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Leagues Cup: Toronto FC v. NYC FC at Red Bull Arena Wed. July 26, 2023

Jul 24, 2023
Toronto FC v. NYC FC July 26 2023

When it comes to elite North American soccer, it doesn't get much more exciting than a Leagues Cup matchup between Major League Soccer (MLS) teams. This year, the Leagues Cup tournament boasts a whopping 47 teams, 29 from the MLS, with teams hailing from both the United States and Canada, and 18 from the prestigious LIGA MX league in Mexico.

The Toronto FC and New York City FC, are scheduled to take against each other on Wednesday, July 26, 2023, with a  7:30 p.m. start at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.

About Toronto FC

Toronto FC is a seasoned competitor in the MLS. The team debuted in the league back in 2007 and has been a formidable force ever since. The team's home games are hosted at BMO Field, a spectacular stadium that can seat up to 30,000 to 40,000 spectators on Toronto’s waterfront at Exhibit Place.  Over the years, it has become a symbolic fortress for the club and its passionate fans. BMO is an abbreviation of Bank of Montreal.

About New York City FC

New York City FC (NYCFC) founded in 2013, is another heavyweight in the MLS. The team's primary home stadium is Yankee Stadium, which can house more than 47,000 attendees for soccer games, though the team occasionally plays home games at the Red Bull Arena. However, it's no secret that NYCFC fans do not like sharing a fellow MLS team’s stadium and prefer the familiar environs of Yankee Stadium or Citi Field and ultimately its soccer-specific stadium in New York City.

Rendering of New York City FC New Stadium Aerial View

NYCFC is in the process of constructing its soccer-specific stadium in Willets Point, an industrial neighborhood in Queens, NY right next to Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. The proposed development will reportedly seat 25,000 fans and is intended to provide a dedicated home for the team, offering a unique atmosphere tailored to soccer. The new stadium will cost 780 million dollars and be completed in 2027 in time for the MLS season.

Traffic Issues in Harrison

However, it's not all smooth sailing. Scheduled games at the Red Bulls Arena have stirred up some controversy among local Harrison residents, who have expressed frustration with traffic restrictions during games at the Red Bull Arena. Specifically, the closure of South Frank E. Rodgers Boulevard has drawn strong criticism from those living in the southern part of Harrison, including the Harrison Redevelopment Zone and new luxury apartments.

This issue was spotlighted during the International Double Header Soccer game on Independence Day, July 4, 2023, when residents were denied access to their homes and apartments due to traffic restrictions. This triggered an outcry for change, with residents criticizing Harrison NJ’s Mayor James Fife for inaction on the matter.

Purchasing Tickets

Despite these challenges, the game promises to deliver high-quality soccer action. To get a seat at the arena, fans can purchase tickets online via the official MLS website or through authorized ticket retailers.

Leagues Cup Progression

In case NYCFC advances in the Leagues Cup into the knockout round, those games will also be played at the Red Bull Arena, while if the Red Bulls progress, additional games will be added to the calendar. This means fans can look forward to even more action-packed soccer at the Red Bull Arena, even though some NYCFC fans don't hold the venue in high regard because they contend that two teams should not share a stadium as their Home stadium.  Residents of Harrison, especially those closest to the Red Bull Arena would prefer that NYCFC build and use its stadium so fewer games will be held at the Red Bull Arena.

The Leagues Cup clash between Toronto FC and NYCFC promises to be a thrilling encounter. While logistical and traffic issues persist, the anticipation for the match remains high. As the teams prepare to face off on the field, off the field, it is clear that discussions about the future of Red Bull Arena and its impact on the local community are far from over.

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