Red Bull Arena Seating Guide
Sections: 107-112, 124-128, 224-228
You'll never hear Mike Petke lavishing praise upon section 124, see Dax McCarty pump up section 107, or cheer on Luis Robles as he holds up a section 112 scarf. And yet, while the South Ward may be the noisiest and most famous section of the stadium, some the team's most grizzled, diehard fans watch silently from the touchline.
All of the energy that fans in ESC, GSU, and the Viking Army channel into chants and songs is still present in the fans in the sideline seats. That passion is manifested as painful stress as fans anticipate the inevitable coming of the next chapter in "That's So Metro" history. A look around section 126, where I've been a season ticket holder since 2010, reveals intensely focused fans carefully analyzing play and decrying the affronts to human decency committed by the referee during any given game. Rather than "we are the voice of the South Ward," fans seated along the sideline are likely to overhear polemic recollections of Amado Guevara and Youri Djorkaeff or fiery debates on whether Gonzalo Veron, Shaun Wright-Phillips, or Mike Grella should start at left wing.
Fans along the sideline are, on average, older than those in the youthful South Ward, and many of these long-time fans have held season tickets since long before the team moved to Harrison. While jerseys with Henry and Wright-Phillips are commonplace along the sidelines, so too are red and black kits with names like Mathis, Petke, and Stammler. However, while there are plenty seasoned veterans and hardcore fans, the sidelines are plenty welcoming to newcomers -- provided they are rooting for the right team. The sections along the touchline give young fans a chance to see players up close and to experience the loud atmosphere of Red Bull Arena without being fully entrenched in the raucousness of the South Ward.
In terms of the game itself, sideline seats, especially those closer to midfield, give fans a good view of the whole field. In particular, watching a counterattack develop and a stream of determined players whizz past you toward goal sparks a thrill that only the free-flowing Beautiful Game could provide. With the Red Bulls usually attacking the South Ward in the second half, fans along the far touchline have grown used to seeing Roy Miller -- and, now, Kemar Lawrence -- surge up the field to join the attack late in matches.
For those looking to bring the noise for ninety minutes, you will find yourself at home in the South Ward. Those supporters do the lion's share of work to make the atmosphere at Red Bull Arena among the best in the league, and to give players an extra boost of energy in tight games. But for quieter fans who want to dedicate their evening to careful observation of the game before them, the sidelines might just be the place for you.