In life only a few things are certain, the saying goes – death and taxes. Well, add a MLS-themed episode of former World Series winner Fran Healy’s show, The Game 365, after seemingly every New York Red Bulls game to that list.
Healy, who has the pulse of mainstream sports in New York, sat down with MLSsoccer.com for a few minutes to talk about his thoughts on the Red Bulls and on the league.
MLSsoccer.com: Before the piece on Red Bull Arena, what was your awareness of the team and the league?
Healy: I did a show on the Red Bulls a few years ago and worked with the Cosmos in the past, so I was certainly aware of the team and league.
MLSsoccer.com: How does the construction of Red Bull Arena affect the impact of the team and the knowledge of MLS within New York?
Healy: The new arena gives them an impressive presence in this market because they have a place of their own and aren’t borrowing a field anymore. It’s a great stadium, a much better experience for fans, but the arena is only part of the equation. They need to play well, which they’ve been doing, and they need stars. It’s New York; they need stars.
MLSsoccer.com: What one thing did you take away from the filming of the show that most impressed you about the team and the league?
Healy: Red Bull is totally, 100% committed to New York and the new arena. This isn’t something that they’re just throwing money at. They are very serious about the success of this team and I was very impressed by Commissioner [Don] Garber. He is on top of his game.
MLSsoccer.com: Will MLS ever, in your opinion, be truly a Major League in New York?
Healy: They have some competition, huh? They have a disadvantage compared to the other major leagues. When baseball first started, there was nothing else. They need to find that hard core fan, like the fans that root for the Yankees, Jets and other teams here. It’s okay to share fans, buy they really need to find those fans that want nothing but for soccer to be successful. They’ve taken a big step with this arena. It needs to be a go-to place, and I think it has that potential.
MLSsoccer.com: How does Red Bull Arena compare to some of the other, newer stadium constructions you’ve seen in the tri-state area?
Healy: It’s a beautiful place and it offers fans all the amenities that are important today. Now they need to win and they need to find that star. And if that star could be a New Yorker, that would be even better.
Kristian R. Dyer can be reached at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com or at twitter.com/kdyer1012.
Kristian Dyer is a reporter for MLSSoccer.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.