Sunday, May 22, 2011

#5 Go See the (NY) Red Bulls Before They Ruin It.

I don’t have many fond memories of the old Meadowlands. This may be because I’m not a Devils, Giants, Jets, or Nets fan— but having to go to a swamp to see a game may also have something to do with it. There was a time, though, when it was perfect. Take your mind back to the late ‘80s to early ‘90s, when I was around 12 to 16 years old. That glorious but awkward age when you and friends go out on weekend nights, yet had no money and limited to where the parents would drive you. Despite most of my friends being Rangers fans (I’m a Caps fan, don’t ask), we all played hockey and loved going to games. Upper deck Devils tickets were only $7 if you were 14 or younger. A group of us would get dropped off, buy those $7 seats, and then sneak around the lower deck until we found the best unclaimed seats in the house. As the Devils continued to suck, the system was flawless. Even when we got too old this was easily fixed by bringing my friend's younger cousin along to buy our seats. There was never a crowd, there was never a problem.

So what happened? 1994. Devils vs. Rangers - Matteau! Matteau! Rangers got the cup but the Devils got good (F Brodeur and their dynasty btw). Crowds started growing, ticket prices went up, and security guards got clever. In other words, they ruined it.

Today, I have season tickets to the Red Bulls in Newark/Harrison, NJ— in fact, 7th row seats that cost less than $25 each. I park on the street (for free), I go with friends, big group or small, or my niece, etc. It’s pretty perfect and the games are exciting (yes, I am using the adjective “exciting” and talking about soccer – and since I watch hockey and not baseball, it means something).

Trust me, go to a game. If you know me personally, I can buy additional tickets at a discount. You will have a good time but don’t hesitate, because it will get ruined! This league has come a long way from the Metro Stars, celebrity players are following Beckham to the league-- and I have no doubt that next year or the year after, my cheap ass season tickets will become just too damn expensive to keep.

One bonus to seeing the Red Bulls is being able to sit down to a good meal before or after the game at any of Ironbound Newark’s infamous Portuguese, Brazilian, or Spanish restaurants. Don’t know where to go? Don’t worry, we will have a Newark Ironbound blog entry coming soon.

All the pictures seen here were taken from my actual seat. Section 104. What up “South Ward”? Go Red Bulls!!!



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