The New York Red Bulls are undefeated at their home stadium in Harrison half way through the season, and the Major League Soccer club has sold more tickets this year than any other time in the franchise's 16-season history.
Chris Heck, president of business operations for the club, said the team is building off its strong home performance — and strong home crowds — by hosting the New York Cup on Tuesday, featuring a game against an English Premier League giant, the Tottenham Spurs.
This is the first time the New York Cup is being played, and Heck called it "a unique event with a high-profile guest." While the Red Bulls have a dedicated fan base, games against international clubs like the Spurs will draw fans of the European clubs to the 25,000-seat stadium.
The New York Cup also is designed to reward season-ticket holders, with tickets to this non-MLS event included in packages. Season-ticket holders also will see their names on the pitch — inscribed in the numbers on the Red Bull players' uniforms.
"I think soccer fans worldwide recognize Tottenham as one of the elite clubs, and it just shows that not only are our matches against Major League Soccer teams are fun, but we also are having a good time with the world of soccer," Heck said. "We're bringing international stars to Red Bull arena."
Heck said the Red Bulls have played a number of friendly matches overseas, and after winning the Emirates Cup in London last year, the club thought hosting a similar event in Harrison would be a success, and "makes it our own." New York drew with EPL team Arsenal and beat Paris Saint-Germain, of Ligue 1, to win the cup.
Tuesday's game will likely draw added attention for the Red Bulls, as former EPL star Tim Cahill joins the team from Everton. The team formally introduced Cahill at a press conference today.
"It's another very large step on making us a team that is poised to make a run to the championship," Heck said. "Our agenda is to do everything possible on the sporting side, and as well on the business side, to be ready to win a championship. And Tim Cahill is a huge addition to the organization."
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