With the move of home matches to Red Bull Arena, the NWSL’s Sky Blue FC is hoping for some big breakthroughs in 2020.
In November, the club announced that all 2020 home matches will be played at Red Bull Arena–the Harrison, NJ home of MLS’s New York Red Bulls. Sky Blue FC played most of its 2019 home schedule at Rutgers University’s Yurcak Field, but moved two games to Red Bull Arena in response to increased demand for tickets. Those included an August match that saw Sky Blue FC set a club single-game attendance record by playing before a reported crowd of 9,415 fans, followed by a September contest that drew an announced 8,314 spectators.
The change in venues, combined with other recent moves to stabilize Sky Blue FC, is leaving the club hopeful that it can grow to new heights in 2020. Moving to Red Bull Arena is a crucial part of that strategy, as it not only gives Sky Blue FC a solid facility, but could allow it obtain a stronger following within the New York and New Jersey sports market. More from NorthJersey.com:
This year, Red Bull will be Sky Blue’s home for all of its home games during the 2020 season. The venue has often been described by players, including homegrown star Carli Lloyd, as one of their favorite venues to play in. “There was no question that we all wanted to play here,” Lloyd said in October.
[Freya] Coombe, Sky Blue’s head coach, said playing inside a professional stadium inevitably raises the players’ morale.
“The team is very, very excited to be playing in such a fantastic stadium and to be provided the opportunity to really showcase their talent and provide entertaining games for the fans,” said Coombe. “So, there’s a real good positive energy and vibes among the players. That I think is infectious among the community, and trying to reach the fans in the local area.”
Sky Blue is hoping to grow its fan base even more in 2020 by tapping into the North Jersey and New York City sports market. In Piscataway, public transportation for fans was limited. In Harrison, there’s a PATH station that provides access to New York City adjacent to the soccer stadium.
Sky Blue FC’s success last season came during a strong period for the NWSL, which saw several new club attendance records set on the heels of the U.S. Women’s National Team’s dominance in the 2019 World Cup. American women’s professional soccer as a whole is looking to continue its rise, and having Sky Blue FC surge to new levels of success in 2020 would only help that effort.
Image courtesy Sky Blue FC.
RELATED STORIES: Sky Blue FC Moving to Red Bull Arena for 2020