Skip to content

The Red Bull Arena dilemma

Will the New York City FC faithful travel to New Jersey to watch their team play a “home” game?

Home away from home | Photograph by Katie Cahalin, courtesy

Last year, when New York City FC finished the season in fourth place and was scheduled to host Atlanta United in the First Round of the 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs, the club gave free tickets to season ticket holders: Opt-in for the game, and you’ll get an equal number of seats close by. NYCFC delivered the good news in an email sent two days after the final game of the season. It was a nice gesture by a club that had a terrible postseason history up to that point, and that genuinely seemed to want to fill the stands at Yankee Stadium. 

What a difference a year makes. Last Tuesday, New York City FC season ticket holders received an early-morning email containing information about the first postseason game. Because the email was sent a full five days before the end of the season, the date and time of the match were yet to be determined, and wouldn’t be settled until Decision Day matches were completed yesterday. We now know that NYCFC will host Inter Miami at Red Bull Arena on Monday, October 17, at 7 pm ET.

More disconcerting, longstanding members logged on to their ticket managers to learn that they were assigned seats that didn’t correspond to where they sat at Yankee Stadium or Citi Field. Founding members who sat in the front row were sent to the middle of a section. Season ticket holders who usually sit squarely facing the field (no small feat at Yankee Stadium) were exiled to the corners of Red Bull Arena. It felt like everybody had been downgraded.

This post is for subscribers only


Already have an account? Sign In