On Friday January 16, the New York Red Bulls will hold a Town Hall meeting with 300 of its
angriest least angry most eager (tickets were allocated on a first-come-first-served basis) season ticket holders.
It is no secret that a large number of fans of this team are not happy with the new regime in Harrison, or the ownership that abruptly dismantled the Petke-Fraser coaching set-up that had guided RBNY through a two-year period of memorable successes. Indeed, the fan backlash is the reason this Town Hall meeting has been convened.
Ali Curtis, Marc de Grandpre, and Jesse Marsch are - to their credit - willing to face a random cross-section of the most ornery fan base in MLS on a Friday night in January to...well, we'll find out what they want out of this meeting soon enough.
As for the fans, well they will doubtless represent the full range of opinions on the current state of the club, which are not universally ones of unquenchable fury. Just mostly.
Nonetheless, there is a high level of interest in the meeting and merely just because we can hope we will learn a little more about the "vision" currently guiding the club, and how it is that such vision led to what still looks a lot like the most short-sighted decision in the history of a team that was born in need of corrective lenses. We will also learn a little more about each other.
Perhaps the only silver lining in the cloud parked over Red Bull Arena since the day Mike Petke walked in as head coach and walked out as the saddest man in Harrison has been the various supporter-driven responses to the affair.
We've had vodka. We will have a billboard. And the group assembled under #RedBullOut (the clue to their take on this matter is in the name) is adding T-shirts and flashing lights to the mix.
The group will be distributing up to 200 T-shirts (slogan: Ali Curtis must go/#RedBullOut) outside Red Bull Arena on January 17, starting at 6:30 pm. Details here.
It has also organized to rent a digital billboard outside the Lincoln Tunnel from Friday (Jan 17) through the weekend (slogan: Thank You Petke/#RedBullOut). More information here.
And for those who prefer their supporting to be more convivial (not incompatible with the current more confrontational mood, it should be said), Once A Metro received a tweet that suggests there will be fans kicking around on Friday evening with a similar frame of mind.
@Once_A_Metro anyone going to the town hall wanna have a tailgating fan-only town hall b4? Can bring some beers and hotdogs & grill— Richie (@njredbulls) January 16, 2015
T-shirts, hot dogs, beer: it's like the season has already started.