Sources: Red Bulls ahead of last year’s record season ticket renewal pace

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by DAVE MARTINEZ

New York City FC aren’t the only local pro soccer club enjoying record season ticket interest.

As reported by EoS last year, the New York Red Bulls set a franchise record in season ticket renewals, bringing 7,500 of their loyal fans back to the fold by the second week of September.

This year has gone even better. According to reliable sources, the Red Bulls are 500-1,000 tickets above last year’s pace — and they are not done there. With some 8,000-8,500 renewals already accounted for, the Red Bulls are projecting to secure 10,000 renewals this month in the second phase of their drive.

That achievement may come as early as this week.

The impressive season ticket tally is further vindication for the Red Bull organization — particularly in light of the beating they took from their fanbase heading into the 2015 campaign. The haphazard firing of beloved coach and club folk hero Mike Petke sparked anger amongst Red Bull fans, making way for an ugly Town Hall scene this past January. That gave birth to the #RedBullOut movement — and even influenced a billboard campaign against the franchise.

Today, things are certainly different. With the Red Bulls in first place in the Eastern Conference and in the thick of the Supporters’ Shield race, the team and fans have reconciled — most vividly displayed in an amicable Town Hall setting conducted by the club earlier this month.

The second phase of the Red Bulls’ renewal drive goes through October 16th, with fans guaranteed same seating and/or priority relocation seating, along with a red member scarf and 1,000 bonus member points.

 

  • Rip

    Hate the Red Bulls….but that’s good news for NY soccer.

    • MM

      I agree that this is good news.

      I can’t bring myself to like teams that are funded by oil money that is also funding so many other things that I don’t like. Oil money funding is true for both NYCFC and Cosmos, sad.

      • Rip

        I get what you’re saying….but you also have to remember that MLS is a revenue sharing league. So once the Sheikh Mansour’s CFG was allowed in as an owner….oil money was a part of the entire league. On the plus side….he tends to run these soccer clubs as a toy rather than a profit making business so maybe he’ll spend so much money it will slowly bleed him dry.

        • MM

          It’s a good point that I never thought about, but I still have hard time supporting such a team, what they represent and the logo on their jersey.

          I’m a RBNY season ticket holder and this year I feel like I got the best possible value for the money that I spent so I’m happy.

          Hate is never good but rivalries are great for the NY soccer and for US soccer.

          • slowleftarm

            Home games have been great for RBNY this year – 4 wins out of 4 against NYCFC and DC at home plus some other dominant performances (SJ, Toronto, NE). Good stuff! Even beat the minor leaguers 4-1.

          • Rip

            Agreed. Perhaps “hate” is a strong word….more like I enjoy the rivalry……although I would greatly appreciate if NYCFC could just beat them one friggin time, lol.

  • Cosmos before and after

    Wow i can’t believe this.
    I know mr.slowleftarm will be giving lectures to non red bull fans and nycfc and cosmos fans, but I’m really surprised.
    It’s almost like given up to a dictator. You have the fans that hate the owner and identity and the others who like the owner and identity.
    Instead of staying together and fighting together for a better new York team,the fans renew season tickets…really.
    Chivas usa 2.0 with steroids

    • MTF

      The Red Bulls aren’t going anywhere, unlike the Cosmos. And I don’t mean the Cosmos will be moving into a new stadium anytime soon. A second home game in a row for the Cosmos where the announced attendance was in the 5,000 range…which means 3,500 people physically in Shuart Stadium. I sense Cosmos 2.0 is the real Chivas 2.0.

      • Cosmos before and after

        Cosmos play in division 2. Cmon give them a break and if it wasn’t for mls or garber, they would have been in mls before red bull soda.
        Hopefully cosmos get where they want to get but they are not chivas usa 2.0
        Nycfc will only gain more fans and popularity, but red bull fans are supporting an empire, thats a rich company with a owner who just wants to market his company all over the world.
        Let’s be truthful and serious,red bull fans deserve better and if red bull would have accepted the money from the Las Vegas entrepreneur, garber would be thanking the soccer gods.
        Garber can’t kick out red bull out just like that, but he can sure ask for a rebrand.

        • 1996 New York

          I want Red Bull GmbH to sell as much as anyone but, holy **** C.b.a.a., do you have Asperger’s or something?

          Always with your fantastical hypotheticals that only apply in one direction. IF ONLY Cosmos were in MLS. IF ONLY NYCFC had their own stadium. IF ONLY the Red Bulls weren’t named after an energy drink. Don’t brush off one reality as immaterial to the team’s essence, and then obsess about another reality as damning to the team’s essence.

          How on Earth did Garber stop Cosmos from entering MLS before Red Bull? He wasn’t the Commish at the start of MLS when Pinton was having discussions with MLS, and who with the Cosmos name was having discussions with MLS when Red Bull was buying the MetroStars and Garber was Commish?

          Red Bull fans may have had an energy drink empire forced upon them, but NYCFC fans willingly chose a team that supports a Premier League team and a tyrannical Sheikh’s financial and image-laundering empire. You’ve already seen effects of that in NYCFC’s many missteps, and that will only continue, and affect their popularity.

          Your f. Cosmos have nothing to do with the real Cosmos.

          • Cosmos before and after

            Cheers buddy.
            One day mls will 3 teams in the new York area but that will be like in 10 years or 7.

        • slowleftarm

          Most fans don’t care one way or another about the name etc. Personally, I only care about results and the team has delivered on that front so far this year. I do think more could be done to improve and deepen the squad but I like where things are going at this point.

          In many of their recent games it looked like the other team didn’t have any business even being on the same field as the Red Bulls – DC, Toronto, NYCFC etc. They gave up two counterattacking goals Friday but otherwise that was as one-sided a game as you’ll see in MLS. Obviously they need to fix the defensive errors that lead to those goals but as a RBNY fan you have to be happy with this season so far, especially the last six weeks or so.

    • MM

      Sounds like you like what Cosmos and NYCFC put as logo on their jerseys, their money is actually based on a true dictatorship.

  • #RedBullShout

    No!

    This is a lie!

    We true Defenders of Metro shall storm the Arena with our plastic shields & swords in our Mike Petke jerseys & chant the name of “Donadoni!”

    This CANNOT be true!!!

    • Cosmos before and after

      No one has mentioned petke or talks about him.
      I don’t have nothing against red bull,nycfc,NY cosmos but red bull needs a rebrand.
      By the way are those jersey fans or NY fans renewing st.

      • 1996 New York

        By the way, are those NYC or Long Island people renewing Cosmos STs?

        • slowleftarm

          BTW who cares where people live if they’re willing to plunk down their money on a season ticket?

        • Cosmos before and after

          Probably LI and queens.
          I’m not going to talk around the bush.
          Cosmos play in d2, screw it and cosmos need to find a better location.
          IF……jk.
          Cheers

          • 1996 New York

            Cheers ;)

            I’ll chime in here too: #RedBullOut

    • #RedBullOut

      • Redbullfootsooldier

        #fanswhocantgetoverthenamechangeout

        • JD

          Yes!

  • Anonymous

    How about a fucking advertising budget, you Austrian tightwads?

    • slowleftarm

      Good call – they do to do a lot more on this front. Right now there appears to be basically no marketing whatsoever. I really think getting an English language radio deal would help a lot – NYCFC games are already on WFAN.

      • Pravda

        missed game last fri against Chicago b/c no ads during the week that game was on. found out late nite after the game while looking at espn news site

    • El CB

      How about the mainstream local sports TV broadcast media even acknowledging that top division club soccer even exists in NYC area. Effectively they have blacked out coverage of either RBNY or NYCFC- not even a score, let alone highlights or post game interviews. This cuts off both clubs from a substantial portion of the casual sports fan market.

      • Smith

        Channel 7 in NY almost always shows the highlights to be fair.

        • El CB

          That’s not been my experience when I have watched Ch. 7. Even If it occasionally provides a highlight, what about Chs. 2, 4, 5 (which ironically is the local Fox station, ignoring the local teams of the league that Fox Sports 1 regularly covers), 9, 11 and 55.

          • Smith

            I’ve only seen it on ABC; not the others.

      • John

        You are 100 % correct. There is very little coverage of NYCFC or RedBulls in the local media. These teams are going to have to find a way to get included in score updates, highlights on local TV, radio updates and newspapers (old media but it still works).

        I don’t know if there is a bias towards soccer or maybe they dont think enough people care but MLS needs to overcome this issue.

        • El CB

          It’s principally soccerphobia. The knuckleheads who make the sports editorial decisions principally relegate coverage to football, baseball , basketball and the Rangers because that is what they grew up with. Despite the great interest in the men’s and women’s World Cup (which they had no choice but to give at least minimal coverage), attendance exceeding 29k average for NYCFC in a league averaging over 21K, they seem to think MLS is on same level as frigging Arena football or MLL.

  • Anonymous

    How do they get season ticket holders to show up regularly?

    Some kind of penalty for a no-show?

    Empty seats blow

    • El CB

      The lack of Saturday night games to accommodate the horrible Unimas coverage on Friday (I believe 3 RBNY home games fell into this 7 PM slot), reschedule of games to Midweek dates to accommodate CCL teams (like Montreal) and scheduling of Sunday national games for ESPN (at the ludicrous time of 5 PM) has something to do with the no-shows and reduced individual game ticket sales.

      • slowleftarm

        Weeknight games hurt attendance and there 5 this year. I don’t think 5pm on Sunday is that bad but Saturday nights are best.

  • El CB

    Regardless of the renewals, the fact is that RBNY will probably not even average 20K this season and, even that is misleadingly high since it includes their two games against NYCFC, their only sell outs. They could not even sell out their game against the first place DC, though the game had a great impact on RBNY’s pursuit of a top 2 finish in the Division and a possible Supporters Shield. This is pathetic.

    • slowleftarm

      Why does including sellouts result in a “misleadingly high” figure? Attendance could be better though. Some marketing sure would help.

      • El CB

        I said 2 sell outs against NYCFC- they skew the figure because an inordinate number of people are there to root for NYCFC, and not RBNY. This is borne out by fact RBNY did not come close to selling out any other game- nearest being second DC game which drew 22K.

        • Andrew Bissonette

          So how about that misleading crowd of 48k that watched in Yankee Stadium. I guarantee you that at least 10k of that were Red Bull fans, and the rest of it was inflated by the matchup. They haven’t come close to that number in any other game either.

          • Goodfella

            RB are averaging 19,671 through 14 games & NYC are averaging 28,987 through 13 games. If you remove the respective sellouts from each teams total(50K for RB, ~48K for NYC) and reduce the divisor by the number of games (-2 for RB, -1 for NYC) you come out with 18,702 per game for RB, a reduction in average of 969 per game while NYC averages 27,520 with the derby games removed, a reduction in aveage of 1,466. An argument can be made that the derbies helped NYC’s average attendance more than RB’s.

            • slowleftarm

              Plus who cares? Tickets sold for derby games count just as much as other games. Actually more so for the bottom line since prices were greatly increased (at least at RBA) for the derbies.

    • Andrew Bissonette

      That isn’t misleading at all. Outside of NYCFC games we are averaging around 18k. While, yes, that number is down a little, its still respectable. We have home games against Orlando, Philly, Montreal, and Columbus. I’m expecting Philly to be a sellout(wee might be able to lift the Supporters’ Shield that night), Orlando should be a near sellout, Columbus should be between 18-22k, and Montreal will probably be a weak crowd(12-15k) because its a Wednesday game.

      That should add up to around 77-87k by my estimation. That would put the team in contention to break its RBA attendance record and go above 20k for an average this season.

      • slowleftarm

        I doubt Orlando will sell out because it’s a Friday. But I think Columbus could be a near sellout especially if the SS is still in play, which it should be.

      • Goodfella

        Individual ticket prices sold by the team were higher at RBA for the derby games?

        • slowleftarm

          Yes, triple or more depending on the seat location. My season ticket costs me about $20 a game and I think it’s around $25 for someone to buy an individual game ticket in my section for a typical game. Same seat for the derby cost $85.

  • NittanyMetros

    I need to complain. I’ve been Metro my whole life. Sure I’m borderline retarded when I talk about some phantom ownership coming in and even delusional when I think back and say it was better. But I’m mad, I complain and this is the only site where I can really think I matter. Obviously, big time loser here with my boys in our RBO movement, but guys, none of us is over 30 or has a “real” job, so talking like this makes sense.

  • Andrew Bissonette

    Hopefully this means an overall increase in attendance next year to around 21-22k.

  • Nat Mac

    Do these season ticket renewal numbers include partial plans or are only full plans being reported?

    • Zee112

      I don’t think partial plans are available yet.

  • REAL OpenCupFans know nasl teams are bad

    wonder how many season ticket renewals the cos-shmos got, maybe 100?

    hopefully the 1 guy from Sweden who knows who the cos-shmos are, someone’s old uncle from Brazil who likes Pele, and some Cubans who sailed up on a life raft boat put down their deposits at the long island lacrosse field.