Red Bulls redesign stadium

The
Canadian Press-

The New York Red Bulls
redesigned their stadium to cut the number of luxury suites by almost half,
remove a concert stage and make sure every seat is covered by a roof, giving it
a look similar to major European soccer venues.

The
changes announced by the club on Thursday will add to the original US$140
million cost announced when the team ceremonially broke ground nearly 14 months
ago with Anschutz Entertainment Group, but Red Bulls general manager Marc de
Grandpre would not specify further, saying only that it would cost
“more.”

The
redesign will reduce the number of suites from 52 to 30, move the first row of
seats within 21 feet of the touchlines, and install a 130-foot wide roof around
the entire facility – the last 60 feet of which will be translucent to allow
more light into the stadium.

Red

Bull

Park was redesigned to be
more in line with soccer facilities worldwide,” de Grandpre said.

The
stadium in Harrison, across the

Passaic

River from

Newark, will have its capacity increased from
an originally estimated 20,000 to 25,189. Although ground was broken in
September 2006, construction has been delayed because of site cleanup and other
problems.

Construction
is to begin in earnest in December with completion set for 2009, a year behind
schedule.

Austrian
Energy drink maker Red Bull bought the MetroStars from AEG last year in a $100
million deal that included $30 million for the team, $45 million for a half interest
in the stadium and $25 million for stadium naming rights for 10 years. Red
Bull, which also bought SV Salzburg and rechristened the club Red Bull Salzburg
in 2005, then renamed the MetroStars after its signature brand.

AEG, which
also owns the Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston Dynamo, had begun the process to
build a stadium when it owned the MLS club from 2001-2006. In line with other
MLS clubs who have constructed facilities for their teams, the Red Bulls
stadium originally was expected to include a concert stage to be able to stage
a variety of events.

Two weeks
ago, Red Bull purchased AEG’s stake in

Red

Bull

Park for an undisclosed sum.