As everyone already knows the 2016 USL season has already been announced as the schedule came out for RBNY2 and their season & home opener will be against Toronto FC 2 like the MLS Red Bulls will open their season at home against Toronto FC, but as everyone keeps looking at the USL Red Bulls Schedule there are three letters under the location section and it is "TBD" at home.
We all understand how much it must cost the club to open Red Bull Arena for these home games during the USL season and while it's true that not many have come out for these games, it was interesting to see the future of the club getting a chance to play real minutes last season.
When there was an issue at Columbia University's sports complex along the Spuyten Duyvil Creek (Meaning In spite of the Devil in Dutch) that forced the club to move the second half of the season back to Red Bull Arena, it probably wasn't the best thing to do, but they had to finish the season somehow and was able to host a playoff game against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and won it in extra time.
So while the club is looking at options for a facility to host their USL side, I may have come up with a stadium idea that is not to far away from Harrison, their training facility and public transportation to these games. Let's view the pros and cons of possible games at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium.
GRASS FIELD: The Minor League Stadium has a natural grass field that will make everyone happy and looks in good shape. It's easy to remove the pitchers mound and lay grass down all over the infield.
THE ONLY TENANT: The Newark Bears Baseball Team of the former Independent Can-Am League is defunct. The team was spiraling down in financial debt and was an eyesore by the former and last owners of the team. So there will be no worrying about removing the grass from the infield dirt as RBNY2 will be the only tenant's there.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: The Baseball Stadium has a Newark Light Rail stop in front and you can get there from Newark Penn Station, or if you take NJ Transit Rail to Newark Broad Street, the two lines are the Morris & Essex and the Montclair-Booton. An easy walk to the ballpark.
DRIVING ROUTES: I-280 drives along the train station and there are exits to get to the stadium with ease. There is also a parking garage behind right field and if you need to get there thru Harrison take the Bridge from Harrison Ave that will become Bridge Streeet in Newark. Or use Route 21 along the Passaic River and head south from Route 3.
BASEBALL STADIUM: Yes I know. It's another baseball stadium being used in the USL. Everyone will probably hate the idea that playing the game in a stadium that's not made for the sport is being used and currently the only teams using real soccer stadiums are Charleston, Pittsburgh, San Antonio and Charlotte playing in a soccerplex in the suburbs. Louisville, Harrisburg, Arizona United, and Reno in 2017 are going to play in a baseball stadium.
WILL THE SEATS CHANGE THE VIEW: Once again the seating is a baseball stadium so the questions are will there be an issue viewing the game. There are bleacher seats down the outfield lines after the ninth row on both sides. Is there going to be any chance of temporary seats on the field for fans to watch the game, not sure.
FINANCIAL DEBT: This was a big problem for the last owners trying to save the stadium and the baseball team after past owners couldn't find a way to continue the good fortunes of it's beginnings. Former Professional baseball player Rick Cerone who was a Newark native tried to bring baseball back to the city after a successful start, but it all tumbled down. The Dronet's were the last owners of the baseball team and at the end sold everything to pay off whatever debt was left on their front door.
A FIXER-UPPER: When Hurricane Sandy came over a couple of years ago it brought some damage to the area including the ballpark. The last owners didn't have enough money to fix the issues and while the outfield wall won't be a problem, there might need to be some pipes that need to be replaced, light bulbs to change and possibly a new coat of paint inside the halls.
So what do you think should happen? Should the club make an opportunity to make Riverfront Stadium a home for RBNY2 in the USL, or look for something else that is a lot better and easier. You make the choice.