How many leading teams and sports can you fit into one city? Well, according to New York, apparently not enough.

From NFL to NHL and everything in between, New York’s near nine million strong population is well catered for; and make no mistake about it – they’re sport daft. Perhaps that’s why New York is the ultimate American destination for those who want to watch, play and work in the sports industry.

They count two major NFL sides – the Jets and Giants; two major NBA sides – the Knicks and Nets; two major MLB sides – the Yankees and Mets; two major NHL sides – the Rangers and Islanders, and now two major MLS sides – the Red Bulls and City, among their ranks. Each one is feverously supported by a dedicated fan base who have an almost endless choice of teams and sports to attach themselves to.

 

The MLS is the fastest growing league in American sport, and despite being behind its peers in the US, fans are now looking forward to playing joint host to the FIFA World Cup in 2026. So how do sides like the New York Red Bulls capture individuals in such a crowded marketplace? We spoke to our global study hub partners at Red Bull Arena to find out.

“We rely on a couple of key factors,” says Joe Stetson, the club’s head of marketing, multimedia and communications. “Number one, our fan experience here at Red Bull Arena is unmatched. J.D. Power gave us the highest ranking for fan experience in sport and we feel it’s unique in soccer and fans are getting something different. The second is that we actually start the process of reaching out to audiences at a very young age through our youth programmes. We reach over 40,000 youth soccer players, both boys and girls, and we start that process and that engagement early on.”

Stetson added: “There are so many things that we feel we’re able to offer that our fans will come here, hopefully fall in love with their experience here and come back time and time again.”

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The Red Bull Arena is a noisy place on game day.

It’s not just the teams that roll off the tongue, it’s the stadiums and arenas that pack into New York which resonate around the world too. The 82,000 capacity MetLife Stadium, Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden all host some of the biggest names in US sport, not to mention world-title boxing bouts, mega-gigs and WWE events.

The Red Bull Arena was one of the first and remains one of the few purpose built soccer stadiums in the US, however, and offers something completely different to the US sports market. “There’s not a bad seat in the house,” explains Stetson. “Every single one of the 25,000 seats here is a great seat to watch soccer.”

He adds: “From a player’s perspective they feel like this pitch, which has won countless amount of awards, is the best surface to play on in North America.”

UCFB will be opening global study hubs at the Red Bull Arena, as well as Toronto FC’s BMO Field, the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Atlanta’s brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, giving students a true and wide look at global sport. Find out more.