Alright, we’re actually doing this.
AD San Carlos’s sporting director Gustavo Perez came out and announced the 2nd leg of their CONCACAF Champions League tie against New York City FC will be played at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. Perez was quoted saying, “They wanted to avoid playing there because of the rivalry they have with Red Bull, but in the end they had no choice.” An official statement from City is expected to come out later today, but multiple high-end sources on Twitter have confirmed the report.
Source confirms what Perez already publicly stated: NYCFC will host their Round of 16 CCL match against San Carlos at Red Bull Arena.— Sam Stejskal (@samstejskal) February 5, 2020
An announcement could come later today. Expect NYCFC to offer enticements to fans to get them out to Harrison. https://t.co/J6ktuqJgAE
The availability of Yankee Stadium and Citi Field were always going to be up in the air, but I’m guessing they couldn’t come to an agreement to play elsewhere in the Five Boroughs within a reasonable time frame. So it has now become the worst case scenario — we’re playing in the home of our rivals.
I can’t give a Red Bulls perspective on this, but this has to be embarrassing for them. Allowing City to occupy Red Bull Arena for a fixture of this importance has to suck. Not to mention, the idea of the South Ward filled with NYCFC supporters has to make them sick to their stomachs. More importantly, though, this is shambolic and utterly EMBARRASSING for NYCFC.
ARE YOU SERIOUS GUYS?!? The brand has been from the beginning that this is the first and only club in the five boroughs. This is New York City’s club and not another New York sports franchise based in New Jersey. This move from the club is sticking a middle finger to the fans. It makes it no better then the team we make fun of for being from New Jersey.
The solution is there, BUILD A DAMN STADIUM! It’s been seven years since this club has been announced. The club announced aspirations to build a stadium and get the club out of Yankee Stadium immediately. But here we are, about to enter the 2020 season in the same scenario. If you think about it, this scenario is even worse. The club had already announced games will be played at Citi Field and one has to assume the same will happen in the playoffs again.
San Carlos’ (NYCFC’s CCL opponent) Sporting Director, Gustavo Pérez, says #NYCFC will play their home CCL match at Red Bull Arena— MLS Buzz (@MLS_Buzz) February 5, 2020
Pérez: “They wanted to avoid playing there because of the rivalry they have with Red Bull, but in the end they had no choice.”https://t.co/gJjdl9sLAc
A quick shoutout to MLS Buzz (@MLS_Buzz) on Twitter for these numbers. Attendance since the inaugural season has dipped 27%. The dip in attendance has also taken down season ticket sales. Let’s face a reality here — how long does this club need to be homeless until we give up on the dream of a stadium in the Five Boroughs? How long until — and I’m going to say it — we look at stadium sites in New Jersey? The longer this goes on the more I wonder, how can this club survive in its current state?
Am I being dramatic? Honestly, I don’t think so.
This is flat out embarrassing for the club and the league. The move to Harrison for this game is a microcosm of the bigger picture. This club will run itself into the ground. It’s becoming embarrassing to associate with this club that so many of us have poured our hard-earned dollars into. Enough is enough and if anyone in the club is for some reason reading this, figure it out or that 27% will dip more and more until the time is up.
If you plan to make the trip to Harrison, the game is scheduled to be played on February 28. The trip isn’t too bad (at least it’s not East Hartford, CT). The Red Bulls drew 3,417 people last year in their round of 16 fixture in this same competition, so it will be pretty funny to see if NYCFC can draw more then the Red Bulls did in their own stadium.
Either way, I’m pissed and I hope I’m not the only one. We sit 15 days away from the start of the CONCACAF Champions League down in Costa Rica. Figure it out, City. Before your time is up.