When Ali Curtis, Jesse Marsch, and Marc de Grandpre held a town hall meeting in January, everyone knew going in that it was going to be a time for fans of the New York Red Bulls to let loose after the firing of Mike Petke. The team decided to hold "Town Hall 2.0" on September 2nd, and it was almost a complete 180 from the January edition. Where yelling and cursing dominated the proceeds in preseason, the tone from the fans was much different, with numerous fans apologizing for their actions and crediting the front office with how the team has performed so far this season. There were still some pointed questions, but overall, the questions asked of the executives were ones you would expect from a fan base that is feeling very positive.
We're not going to go through all of the details of the town hall in this post as we'll have more in-depth coverage over the next few days, but here's the main talking points:
- Player Contracts/Academy
- Dax McCarty's contract has a club option for 2016. The two sides are waiting until the season is over before talking.
- On the subject of protecting European clubs from poaching RBNY's young stars, Curtis gave a reasonable response, essentially saying it was a reality of the global soccer market and making no promised the club could stop players from moving on if the right offer comes in. He did say that RBNY has faith in its ability to continue to produce top-level prospects, and that is how you keep a club strong and thriving. The next one in the pipeline might already be confirmed: "Excited to get Tyler Adams going next year, of course," said Curtis as part of his response.
- When asked about a residency program, Curtis mentioned the team is looking into all the possible options of keeping academy players in the program and playing day in/day out.
- The home jersey will always be some combination of white & red, but a red away kit could, maybe, possibly happen at some point.
- When asked about a 3rd kit, de Grandpre said that MLS is going away from 3rd kits, and it won't happen for New York unless sales of the current jerseys improves to show there is demand.
- Dax McCarty & Jesse Marsch mentioned that players have to track what they eat, what they drink, and how they sleep.
- Dax said that players get fined for not tracking nutrition/fitness.
- When asked of expanding the South Ward, de Grandpre basically said get more registered members, and the sections will grow.
- Columbia was abandoned for home matches as the college has new leadership that wanted new terms that New York did not agree with.
- Stadium options for the future are being reviewed, with a focus on a "hyper local" and "intimate" solution. USL has requirements for all teams to meet in the future, so those will have to play into the solution.
- The Red Bulls are focusing on online streaming, and will be the first MLS team with a 24 hour, 7 day a week TuneIn Radio channel.
Once a Metro will continue to provide more in-depth coverage of the Town Hall in the upcoming days. Did you attend the event? Did you watch online? What are your thoughts? Let us know how it was in the comments below.