Hudson River Rivalry Part Deux: A Personal Moment

Fantastic crowd, fantastic atmosphere, but not a fantastic building
by Daniel Feuerstein   |   Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Branded Bulls – column on Red Bull NY (RBNY – NYRB) & the New Jersey area soccer scene.

It is a pure joy to finally see professional soccer played within the five boroughs of New York City and not in a once-a-year friendly. It was a fantastic day to see 2 sides that are representing NYC going at it with each other, with bragging rights are on the line. And it was encouraging to see fans who have been apart of this league since the beginning and upstarts who want to prove they belong in the league.

We saw 48,000-plus fill Yankee Stadium for the 2nd game of three in the Hudson River Rivalry. But this day was a little bit more personal for me. Before getting back into supporting or writing about soccer, I was born in the Bronx and grew up a New York Yankees baseball fan and still support them to this day. I used to drive to NYY games with my father on weeknights or take the subway during day games on the weekends.

I went to as many baseball games as possible and always had a magical feeling that the Yankees were always going to win. The emotions nearly got to me inside the new stadium on the north side of E. 161st Street. Thankfully, I got the opportunity to walk inside the press box and see a great view of the illustrious NYY stadium.

When you are from the neighborhood and you need 7 to 8 subway stations to get to Yankee Stadium for a ballgame, the ride is absolutely fantastic and you feel like you are walking on air and not concrete. But the matter at hand was not a Yankees game, it was to see this upstart side in NYCFC taking on the New York Red Bulls for 3 points and bragging rights on the line. 

After two hours of fantastic NYC soccer being played and after all it was said and done, the Red Bulls have taken the first 2 games of this series and we will wait and see what happens when they return to Red Bull Arena in early August — if they can take the broom and sweep the series. But after everything that happened on that day and after everything that transpired as a great success, sadly there is one major glare that needs to be fixed now. 

That glare is seeing this fantastic match being played inside a baseball stadium that is not made for soccer, and the continued growth of Major League Soccer on the stadium side of things has started to hit a snag. Seeing 3/4s of the infield dirt covered and how small the field was is a complete disgrace. I don't care if MLS Commissioner Don Garber had a deal with former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg to get the land to create a stadium, he was leaving office and informed him and the owners of Manchester City that Bill De Blasio was going to officially agree to the project and didn't because they asked for tax breaks from the city until 2044. 

If the owner of Etihad Airlines is such a wealthy person and can afford to run Manchester City, Melbourne City as well as NYCFC, he can definitely open his personal vault and shell out the cash to start making a stadium right now and pay New York City the money that they should get so that the fans can get a stadium they truly deserve. Now it looks like they will be staying in the big ballpark in the Bronx until they get something within the five boroughs -- or dare I say that Westchester County, which is the first County outside NYC and just north of the Bronx that has some room and could build a stadium right now.

But once again this city got some great action this past Sunday at Yankee Stadium. Let's hope for a lot more in the future.

Daniel FEUERSTEIN

Nationality:
USA
College:
Ramapo College
Club Domestic:
Red Bull NY
Club Foreign:
PSG, ManU, Maccabbi Haifa
Original New York Cosmos fan, reborn soccer fan since 1994 USA World Cup. Feuerstein’s Fire podcast host. Covers NY Red Bulls for SN, and promotes all levels of American soccer from both sides of issues.
DANIEL'S SPONSORS