- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On April 30, 2009
- 7 Comments
- Geoff Reid, Red Bull Arena
Editor’s Note: Geoff Reid appears on WVHooligan every week. He’s back for the second time this week to give his take on the New York Red Bulls’ ownership and why it’s a good thing. Feel free to leave Geoff a note below with your thoughts on his take here.
There has been a lot of press in the last few months about the New York Red Bulls and a lot of it being good news.
Red Bull Arena is 10 years overdue, but finally going to be a reality by first kick 2010. The club had itís most successful season to date last year by making the MLS Cup final for the first time and it looks as if the club is headed in the right direction. This franchise has been through itís ups and downs to put it nicely since 1996. With the new stadium coming together itís even got me very excited about the future of the club and the league in general. So I decided to start some digging on the history of the team on and off the pitch to get a better idea of things.
The turning point for the club was in 2006 when Red Bull became the owners and took over from AEG. This was the best move for the club and the league at the time and it still is the case today. At the time, AEG owned over half of the clubs and the reason why the league still exists today and made it through the early part of this decade was because of them. This is the fourth season in which Red Bull has been the owners and the stadium will be completed by the start of the fifth season under the energy drink corporation. This can only be classed as a massive achievement especially after the back and forth local politics that were played prior to ground breaking and even after that. What also is amazing is that Red Bull the company is covering the whole cost for the stadium and tax payers are not paying one cent! Performances on the pitch have got much better also and it seems the club now has ambition that it was clearly lacking during the MetroStars years.
All this is tremendous news for the longtime suffering fans of this club who have stuck by the team since day one. As I now quote Peter Griffin, what really grinds my gears is reports from a few years ago shortly after the takeover of Red Bull that a certain portion of fans were going to boycott the club because they believed the club became corporate sell outs. Sure they re-branded the logo, changed the name to Red Bulls and re-designed the kit. Why is that a big deal? The history of the club is still intact even though that should have been erased too being full of mediocrity.
If anything, the fans who did boycott should be thanking Red Bull for re-branding the whole club. The MetroStars was one of the worst names for a team anyway, so that was thrown in the bin where it deserved. We all lost count how many times the club tried to re-brand itself as the MetroStars with kits when at one point it looked like the players were wearing replica AC Milan jerseys with the only difference being the Metro logo in place of Milanís and Milanís sponsors replaced by the word MetroStars on the front. Not to mention the changing of the team name from New York MetroStars to NY/NJ MetroStars and then just MetroStars.
When the league first started up in 1994, they didnít want one or two clubs to dominate, however, just like any US professional sports league, the marque teams are always New York and Los Angeles. MLS was no different, especially since both were key cities in the 1994 world cup in terms of hosting games. Itís fair to say that the Galaxy lived up to expectation pre-2006 by playing in five finals and winning two of them. Canít say the same for New York. There was no way that the league was banking on DC United to be a big club and the most successful, yet it was a blessing in disguise.
Iím not a Red Bulls fan and nor am I saying I want to see them dominating and winning dynasties. Itís important that whoever plays in New York is always competing for championships consistently year in and year out. When I say previous ownership I donít mean AEG because theyíve done so much for the league and they got the stadium talk finally started with this club.
This club needs good fan support and there is plenty of soccer fans up in the NYC area. I just hope they will all come out in less then a years time in Harrison, NJ to this fantastic new stadium that has much better transportation availability compared to the swamps of Jersey.
Once the first kick of the ball takes place during first kick next season at Red Bull Arena, the ghosts of the New York Cosmos can be put to bed for good and completely destroyed when Giants Stadium gets knocked down after the new Meadowlands Stadium is done. Only then, can all the mediocrity be left in the past where it belongs and it will be all thanks to Red Bull.