The record is New York’s.
In an effort to set the record for the largest viewing party for an MLS game, the New York Red Bulls and their fans gathered at the Football Factory at Legends Saturday, Sept. 17, as the team paid a visit to Texas to take on FC Dallas. To officially recognize the record, 250 fans were required to be in attendance. By the end of the night, exactly 403 “RBNY” yellow wrist bands were distributed to fans, marking the first official viewing party record in MLS history.
“I obviously have to say we were delighted with the level of support shown from all of the supporter's clubs of the South Ward,” said Robert Kennerney, Marketing and Social Media Manager for The Football Factory at Legends. “The people in attendance demonstrated an extraordinary level of commitment to their team at a time when spirits were low and frustration was high. It was great to see the team respond and it was fitting that the team would break their winless streak on a night when the fans needed it the most.”
Fans in attendance were presented with food and drink specials, along with plenty of giveaways ranging from free bar tabs to Red Bulls apparel. The collection of jerseys and flags helped turn the Football Factory at Legends on W 33rd St. into New York’s stadium away from home. The transition was seamless, made all the easier with Red Bulls defender Mike Jones in attendance to cheer on his teammates.
If Red Bulls fans weren’t excited enough about the viewing party’s turnout, then they certainly were about the match’s outcome. Thanks to a Luke Rodgers goal in the 36th minute, New York closed out its 90 minutes at Pizza Hut Park with a much-needed three points in a 1-0 victory. Goalkeeper Frank Rost earned his first win with the club as he helped the Red Bulls gain control of the final playoff spot heading into the last few weeks of the regular season.
“Hopes were set at 250 and our expectations were blown away by a crowd of 403, of whom many must have been first time patrons at Legends” Kennerney said. “We sincerely hope that their experience on the night was enjoyable and positive and should this prove to be the turning point in the Red Bulls season, we'll look forward to topping our record setting night in the post-season."
New York returns to action Saturday when they hit the road to take on Toronto, 7:30 ET on Fox Soccer. New York returns home to Red Bull Arena Tuesday, Oct. 4, to host the Aug. 28 rescheduled match against the Los Angeles Galaxy.