I had the pleasure to go to New York City last week and got to go to the Sporting KC game vs. the Red Bulls and cheer my head off in The Cauldron. The 266 member strong Cauldron who was at Red Bull Arena all received free tickets to the game thanks to Sporting KC, who offers a free ticket to those who send in a request to sit in the visiting supporters section. It’s an amazing program that the team does and it’s such a great way to give back to the fans.
Anyway, I decided to take in the sights and stay with some friends throughout the city. To get to the game, I traveled from Queens to Harrison, NJ using public transport. Now, I have had discussions about the state of soccer in New York City and the difficulties of traveling to Red Bull Arena and now that next year, the introduction of NYCFC may hurt attendance for Red Bulls games. Now that I have experienced trying to get across one of the busiest cities in the world to attend a soccer game, I can say without a doubt that a lot of people living in the city will be crossing over to NYCFC.
I left Queens at 5:30 with my friends to get to Red Bull Arena for a 7:45 kickoff. Took one train into Manhattan from Queens and then transferred to another train to get to the World Trade Center in order to take the PATH train to Harrison. Finding out that the WTC stop is closed on weekends, something that many Red Bull fans experienced right there, we had to walk to the nearest stop on the PATH. After going through almost all the stops on the PATH and another transfer, we finally get to Red Bull Arena at 7:30. Now because of the closure of the WTC stop, I took that into consideration and would probably take around an hour and a half to get to Red Bull Arena. To put it in perspective, according to Google Maps, it takes an hour and forty-two minutes to get from Red Bull Arena to PPL Park in Chester, PA, 104 miles away. Now there are a lot of great Red Bull fans and I know there will be some who will stick with their Red Bulls and that’s great, but except for Staten Island and New Jersey obviously, I can’t see too many people from the other four boroughs being Red Bull fans and will move over to NYCFC next season mainly because it’ll be so much easier to get to. Yeah, it’ll be tough to get to the Bronx from the other boroughs but let me tell you, I took the train from Brooklyn to Yankee Stadium for a stadium tour. Getting to Yankee Stadium is a helluva lot easier and faster than getting to Red Bull Arena that’s for sure.
Onto the game, well you saw what happened. I don’t need to get into too much detail except that Thierry Henry scored a very beautiful goal. Sporting Kansas City lost 2-1 and lost their fourth straight game. This kind of slump has been unusual for SKC in recent years and it’s causing the most optimistic person to feel a little hesitant about this team will perform over the next few months. This game against Chivas tonight is a must win in order to get back on the right track.
Anyway, as much fun as I was having, even though SKC lost, I couldn’t be too upset with the game. I got a free ticket to an MLS game, I got to hang out with hundreds of friends, I got a free beer from The Cauldron as I got there and I got to sing my heart out with all of them for 90 minutes. The result may not have been what we as Sporting fans wanted, but I got to be with some of the best fans in MLS and, win or lose, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
(image courtesy of Andy Lundberg)