The memory is still vivid among those who were there to see it: a sea of red amongst the sky blue colors normally found at Yankee Stadium. The New York Red Bull's first game against NYCFC at Yankee Stadium was memorable for not only because of the 3-1 win registered by RBNY, but also for the sheer number of away fans in the dedicated supporters sections, and elsewhere around the stadium. It was a sight to behold as more than 1,500 visitors sang as loudly as they so could. Unfortunately, at least for the first away match this season, that will tough to repeat. And no, it is not because NYCFC fans somehow managed to be able to sing songs together finally.
NYCFC has announced a 60% reduction in the number of tickets that will be given to members of the South Ward, or the collective of RBNY supporters groups - Empire Supporters Club (ESC), Viking Army (VA), and Garden State Ultras (GSU). As of now, and perhaps subject to change, ESC and VA will receive 250 tickets each, while GSU will receive 100.
Per sources acquainted with the matter, NYCFC initially stated the reason was its own security's inability to handle away supporters in such numbers. They have allegedly backpedaled on that statement and have now stated that it is because those visiting supporters did not follow instructions.
Those in attendance that day may recall the promised security measures to prevent any confrontations prior to the game were not provided.
Generally, the assigned seatings for away support are in section 223 and 224 (revised to section 217 this season). However, for the game against the Red Bulls last season, the seats were moved up to the 300 sections. Some Red Bulls security staff were present in order to help out but that did not prevent a few incidents of beer thrown and a few ejections. However, the official police report stated there were no arrests and offered an overall good opinion of the away support.
There have been allegations made that this reduction is a tit-for-tat for the ticket reduction the New York Red Bulls imposed on traveling NYCFC fans in the final match-up between the two teams in the 2015 season. The reason for that decision was a laundry list of issues the sky-blue fans brought to their first visit to RBA: disruption of local train services on the PATH (as reported to the team), spraying graffiti on public and team property, several altercations with fans, beer throwing, and throwing a flare onto the field.
Some will argue it is a matter of perspective, others see this act as NYCFC's retribution against the Red Bulls FO. Whatever the reasoning, with another edition of the New York derby coming up, the atmosphere there and the hype beforehand will surely still be as intense - but the red presence in Yankee Stadium seems likely to inevitably be diminished.