Red Bulls’ new stadium takes flight

With a players’ strike narrowly averted, Major League Soccer returned at the weekend.

This is the  MLS’s 15th season and all eyes were on  New York Red Bulls’ season opener against Chicago, which took place at its spanking new 25,000 capacity stadium, the Red Bull Arena.

The arena comprises a translucent roof, 300 flat-screen TVs, 1,116 premium seats and 30 skyboxes. Modeled on the Werthersee Stadium in Austria (Red Bulls is Austrian owned), the closest seat is just 21 feet from the pitch.

Described by the MLS as among the “best small stadiums in the world,” it is hoped the $200 million venue can convert, among others, the many Portuguese and Brazilian soccer aficionados in the Newark area into Red Bulls fans.

Last year it took the franchise a month to secure its first win. This time, it came in game one with Joel Lindpere scoring the lone goal.

In other games, LA Galaxy — with Landon Donovan back in tow following his successful stint with Everton  — beat New England Revolution 1-0. Colorado Rapids overcame Chivas USA, also 1-0; Seattle Sounders beat new boys Philadelphia Union 2-0; reigning MLS champion Real Salt Lake had a comfortable 3-0 victory over San Jose; Dallas tied 1-1 with Houston; Columbus beat Toronto 2-0; and Kansas City beat DC United 4-0.


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