Harrison, 9 March 2010. In one of the more creative marketing schemes, the Red Bulls will not have one, not two, but three openings for their new, $250 million stadium, Red Bull Arena.
The Bulls will host the first soccer game at the soft opening at 4:30 p.m. Saturday when their Under-18 team hosts the U.S. U-17 National Team in Harrison, N.J. Former Colombian international and L.I. Rough Riders defender Wilmer Cabrera, who coached at B.W. Gottschee and Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association, is the U-17 coach.
"You've got to get in here and flush the toilets at the same time, sell hot dogs, turn the TVs on to make sure it all works," managing director Erik Stover said. "You don't want to have our first event, flip the switch and the power doesn't come on."
Tickets are free, but to obtain them fans must contact the team at 1-877-RBSOCCER. Full season ticket holders will get the same seats they will use all season.
On Saturday, March 20 at 6:30 p.m., the stadium's grand opening is set as the Bulls meet Santos (Brazil), the former team of Cosmos great Pele. There has been speculation that Pele would attend, but the Black Pearl demands a hefty appearance fee.
On Saturday, March 27 at 7:30 p.m., the Bulls will host the Chicago Fire in their MLS season opener. Tickets for the Santos and Fire matches are going fast, a team spokesman said.