Dick’s Sporting Good’s Park April 2007 Rapids vs Fire/ Kartik Krishnaiyer

The redesign of Red Bull Park by Red Bull management today was a great step forward for the development of European style soccer specific stadiums in the United States. While I applaud the good work AEG has done with stadiums just outside Chicago and Los Angeles, the soccer specific stadium I rate the highest in the United States is Dick’s Sporting Goods Park just outside Denver which I visited this past April.

While AEG’s initial design for Red Bull Park was certainly viable, the new redesign by Red Bull who have bought AEG out of the project is comprable to the stadium outside of Denver for its sheer elegance and European feel.

Red Bull Park/ MLSnet

Again I applaud the good work AEG has done both in running MLS franchises and securing their continuity in important markets by helping to finance and run the stadiums. However, AEG’s stadiums are far too generic for my liking to create the full experience a football match can provide. Having visited Toyota Park once and the Home Depot Center multiple times, I am merely thankful both markets have a soccer specific facility, but don’t rate the facilities highly beyond simply being passable. The original plans for Red Bull Park reminded me of AEG’s other stadiums far more than the Denver facility built and managed by Kroenke Sports Enterprises(Stan Kroenke’s company). Red Bull Park will now put fans closer to the pitch and give America’s largest metropolitan area and TV market a place where soccer will truly be at home.