July 1, 2015
SPINNING THE TURNSTILES
Red Bulls draw franchise record Open Cup crowd
HARRISON, N.J. – Everybody has U.S. Open Cup fever, as a franchises-record crowd of 11,442 watched Wednesday night's Round of 16 at Red Bull Arena.
The New York Red Bulls beat the NASL's New York Cosmos 4-1 in a match that sees the team move to the quarterfinals of the tournament. But the crowd at the match was beyond impressive for not just a U.S. Open Cup match but in fact for a midweek fixture at Red Bull Arena.
Consider that in late April on a Wednesday night, the Red Bulls played to a 1-1 result with the Colorado Rapids in front of an announced crowd of 12,450 when in actuality there was far less then that actually in-house. Wednesday's announced crowd seemed relatively accurate with much of the lower bowl full and a good presence in the upper deck.
Wednesday's crowd was the largest ever attendance for a U.S. Open Cup game not only in the six year history of Red Bull Arena but also for the franchise, which began competing in the tournament in 1997.
The best previous number, as best we can tell from the tournament's somewhat sporadic handling of statistics, came in 2003 when the team made it to the final match of the tournament. Attendance for that game was 5,183, a 1-0 loss by the then MetroStars to the Chicago Fire at Giants Stadium.
But it was an overall great turnout for the Red Bulls for this important win over a regional rival, who were bolstered by several thousand Cosmos fans located in the upper tier.