Sweaty men playing with balls? Red Bull Arena in NJ!



Not too long ago I was able to experience my first pro soccer game, and even though I have never been a big fan, I was surprised at how much fun I had at the new Red Bull Arena. Who knew that I would enjoy watching sweaty men run around playing with balls?

Wait, what?

Even though a few years old now the 25,000 seat arena itself is still shiny and new. Walking around you almost expect to suddenly breathe in that brand new car smell. Bathrooms are large and very clean. Concessions are everywhere. Also, there are many beer stands that feature “beers of the world” and other domestic brews. Why spend $9 on a Coors or Bud when you can get a Stiegl Lager, Stella, Red Stripe, Blue Moon, Landshark, Becks, Heineken, and Newcastle among others. Food is the basic hamburger, hot dog, chicken finger variety with a few stands around for tacos, nachos, and other specialty foods. French fries are quite tasty though and seasoned. Since soccer is such an international game you would think they would offer a bit more worldly delicacies than the standard stadium dreck fare, right?


Getting here is pretty easy, as the PATH train from NYC heads right over to the Harrison stop and it’s a short stroll to the stadium. As we arrived a bit early we were able to walk around and explore. The view of the field is amazing. There is pretty much not a bad seat in the house. Lots of legroom too. This is a state of the art soccer stadium. Video screens at each end. Great sound system. Rowdy and fun fan sections for each team playing drums and singing fight songs. Open air stadium based on the European model with a roof that extends only over the seating, but leaves it open above the actual playing field. Definitely more fun to see a game in person rather than on tv. It actually goes by pretty fast. Not sure on all the rules but it was easy to pick up. It was a good game that ended in a tie after “extra time” was added on and the Red Bulls blew it. Oh well, everyone goes home happy as no one lost. As exciting as a 1-1 game can be.

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There are some cons though. Now here is where I got a little pissed. All the credit card machines were not working during the first half of the game. With the ridiculous prices of beer, food, and water here paying with cash will wipe you out. Especially for those with families in tow. Yes, even at soccer everything is overpriced. At least they got it working by half time. The counter staff at the concessions have to be some of the slowest I have ever encountered at any pro sports arena I have been to. Also, where the heck are the water fountains? The stadium is basically in nowhere’s land in Harrison NJ in a sparse field that is a short walk from the PATH station. There really is nothing else out here. You almost expect to see tumbleweeds roll by. The PATH train station here was never meant to accommodate sports events and it is a mob scene trying to go home. What a mess. A definite renovation is needed of this whole station entrance and more ticket kiosks are a must.


Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at this great little stadium. The fans are fun and supportive, the stadium is clean and new, the actual trip by PATH train is cheap and quick back to NYC, and the tickets for a game are actually pretty inexpensive. Seems like Goldstar and other discount event sites constantly offer special ticket deals. I will definitely go back to see a few more games here soon.

Futbol, Footie, Soccer. Whatever you want to call it. I was the nut job that actually played goalie in high school for one season. At least I didn’t have to run around too much. Took too many balls to the face before I quit. Oh myyyyyy!



Red Bull Arena – http://www.redbullarena.us/


24 thoughts on “Sweaty men playing with balls? Red Bull Arena in NJ!”

  1. I’ve never been to a soccer match but think it would be fun to go sometime.

    It’s cool you were able to get such a range of beer but you’d think the food would have been better. They need to have some fish and chips!

    1. Hey Emily!

      Definitely go see a pro game once. It’s really different from other sports. The fans are really into it, and it’s better to see live.

      Mmmm…….fish & chips. One of my favs! Need that malt vinegar too.

  2. Soccer is very popular here in South Africa and as hubby is the Chief Operating Officer for the FNB Stadium (soccer city stadium), I get to watch loads of matches and frequent the stadium often. Glad you have some of the same problems as we have here – credit card machines not working, being served too slowly being some of the many problems we experience too.

    1. Hey Lanthie!

      Wow – that is pretty amazing! I bet the games and crowd are awesome to experience over there. That part of the world loves soccer.

      Funny to see you have the same problems over there too with attending games. World we live in now I suppose.

  3. That sucks about the cash machines. I hate how much money everything is at sports stadiums. It just costs too much money to eat! I’m glad that the actual game was good though!

    1. Hey Ann!

      Seeing a game live is fun. Paying for all the food and drink is not. All sports stadiums here in the NY area are a ripoff. Just the way it is now.

    1. Hey Jules!

      That is so cool. You’re a soccer family. Does he still play or is he retired?

      I enjoy seeing it in person rather than on TV. The pace seems faster live and the fans are really into it. I played for a bit then left it.

  4. I admit I haven’t been to NYC in a while, but next time I go back I’m going to have a whole list of new places to see and things to try. {{adding soccer to the list}}.

    1. Hey Karen!

      Keep reading my blog and Yelp reviews! I have a ton of places to recommend. More on the way! Glad you like reading my suggestions!

  5. LOL – my son wants to play soccer in the fall instead of football. He’s never played football and he hasn’t played soccer since he was four. He’s a gentle giant that doesn’t want to get tackled. I wonder how long he’s going to be feeling soccer after he takes one to the face.

    So how much would a Blue Moon and an order of french fries set me back? Make that’s two Blue Moons because I’m not driving.

    1. Hey Kenya!

      Tell him to watch soccer games – there is tackling in it too usually with your legs getting whacked. Plus, it’s all running, all game. You never see a fat soccer player! If he likes to run he might like soccer. I played one season and bailed on it.

      Those beers and food would take about $25 out of your wallet. It’s crazy!

  6. Hi Phil,

    Glad to hear you enjoyed the game. I tend to call this “football”, the ball actually connects with the foot for the majority of the game and it seems appropriate. I detest the name “soccer” and quite a few of us Brits do. It is not appropriate and unfitting for the sport which is the real football.

    Don’t get me wrong, I really like American Football too. I was hooked the first time I saw Vick play for the Falcons. I will always call it “American Football” and if an American asks if I like football I will naturally awesome they mean the world version of the sport.

    Overpriced refreshments in a stadium is standard fare the world over I suppose. Captive audience and little you can do about it. Shame about the credit cards too.

    Are you a fan of the game now?

    1. Hey Guy!

      I enjoy watching it live. Faster pace and the fans really make it a great experience. I am a fan but still enjoy sports like hockey, baseball, and American football a bit more. Just call me a Yank!

      Yeah, prices at stadiums are ridiculous for drink and food. You would think the stuff is made of gold for what they charge now!

      I did play on the college Rugby team I attended – now that was a sport!

  7. I’ve never been to a professional soccer match either. It actually appeals to me more than football. Constant motion. And forget about baseball. Though you can catch up on your sleep during a game.

    I’ve never heard of Harrison, NJ.

    1. Hey Lauren!

      I just go to baseball games for the beer and peanuts. It is fun at night though and a way to sit back and relax for a few hours. Soccer is non stop running, but hardly any scoring.

      I did not know where Harrison was either. Still no reason to go there otherwise. Like a lot of New Jersey! (only joking NJ readers) 🙂

  8. Looks like so much fun, I Love Soccer! Soccer fields are pretty much where we spent life traveling all over with our youngest daughter Alex for years before she switched to field hockey. Men’s professional soccer is so much fun, fast moving, although they tend to a bit of melodrama on field. I admit to favoring the Women, especially Olympic Soccer. Alex caught not one but two balls at the Women’s World Cup when they played at the Meadowlands in New Jersey years back. She has some great autographs of male and female players too. Fun Post! Thanks.

    1. Hey Peggy!

      I really enjoyed seeing a soccer match live. The stadium is really nice.

      What? Are you saying the men are prima donna actors faking it when an opposing player gets near them? 😉

      Sounds like you and your family are really into it. Very cool.

Feel free to comment! We all have opinions!