Red Bulls Announce 2012 Regular Season Schedule

HARRISON, NJ (Jan. 5, 2012) – The New York Red Bulls released their 34-game Major League Soccer regular season schedule today. Full season ticket plans for the Red Bulls’ 2012 home campaign at Red Bull Arena are available now by calling 1.877.RBSOCCER or logging onto www.newyorkredbulls.com/tickets.

New York’s home opener at Red Bull Arena will take place Sunday, March 25 against the Colorado Rapids at 4:00 PM ET and will be televised nationally on ESPN. The Red Bulls’ open the regular season with a two-game road trip starting on Sunday, March 11 against FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park at 3:00 PM in a match to be televised live by NBC Sports Network – the first MLS game broadcasted by the League’s new national partner, NBC. On March 17, the Red Bulls will face Western Conference foe, Real Salt Lake, at 9:00 PM.

Each of the League’s 19 clubs will play 34 matches, 17 at home and 17 away, during 34 weeks. Within each conference, each club will play the same number of in-conference and out-of-conference games, following the competition format announced on Nov. 20, 2011.

Less than a week after hosting the Rapids, the Red Bulls will take on expansion side, the Montreal Impact, at Red Bull Arena on March 31 at 4:00 PM in the first-ever MLS regular season match between the two sides. On May 5, New York travels to Los Angeles to take on the defending champion Galaxy in a 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs rematch in a match televised live on ESPN at 8:00 PM ET. The Red Bulls-Galaxy match is one of seven New York games that will be broadcast on the ESPN Networks.

New York welcomes Atlantic Cup rival, D.C. United, on June 24 at 7:00 PM (TV: NBCSN) for the first time in 2012 and begins a three-game homestand in July, facing Seattle Sounders FC on July 15 at 4:00 PM (TV: ESPN), Chicago Fire on July 18 with a 1:00 PM matinee kickoff start and I-95 foe, the Philadelphia Union, on July 21 at 2:30 PM (TV: ESPN).

Starting Aug. 26 at Kansas City, the Red Bulls will close the season against nine Eastern Conference opponents in the run-up to the MLS Cup Playoffs. In addition, the Red Bulls are a part of two of three nationally-televised MLS games that will be broadcast live on NBC, with New York hosting Chicago on Oct. 6 at 3:30 PM and the Red Bulls traveling to PPL Park to battle the Union on Oct. 27 at 1:30 PM in the regular season finale for both clubs.

Other highlights of the regular season schedule:

-    The Red Bulls will play 25 matches against Eastern Conference teams and nine against Western Conference sides (New York will face each Western Conference team once). New York will battle Toronto FC and the Columbus Crew twice while facing each of the other Eastern Conference sides three times. Because of the unbalanced schedule format, the home and away fixtures will be reversed for the 2013 regular season (ie: If New York faces a Western Conference club on the road in the teams’ only match against each other in 2012, New York will host that same side in the following season's fixture).

-    New York is on the ESPN Networks seven times (four on ESPN, three on ESPN2), eight times on the NBC Sports Group (six on NBCSN, two on NBC) and six times on Galavision. The team’s local broadcast schedule for the remaining matches will be announced at a later date.

-    Taking into consideration fan feedback, the Red Bulls have scheduled additional afternoon matches, with seven of 17 home games having kickoff times taking place between 1:00 PM ET and 4:30 PM ET.

-    More than 83% of all MLS games will take place on weekends or holidays, with every day of the week having at least one scheduled match during the year.

-    The nine MLS games scheduled for Saturday, April 28 are set to break the League record for the most games in one day (previously eight, on March 26, 2011).

-    MLS initially did not schedule any games on FIFA fixture dates, but the League afforded the option, only by mutual club consent, of moving a game to one of those dates when other scheduling conflicts could not be resolved. Thus a small number of games do occur on select FIFA fixture dates.