The New York Red Bulls’ expansive training facility is about to earn a larger footprint.
According to the Hanover Eagle,the town Planning Board approved expansion of the facility to now include a fourth full sized grass practice field which will include a 700-seat bleacher section, public restrooms, a press box, a scoreboard, field lighting, two ticket booths and a 7,500 squarefoot building which will include, amongst other things, lockerroom space.
The expansion is part of the Red Bulls’ initiative to house both an eventual and sought-after USL Pro reserve side as well as their Academy program. Their investment is a reported $2 million.
“When we see something we like we don’t hesitate,” Mayor Ronald Francioli told the Eagle.
Petke addressed the possibility of the Red Bulls U-23 NPSL side transforming into an eventual USL Pro affiliate — an idea he hopes comes to pass.
“As far as I know, it’s still very much in discussion,” he told reporters on Tuesday. “It’s definitely not finalized yet or even guaranteed to happen. It’s definitely not a given. A lot of things go in to it, it’s not that easy. Red Bull has to invest a ton of money into doing something like this, so that’s above my pay grade, those decisions.
“I give them my input,” he said. “I think it would be great, but I think a lot of things would be great without having to fork over the money. So at the end of the day, it’s going to be both a financial decision, and a decision that’s based on if it’s best for us to do that to develop talent and to have more players and better players involved. At the end of the day I’m confident Red Bull will make the final decision.”
For Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh, the expansion represents a chance to give the Red Bull Academy a permanent home.
“The academy had nowhere to go from one day to the next. We were all over the place,” Roxburgh told EOS last December. “The academy will have now it’s own house – it’s own place.
“They are part of the family. They are part of the New York Red Bulls family and we want to make sure they are integrated.”
Work within the training facility is expected to be completed prior to the 2015 season.