NYCFC fans to protest ‘home’ game at Red Bull Arena

NYCFC will host their first home game of 2019-20 soccer season Thursday in quite unfamiliar territory and some fans are not pleased about that development.

Many of NYCFC’s supporters clubs have expressed anger that the CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 home game Thursday night will be played at Red Bull Arena, home of the rival New York Red Bulls in Harrison. Some fans will not attend and other groups are planning outside protests before the start of the match.

One group, the Third Rail SC, says its supporters will not attend in a post on its Twitter page and believe the home game should be located closer to its regular home at Yankee Stadium and not in New Jersey.

“It is a complex issue, but ultimately, we feel that attending this match would normalize RBA as an alternative home site for NYCFC and force us to share the arena with our rivals. We will be staying away,” the Third Rail SC said in a statement.

The Third Rail will be hosting one of its watch parties for the match, which will be broadcast on FS2 at 6 p.m., at a bar across the street from Yankee Stadium. NYCFC leads the home-and-away against San Carlos 5-3 on aggregate after a win in Costa Rica earlier this month and a victory Wednesday clinches a place in the Champions League quarterfinals.

NYCFC supporters group also issued a collective statement stating its displeasure at the team not yet able to build a permanent home stadium after coming into MLS in 2013. The team is scheduled to play its first MLS home game at Yankee Stadium on March 14 against Dallas FC, but no word has been given by the club where future Champions League home matches will be played.

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