Red Bull Arena (New Jersey)

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This article is about the home of Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls. For other places with the same name, see Red Bull Arena (disambiguation).
Red Bull Arena
Red Bull Arena.PNG
Red Bull Arena Harrison behind goal.jpg
Former names Red Bull Park (2006–08) prior to opening
Address 600 Cape May Street
Location Harrison, New Jersey
Coordinates 40°44′12″N 74°9′1″W / 40.73667°N 74.15028°W / 40.73667; -74.15028Coordinates: 40°44′12″N 74°9′1″W / 40.73667°N 74.15028°W / 40.73667; -74.15028
Public transit Harrison (PATH station)
Owner Red Bull GmbH
Operator Red Bull GmbH
Capacity 25,000 [1]
Field size 120 × 75 yards
Surface Kentucky Bluegrass
Broke ground September 19, 2006
Opened March 20, 2010
Construction cost $200 million[2]
($220 million in 2017 dollars[3])
Architect Rossetti Architects[4]
Structural engineer Paulus, Sokolowski & Sartor, LLC.[4]
Services engineer URS Corporation[5]
General contractor Hunter Roberts Construction Group[4]
New York Red Bulls (MLS) (2010–present)
New York Red Bulls II (USL) (2015-2016)

Red Bull Arena is a soccer-specific stadium in Harrison, New Jersey that is the home of the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer.[6] Featuring a partial transparent roof, it is on the waterfront across the Passaic River from Newark.

Initial planning[edit]

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.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9][10] 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.[11]

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." [12] 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.[13]

Red Bull buyout and new design[edit]

Aerial view of the arena and downtown Newark in the background.

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.[14][15]

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 Detroit 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.[16][17] It looks similar to the Hypo-Arena in Klagenfurt, Austria in appearance.[18] The stadium has 30 luxury suites and 1,000 premium seats.[19]


Red Bull Arena under construction in Harrison, New Jersey on March 10, 2009.

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.[20] On February 20, 2008, a CAN$28–$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.[21] Total project size is estimated at 9,000 tons of structural steel.[citation needed]

The first steel girder was put in place on August 19, 2008.[22] The arena was reported by the New York Times to be 55% complete on March 27, 2009.[17] The last major beam for the roof was topped out on April 14, 2009.[23] Enclosure panels started going up on May 7, 2009.[24] The first section of the Red Bull Arena roof was completed in August 2009.[25] The underground drainage and turf-heating system installation began on August 18, 2009.[26]

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.[27] 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.[28] Joel Lindpere became the first player to score a goal at Red Bull Arena.[29]

In December 2010 the stadium was named Project of the Year (Sports/Recreation) by Engineer News Record – New York.[30]

Red Bull Arena internal view

Tax controversy[edit]

In 2010, the Red Bulls refused to pay a $1.4 million property tax levy to the town of Harrison, claiming that the stadium was exempt from paying taxes.[31] The team also refused to pay a $1.3 million for 2011. While the team did eventually pay the back taxes, it subsequently filed a lawsuit to have the payments reimbursed by the town, claiming the stadium was exempt from local taxes.[32]

On June 30, 2012, the Tax Court of New Jersey ruled that Harrison did have the right to tax both Red Bull Arena and the land underneath it and denied the team's claim for reimbursement.[33][34] This decision was upheld by an appellate court in May 2014.[35] The Red Bulls appealed to the state Supreme Court, who in October 2014 agreed to hear the case.[36] The Supreme Court referred the parties to mediation.

A settlement was proposed in which the Hudson County Improvement Authority would take over ownership of the land and stadium and enter into a lease agreement with the team, using the lease payments to give Harrison an annual PILOT (Payment In Lieu of Taxes) tied to the Consumer Price Index.[37] The settlement was approved by the Harrison Town Council and mayor on March 16, 2016.[38]

On July 14, 2016, the Red Bulls and town agreed to a revised settlement, in which the stadium and land will be turned over to the Hudson County Improvement Authority. The Red Bulls will pay an annual rental of $1.3 million, escalated annually based on the Consumer Price Index, of which $1.115 million will go to the town of Harrison. The lease agreement will be in place through 2038, with team options through 2058. At the end of the lease term, ownership of the stadium will revert to the town. This agreement must be finalized by the end of 2016.[39]



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.[40] The stadium also hosted an exhibition between Ecuador and Colombia in October 2010. The game drew a sellout crowd of 25,000.[41]

In addition, Red Bull Arena hosted the 2011 MLS All-Star Game on July 27 versus Manchester United.[42]

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.[43][44][45]

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

On June 20, 2013, the United States women's national soccer team played an international friendly against the South Korea women's national football team. It was in the Red Bull Arena that United States forward Abby Wambach scored four goals, beating Mia Hamm's record for most international goals scored ever, male or female.

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.[46] The 2012 Big East Men's Soccer Tournament was also held at Red Bull Arena.

On July 28, 2012, Red Bull Arena hosted the Trophée des champions, a soccer game 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 2–2. The match was organized by Ligue de Football Professionnel.

The New York Red Bulls II of the United Soccer League had played their home games at Red Bull Arena from 2015 to 2016 as the team will move to Montclair State University's MSU Soccer Park at Pittser Field starting in the 2017 Season.[47]

Major International soccer matches[edit]

Rugby Union[edit]

In addition to soccer, the arena has also been the host of several rugby union matches

Churchill Cup[edit]

All three finals of the 2010 Churchill Cup were held at The Red Bull Arena.[62]

year Date Winner Result Runner Up Match
2010 June 19  Russia 38-19  Uruguay Bowl Final
June 19  France A 24-10  United States Plate Final
June 19 England England Saxons 38-18  Canada Cup Final

English Premiership[edit]

It was announced on October 27, 2015 that London Irish would play their home clash against Saracens in the Aviva Premiership at the Red Bull Arena on March 12, 2016. This marked the first time an English premiership rugby match had been played overseas. The timing and location were selected to coincide with St. Patrick's Day festivities in an area were there is a large Irish influence.[63]

The game was televised live across the US on NBCSN and on BT Sport in the UK and Ireland[64]

The Planned game in 2017 which was also to be hosted by London Irish did not take place due to Irish's relegation to the Green King IPA Championship. However, subject to league status, London Irish will likely return in 2018.[65]

Year Date Television Home team Result Away Team Tournament Attendance
2016 March 12 NBC England London Irish 16–26[66] England Saracens Aviva Premiership 14,811


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


The stadium can be reached via the Harrison station on the Port Authority Trans-Hudson system known as the PATH, and from Newark Penn Station and New Jersey Transit's Newark Broad Street stations.[67][68] The nearby Jackson Street Bridge crosses the Passaic River to the Ironbound neighborhood in Newark.


  1. ^ "Red Bull Arena -- Facts and Figures". 2014. Retrieved June 4, 2014. 
  2. ^ Giase, Frank (February 26, 2007). "Red Bulls: MacDonald Strives to Fulfill a Town's Tradition". The Star-Ledger. Newark. Retrieved October 18, 2011. 
  3. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c Wood, Debra (April 1, 2010). "Red Bulls Start the 2010 Season in a New Venue Built by Hunter Roberts". New York Construction. McGraw Hill. Retrieved October 19, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Red Bull Soccer Stadium". Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
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  13. ^ "Stadium Facts". Retrieved March 12, 2012. 
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  35. ^ "RED BULL ARENA, INC v. TOWN OF HARRISON". Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division. Retrieved 5 May 2016. 
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  37. ^ Leir, Ron. "Settlement: team stays, pays PILOT". The Observer Online. Retrieved 5 May 2016. 
  38. ^ Leir, Ron. "Still no Red Bull settlement". The Observer Online. Retrieved 5 May 2016. 
  39. ^ Lier, Ron. "Town scores Red Bull revenues". The Observer Online. Retrieved 1 August 2016. 
  40. ^ Lewis, Michael (May 23, 2010). "Turkey Tops Czech Republic at New York Red Bull Arena". Daily News. New York. Retrieved January 20, 2010. 
  41. ^ "Colombia Beats Ecuador 1–0 in Friendly". USA Today. Associated Press. October 8, 2010. Retrieved January 20, 2010. 
  42. ^ Bondy, Filip (July 28, 2011). "Manchester United's 4-0 Romp Over MLS All-Stars More Proof U.S. Pro Soccer Not Up to Snuff". Daily News. New York. Retrieved July 28, 2011. 
  43. ^ "New York Red Bulls announce Harrison, Kearny soccer games on Oct. 8 at Red Bull Arena". The Jersey Journal. Jersey City. September 7, 2011. Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  44. ^ "The boys soccer report: News and notes". The Record. Hackensack. October 5, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
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  46. ^ "Harrison's Red Bull Arena will host Big East men's soccer championship in November". August 18, 2011. Retrieved September 13, 2011. 
  47. ^ "New York Red Bulls II Make Montclair State University Home; Remainder of 2016 USL Schedule to be played at Red Bull Arena". Retrieved May 10, 2016. 
  48. ^ "2011 MLS All-Star Recap". 
  49. ^ "SERBIA VS. JAMAICA 2 - 1". 
  50. ^ "Serbia down Jamaica 2-1 at Red Bull Arena". 
  51. ^ "MNT vs. Turkey: Highlights - June 1, 2014". 
  52. ^ "Greece edges Bolivia 2-1 in World Cup warm-up". 
  53. ^ "Red Bulls 2, FAS 0". 
  54. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  55. ^ "Paris Saint-Germain vs. ACF Fiorentina". 
  56. ^ "Game Report: New York Red Bulls vs Chelsea". 
  57. ^ "New York Red Bulls vs. Chelsea". 
  58. ^ "BRAZIL VS. COSTA RICA 1 - 0". 
  59. ^ "COLOMBIA VS. PERU 1 - 1". 
  60. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  61. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  62. ^ [1] Archived June 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  63. ^ "London Irish Aviva Premiership Rugby match in USA". London Irish. Retrieved 27 October 2015. 
  64. ^ "Aviva Premiership Rugby Going Live on NBC Sports in America". London Irish. London Irish. Retrieved 7 March 2016. 
  65. ^ "London Irish and Saracens make flying start in the United States.". Guardian. Guardian News and Media Ltd. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 
  66. ^ "Match Report: London Irish 16 Saracens 26: Aviva Premiership Rugby". Aviva Premiership. Premier Rugby. 
  67. ^ "Transportation HUB - NYC Map". New York Red Bulls. Retrieved March 12, 2012. 
  68. ^ [2] Archived April 16, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Giants Stadium
Home of the
New York Red Bulls

Succeeded by