Home Dates For DC/NY Swapped Due To Sandy

The damage that super Hurricane Sandy has done to the North East has been incredible. With winds blowing at or over 90 MPH, the devastation it left in its wake has been unthinkable. Seeing many towns from Maryland all the way up to New York City and Long Island losing homes, then into New England is a sad moment.

Everything being shutdown including the Subway trains in lower Manhattan and the PATH system with the tunnels flooded with sea water will make it impossible to get to Red Bull Arena, as the power has been shut down within the Harrison/Newark area since late Monday afternoon.

Thankfully the stadium only suffered minor damage as rumors spread around Twitter that the winds destroyed the roof and the field was flooded. Those rumors were false, as new general manager Jerome de Bontin announced that everything is in good shape and is ready for play.

But sadly the power will not return until Monday, November 5th, meaning that the Red Bulls would have to find a suitable change in venue because DC United finished second and will host the second leg as the Red Bulls would play the first leg. Met Life Stadium was a thought, but the New York Giants in the NFL were already scheduled to host the Pittsburgh Steelers late on Sunday afternoon. I started to think that Yankee Stadium could have been a good replacement venue, but DC United’s president Kevin Payne made the hardest decision ever.

Both DC United and the New York Red Bulls have come to a decision to switch their hosting dates. So Saturday, November 3 will see the first leg be played at RFK Stadium. The return leg will occur on Wednesday, November 7th at Red Bull Arena when the power should be back.

This idea was originally asked by Washington Post Reporter Steven Goff and the answer from Payne was no and he has every right to say no because DC United earned their second place finish in the Eastern Conference standings. I have to say this was a brave move to make the switch, and win or lose Kevin Payne should get a handshake and a thank you for making this switch.

Make no mistake when I say this is a bitter rivalry since the league’s conception in 1996, that the DC United-MetroStars/RBNY rivalry has been a hard fought tussle for a long time. I don’t blame DC United for holding off this type of move till the last moment, but once again MLS has a tight window with their playoff scheduling and something had to be done.

Obviously NBC Sports Network who will be broadcasting the match won’t make a big problem out of it as they will have both legs in this round, but still it would be nice to have Red Bull Arena lit up and fully functional so we can take a break from the after effects of Hurricane Sandy.

6 thoughts on “Home Dates For DC/NY Swapped Due To Sandy”

  1. As a neutral with no dog in the playoff hunt, this match-up is the one I am looking forward to the most. With all due respect to Seattle / Portland, the DC / NY rivalry is the meanest we got. Maybe not West Ham / Millwall, but leaning in that direction. Can’t wait…

  2. Perhaps the rivalry is why us DC United fans are very unhappy about the loss of home field advantage.

    In my case, it’s because I had a ticket and plans to go to the Wednesday game but I can’t make the Saturday game. We were also going to have 500 fans traveling on Saturday. The United FO had already sold 10k tickets (I don’t know if that includes already-sold season tickets). It was going to be close to a sell-out on a Wednesday as casual United and broader casual Washington sports fans were returning/jumping on the bandwagon due to finally processing the team’s competitive resurrection.

    I hope we can still pack RFK (even if I can’t make it :( ). I really would like to see a playoff game. It would be nice to see it in this year’s conference championships.

  3. We’re also pretty upset because it seems like of all the options, the only one that the league seriously considered was the one that took away United’s second seed. I get that honoring the TV contract was job #1. That NBC TV contract is far more important to the health of the whole league than whether DC United gets screwed out of its home field advantage (and I get to attend a game that I already paid for).

    Doesn’t mean I have to like it today.

  4. To all DC Supporters, I never thought that Kevin Payne was going to make this switch myself. I honestly thought there was going to be a change in venue and I was thinking Yankee Stadium was going to be that venue as the NFL’s NY Giants has a home game on Late Sunday Afternoon.

    But this is not about helping NBC Sports Network to get their ratings, this area got hit very hard with Hurricane Sandy and sadly the PSE&G Power station that is about two blocks away from Red Bull Arena and along the banks of the Passaic River got knocked out and unfortunately nothing would be working from the food & drink kiosk’s to the beer vendors as well as the press reporting on the game without the use of the internet.

    If this was the only way both legs could be played and the tightness of the MLS Cup Playoff Schedule, then this was the only way of happening.

    There was no conspiracy and to be honest I still wouldn’t blame Kevin Payne for keeping the second leg advantage if there was a real change in venue after what happened with Hurricane Super Sandy over here.

    Let me say that experiencing this storm that I had to go thru the worst of it, I felt like the walls were going to seperate and the celling was going to colapse above me. That’s how scary it was and thankfully I never lost power.

    But I do understand what you guys are complaining about and if it was the other way around, it would be the same complaints from the NY side of things.

    1. In fairness to Mr. Payne, I doubt he had any choice in the end. I’m sure the league told him that his best choice was to get on board with the decision.

      I’ve had a chance to cool down a little. I’m more disappointed that I won’t be able to go to United’s first home playoff game since 2007 than I am about the order of games. It’s a little selfish but I was really looking forward to a fun, intense playoff game.

      I get the very serious safety issues in New York. I was also not kidding about the TV contract. It’s very important to the long-term growth of the league and soccer in general. I hope as many Red Bull fans as possible show up on Wednesday to see the end of their team’s season 😉

      1. “I hope a many Red Bull fans as possible show up on Wednesday to see the end of their team’s season” That’s the DC fan I know and Love

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