with a lot of fun extras in and around Red Bull Arena, so please come early to enjoy the festivities.

Also, we strongly encourage anyone that can take mass transit to do so.  Let’s remember that this is an urban setting and the road infrastructure will be stressed on event day.  It is simply a different match day experience than the one at the Meadowlands and I am sure we are all happy for that.

Here are few quick points that will help make your first trip to Red Bull Arena enjoyable.

PATH
If it makes sense for you, take the PATH!  It stops just three blocks from the Arena.  Please visit http://www.panynj.gov/path/schedule.html for more information.

TRAFFIC
If you must drive, please follow the direction of police and traffic control officers.  About 4500 parking spaces are within 6 blocks of the Arena, but access to these lots is somewhat limited.  The Harrison Police Department will be directing people through intersections and down streets based on traffic flow and congestion.  The Town of Harrison has a detailed traffic and pedestrian management plan and following their direction will keep lanes open and everyone moving.

NEWARK TROLLEY
There are three free shuttles set up in Newark to help alleviate traffic congestion.  Parking your car on the Newark side of the Passaic River will allow for convenient highway access after the match plus it will give you an opportunity to try some of the wonderful bars and restaurants in Newark.  Please visit www.newarktrolley.com and www.njtransit.com for more information.

TAILGATING
Red Bull New York does not own or operate any of the parking lots in Harrison.  The owners have informed us that tailgating in their lots is not allowed.  Parking lot attendants will be directing cars into spaces and enforcing the no tailgating rule.  So, why not come to Newark or Harrison early for a pint or stop by the Beer Garden in the Interactive Zone outside of Red Bull Arena!?!

GET LOUD!
We finally have a real home, now it is up to you to turn into a home field advantage.

Thank you for sticking with us all of these years.  For our supporters, both old and new, I think we are about to witness the turning point in the history of our club.

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16 Responses to “FROM THE DESK OF ERIK STOVER: RED BULL ARENA EDITION”

  1. redbulls4ever Says:

    Will be one of the spectacular Red bull supporters mingled with the other 25,000 fans at our new home tomorrow evening, I can’t wait. GO New York Redbulls…………………………………

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  3. Marc Says:

    I attended the game tonight (Fire vs. Reb Bull) … Great Great Stadium.,,,, TERRBIBLE TERRIBLE AWFUL LOCATION/.,,,, I WAS EXTREMELY FRUSTRATED GETTING IN AND OUT OF HARRISON… FRANKLY UNLESS YOU BUILD HUGE PARKING LOTS RIGHT NEXT TO THE STADIUM MAKING IT EASY TO GET ACCESS TO THE CAR… I DOUBT I WOULD WANT TO EXPERIENCE MY TRAVEL EXPERIENCE AGAIN… NOT SURE WHY THOSE EMPTY LOTS RIGHT NEXT TO THE STADIUMS ARE NOT CONVERTED TO PARKING LOTS….LONG TRAFFIC DELAYS IN GETTING IN AN OVER AN HOUR TO GET OUT…. TRUST ME WHEN I SAY THAT YOU WILL LOSE A LOT OF FANS BASED ON THE LOGISTICS IN GETTING TO THE STADIUM… NOT VERY WELLTHOUGHT OUT AT ALL… AND PLEASE DO NOT TELL ME TO TAKE THE PATH TRAIN….FROM NEWARK…. BECAUSE I HAVE TO TIME IT WHITH MY NJT TO ABERDEEN NJ WHERE I RESIDE… SIMPLY DOES NOT WORK OR MAKE ANY SENSE…….

  4. A.J. Says:

    I’m equally dissapointed that there is no convenient parking situation. I am going to my first game at the new stadium this weekend so we’ll see how it goes.

    Initially, my plan was to get there at noon and bbq with my friends because this is not just a game but an opportunity for us to spend time with each other. Now I guess I’m going to have to take the train, but there’s no way I’m going to come early just to buy high priced stadium food. I’ll probably eat in NYC before getting on the train.

    PLEASE LISTEN TO MARC AND BUILD THE PARKING LOTS AROUND THE STADIUM!!! YOUR FANS WILL BE HAPPIER AND YOU WILL MAKES ‘LOTS’ OF ADDITIONAL REVENUE!!! (PUN INTENDED)

  5. Mike Ceb Says:

    I attended my first Red Bulls game for the friendly vs. Totenham on 7/22/10 and I have to echo that the parking situation was horrible and if it’s not corrected soon it will impact drawing suburban fans who drive to games. I understand it’s an urban setting but you still have to manage the situation to make the best of the situation and avoid chaos which is what we saw leaving our game.

    Getting in was a very slow go despite the fact that Harrison had all the traffic lights set to blink and people at every intersection but it still was a very slow crawl getting in. We had first tried to come in via Newark bridges which was a total disaster. Whatever mess was going on over the river at the Harrison stadium had traffic was backed up over the 2 bridges for half a mile into Newark. Nothing was moving at all. We gave up and back tracked over to 280 which at least moved.

    We made the mistake of parking close to the arena in the big covered lot near the path station because my wife can’t walk for long distances. Big mistake! better park a few block north of stadium and walk but we didn’t know. We left the game 10 minutes early and almost got out of parking lot when all hell broke loose as tens of thousands of people all steamed toward the Path station and down the street to right to the further parking lots. Very frustrating watching everyone who left the game after you go to the front of the line out.

    The plan of the police and parking attendants was to just to let the ‘mass chaos’ happen as they shut down the entire parking lot for 30 minutes before even attempting to gain control of the crowd….nice plan. We watched as the entire stadium emptied through our parking lot entrance that was maybe 25-30 feet wide and then fill the streets. The attendants and police did nothing to even attempt to herd pedestrians to the left or keep them behind barricades so traffic could still flow down the street to the right. Really bad scene.

    You need to manage that situation, open up that area so pedestrians can flow and not squeeze through a parking lot opening and then flood the street.

    • Edmund Moy Says:

      I experienced that same parking lot nightmare last night. Have you been back since your nightmare? Here is my post:

      I CANNONT TELL YOU HOW FRUSTRATING THE COMMUTE TO THE STADIUM WAS LAST NIGHT. 1 HOUR TO GO 0.7 MILES . UNACCEPTABLE. GETTING OUT OF THE PARKING LOT ADJACENT TO THE STADIUM WAS EVEN MORE FRUSTRATING. 45 MINUTES TO GET OUT OF THE PARKING LOT.

      UNTIL THIS IS CORRECTED I WILL NOT ATTEND ANOTHER GAME. I RECOMMEND A BOYCOTT. ROUND TRIP TRAVEL TIME OF 3 HOURS 20 MINUTES FROM 17 MILES AWAY. HOW COULD THEY BUILD A STADIUM WITH SUCH LACK OF PARKING AND ACCESS??!! NEVER AGAIN!!!

      LOOK FOR THIS EMAIL THROUGHOUT THE INTERNET.

  6. Ernesto Says:

    I envision Thierry Henry residing at Trump Plaza in Jersey City,NJ. and someday The Donald himself at a game…Would that scenario be a coup or what? !!

  7. Ernesto Says:

    how about supporters group institute a “show players around town day” I bet players that are down to earth and friendly(like Henry) would love the idea. For example take the players on a stroll through the streets of Jersey City,Newark,etc… and brunch at some local joint where there’s great food. I propose El Sabroso on Central Ave,Jersey City Heights. And take them to Pershing Field park in the Heights where soccer was practically outlawed there. Also there’s a great ice skating rink and swimming pool, both indoors at the park.

  8. Jose Says:

    Last time I went to the Red Bulls game against Santos the atmospher was electric. The only two problems I encountered were the parking/traffic and the actual seat. My dad and I were sitting on Section 215 Row 9 and there was a stairway next to the seats. People coming up to the other sections used basically where we were sitting as a hallway and all of us in that row had to stand up everytime someone wanted to go across to section 216 and beyond. I plan to go again with my dad but luckily I have requested different seats cause I don’t want to have to get up every second while people use that as a hallway to go across to different sections. Please have these seats remove there is no point on having the seats there otherwise people will have a terrible experience. Luckily my dad and I are big fans and were not dampen by that experience. As far as the parking and traffic…it was really attrocious. It took me around 4 hours to drive and park. The people working the traffic did not appear to know how to handle such situations. There were little signs and most people didn’t know where to go therefore people told me to go here and there but each time I was sent elsewhere. Finally I was able to park when a new makeshift lot was open and by the time I made it to the stadium I had missed all the festivities although I was driving (I should say crawling) around next to the stadium for about 2 hours. This time I am taking the train but I have also heard rumors that the trains are a nightmare when leaving the stadium. Please please fix these issues!!! we waited 14 years and why couldn’t all these things have worked out by the time RBA opened. I think this is contributing to the stadium not selling out every game.

  9. Jay Says:

    Looking forward to game tomorrow night, the debut of henri and marquez at the arena. Big problem is how do I get there. Seems that driving and parking is a disatser but the train for my family of five will cost over $100 round trip!!!!

    There has to be a better way!

  10. Edmund Moy Says:

    I CANNONT TELL YOU HOW FRUSTRATING THE COMMUTE TO THE STADIUM WAS LAST NIGHT. 1 HOUR TO GO 0.7 MILES . UNACCEPTABLE. GETTING OUT OF THE PARKING LOT ADJACENT TO THE STADIUM WAS EVEN MORE FRUSTRATING. 45 MINUTES TO GET OUT OF THE PARKING LOT.

    UNTIL THIS IS CORRECTED I WILL NOT ATTEND ANOTHER GAME. I RECOMMEND A BOYCOTT. ROUND TRIP TRAVEL TIME OF 3 HOURS 20 MINUTES FROM 17 MILES AWAY. HOW COULD THEY BUILD A STADIUM WITH SUCH LACK OF PARKING AND ACCESS??!! NEVER AGAIN!!!

    LOOK FOR THIS EMAIL THROUGHOUT THE INTERNET.

  11. David Sun Says:

    I too must echo the same sentiments about the parking situation. It is an absolute travesty. I took me 2.2 hours to drive 25 miles to the stadium; 1.5 of those hours were spent on the last 0.5 miles of the commute. It seemed like the traffic cops and employees funneled us through every single pedestrian crossing imaginable. The infrastructure is horrendous. Esssentially 10+ roads funnel into one single lane entrance into the parking lot. The traffic cops were terrible too. I let one of them know that people were using the non-parking lane to cut the line into the entrance of the parking lot. The officer’s response was “So what? You want my job, kid? You turd!” (what kind of professionalism is that? He seriously called me a TURD! and b/t/w I’m a medical resident in my late twenties and not some kid)

    When we finally parked and got to the stadium, I asked an employee how to get to Gate D. He told me I had to go all the way around the stadium. So I did- and when I got there I find out that Gate D is closed. I eventually circled the entire stadium to get back to the main gate. Why are employees directing customers to gates that are no longer open? As a result of this I finally got into the stadium at the 30th minute, approximately 3 minutes after the first and only goal of the match. How do you think I felt about, especially as I had left my house over 2 hours prior to the start time?

    Once inside, I found the stadium to be wonderful. Definitely not a bad seat in the house. Concessionaire prices were all reasonable. But my experience was so jaded by the parking situation and by the unhelpful and rude employees that I may never go back to a game.

    I understand that there is probably little that can be done immediately to fix the parking infrastructure. However, Red Bull management must seriously divert more funds towards better traffic management and educating their employees on stadium logistics and customer service. When you’re still a quasi-fledgling league (not bashing the Red Bull, simply stating their not on par with the MLB, NFL or NBA), you have to focus on customer service and logistical details if you want repeat customers. I am a lifelong soccer player and I really want the MLS to succeed. However, count me out as a repeat customer until management fixes the parking situation.

  12. David Sun Says:

    I forgot to mention that the Newark trolleys are NOT working. The website makes it seem so easy to enter the stadium via the trolley system. However, we ran into a family that attempted such strategy and had to take a taxi from Newark to the stadium because said trolley was NON-EXISTENT. Let me repeat that- the trolley system was nowhere to be found!

    Again- I understand that management can probably do very little to immediately fix the parking infrastructure. But advertising (not only online but via several emails) to customers a NON-EXISTENT SERVICE is worthy of someone getting fired. I’m sorry but that’s unacceptable. If I were that family that waited for a non-existent trolley I would NEVER EVER come back to another game.

  13. Cindy Says:

    I attended my first MLS game last night (Red Bulls vs. LA Galaxy). We got to the parking garage 3 hours before game time so there was no problem parking. It did take us longer to exit but that’s to be expected with 25,000 people crowding onto very narrow streets in an urban location.

    I was very pleased with the arena and all the activities that were in progress prior to game time. It seemed to be very “family friendly”.

    My one major complaint was the chanting of “You suck, asshole” every time the opposing goalie had a goal kick. A group of fans with a drum and megaphones started the chant and, before long, many fans were joining in. Not only is this very unsportsman like conduct, it is especially upsetting when you have young children being subjected to such disrepect. I was, and still am, quite upset that such language is tolerated at such a venue. I would love to attend another game but am hesitant because of this. I can’t imagine how this behavior is received by others, outside of the NY area, when viewing the games on ESPN or any other nationally televised network. It surely must enforce the sterotype of New Yorkers/New Jerseyans as uncouth, foul-mouthed boars. I hope there is some way to rectify this issue to make this a place where people can enjoy themselves with their families.

  14. Lori Says:

    I attended the Red BUll game this evening with our 4 children and I will never ever attend another game. The stadium was beautiful but the traffic pattern and parking present an extremely dangerous situation. How did this project ever get approval from the planning and zoning boards of Harrison. The impact that this stadium presents does not in any way following any of the parking requirements that are an essential part of any large scale projects. What happened to following these standards? Was a traffic studied performed? If so how did the police department recommend this stadium to be built. It seems that an investigation should begin starting with the Mayor and council members who even considered this project to move forward. Talk about corruption…..I see it all over the Red Bull Stadium. The Governor should start an investigation immediately. Red Bull Stadium and NJ NOT perfect together. What a waste of money since we only saw half of the game. Shame on all of the Harrison Officials.

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