The club continues in its aim to improve game-day experience with a state-of-the-art game lounge that turns into a nightclub following games.HARRISON N.J. -- Celebrities and athletes from other sports have been making their presence known at Red Bull Arena through three home games so far this season.
Filmmaker Spike Lee attended the team's home opener and the likes of swimsuit model Kate Upton and New York Jets kicker Nick Folk have all been spotted at the stadium. In some ways, the soccer-specific stadium has its own version of Madison Square Garden's celebrity row during Knicks games.
"It's fun, I love coming to soccer games," Folk said to Goal.com. "I grew up playing soccer. It's something that I really enjoy being a part of and I'm thankful to the Red Bulls for having me here, it's a lot of fun.
"Red Bull Arena is a great soccer facility and it's a very intimate setting. The crowd is right on top of you. I love coming here, it's a great time"
When the $200 million Red Bull Arena opened in 2010, it was expected to spark a revitalization of Harrison that was going to include a shopping center and several residential areas. Due to the recession, however, many of those plans had been delayed, leaving the sparkling arena surrounded by primarily abandoned warehouses.
But over the the last few months, area has started to change with construction in on one of the empty lots that is looking at approximately 300 rental apartments as well as retail space to be available next year. On a different lot, incremental parking is now available as well.
While the neighboring lots are starting to come to life, the team has been aggressive in trying to enhance the game-day experience and be able to provide fans with extra incentives to arrive earlier to the state-of-the-art arena.
The Red Bulls have put drinking zones and exhibits around the stadium. The team also has a new membership program that allows for cashless transactions and members only areas. Vice President of Business Operations Chris Heck reveals that there is more in store.
"We are looking at opening an additional functional spaces in and around the arena," he said. "One of them will be a membership club for season ticket holders and members. It will be a private club that people can come to during games and it will be a nightclub after the games as well"
The members club is similar to what Sporting Kansas City has in its night lounge. It will allow fans to celebrate victories while players from the team will be scheduled to attend after games, enhancing the experience.
In addition to the night lounge, Red Bulls Arena also has several other developments. The stadium will play host to French Champions Trophy, the opening match of French soccer season between the French Cup winner and the Ligue 1 champions. The team is also expected to sign a third Designated Player with midfielders Stephen Ireland and Michael Ballack leading the rumors. Signing either player should boost things significantly.