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Soccer Weekend at Red Bull Arena Sat. & Sun. Apr. 28 & 29, 2024

Apr 24, 2024
Red Bull College Night Cover

Soccer fans are gearing up for an action-packed weekend at Red Bull Arena with back-to-back games on April 27 and 28, 2024. The Vancouver Whitecaps FC and the New York Red Bulls will face off on Saturday in what promises to be a thrilling match. The excitement continues into Sunday when Racing Louisville from the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) meets NJ/NY Gotham FC.

Special Promotions and Fan Engagement

Saturday's game is particularly special as it is College Night, featuring a Bucket Hat Giveaway for the first 5,000 fans. The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m., but fans are known to start arriving by 3 p.m. to enjoy the pre-game atmosphere and activities.  Some of the activities like loud music were among the complaints of residents that were aired out at a Harrison Police Community meeting at the Cobalt Lofts a week ago.

The Racing Louisville versus Gotham FC has a 5 p.m. start on Sunday.

Away Teams in the Spotlight

The Vancouver Whitecaps FC, founded in 2009, calls BC Place their home, boasting a seating capacity of 22,120. This team brings its rich history and competitive spirit to Harrison, ready to challenge the Red Bulls.

Sunday's competitors, Racing Louisville, established more recently in 2019, play their home games at Lynn Family Stadium, which can accommodate 15,304 fans. Their participation marks a significant event for local NWSL enthusiasts, highlighting the growing interest in women's professional soccer.

Community Concerns

The excitement around these games isn't without its challenges for residents. In a recent community policing meeting held in the Cobalt Lofts apartment building, Harrison residents from multiple local luxury apartment buildings expressed concerns about game-day disruptions, particularly traffic mismanagement and noise issues on the exterior of the stadium. The meeting, which saw significant attendance, was not widely advertised but managed to draw a significant crowd expressing quality of life issues. It was

Residents highlighted their struggles with accessing their homes and the lack of effective traffic direction by non-police personnel. "It's like being stuck in a bad comedy skit," lamented one attendee, reflecting widespread frustration over being misdirected into unnecessary detours and ending up going around in a circle.

Compounding these issues are the tailgating parties starting in the early afternoon, contributing to noise that could potentially cause health issues like tinnitus, as pointed out by a sound stage expert. Additionally, concerns about poor lighting near PATH Station tunnels and litter left by game-day crowds were also voiced.

Traffic and Safety Enhancements

In response, the Harrison Police have committed to reinforcing training for all traffic personnel, via the Hudson County Sheriff’s Department which is actually responsible for game day traffic, to recognize resident access rights during Red Bull Arena events. Moreover, suggestions for traffic management improvements, for everyday traffic improvement, such as adding a left turn on Bergen Street, better coordination of traffic lights, and officers directing traffic were discussed.

Upcoming Municipal Engagements

Some attendees noted that these issues should also be brought before the Mayor and Council, hoping for broader municipal involvement. Residents did appear at the next council meeting held on Tuesday, April 23, 2024.  Those interested in voicing their concerns or have questions of Harrison’s Mayor & Council can attend the next Mayor & Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 7, 2024, at 6:30 p.m.

While the Harrison Police Department has yet to issue a formal Traffic Bulletin for the event-filled weekend, it is anticipated shortly. As the community and fans alike prepare for a weekend of soccer, both excitement and caution are in the air, reflecting a balance between celebrating sports and ensuring community well-being.

Tickets for the Red Bull game are available from Ticketmaster.  Tickets for the Gotham FC game are also available from Ticketmaster.

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