The New York Red Bulls announced on Monday they will become the latest MLS team to implement safe standing at their home stadium, in time for the 2020 season.
Sections 133, 101 and 102, popularly known as the South Ward at Red Bull Arena, will be converted into a safe standing section, using a rail seating system produced by Trex Commercial Products, who built the safe standing section at Banc of California Stadium in 2018. The system will allow spectators to watch the action while standing, and the railings will feature unlockable individual fold-down contour seats for select matches and other events at Red Bull Arena.
“When we looked at where we wanted to upgrade our arena, we quickly came to the conclusion that safe standing for our supporters had to be a top priority,” said Red Bulls general manager Marc de Grandpre in a team statement. “As an organization we strive to create the best in-stadium experience for our fans. Giving the South Ward a proper Supporters Section will provide a better, safer gameday experience, and we know the passion and commitment from ESC and Viking Army will continue to make Red Bull Arena one of the best home-field advantages in MLS.”
Furthermore, according to the Red Bulls’ release, “The South Ward’s Red Seat, which originally marked the first goal scored in the arena, was dedicated to the memory of long-time ESC member Mike Vallo, who passed away in 2015. The Red Seat will be given to the Vallo family. A spot in the new safe standing 101 that commemorates Mike will be unveiled when the safe standing project is completed.”
The updated South Ward at Red Bull Arena joins the LA Galaxy’s Victoria Block at Dignity Health Sports Park as new safe standing sections for the 2020 MLS season. They will join four other MLS venues with it: LAFC’s Banc of California Stadium, the San Jose Earthquakes’ Avaya Stadium, Minnesota United’s Allianz Field and Orlando City’s Exploria Stadium.