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New York Red Bulls II announce Montclair State University will be home ground for 2017

A home! A home at last!

Chris Trotman/Getty Images

The New York Red Bulls have been searching for a home for their reserve team for...well, for as long as NYRB II has existed.

The reserves started out playing at Red Bull Arena, but the club's stated intention has long been to have the USL team play at a facility that is scaled more appropriately to its needs (2015 average attendance was 595, says Wikipedia). Last season, an attempt to locate NYRB II at Columbia University's Rocco B. Commisso Stadium proved short-lived - the reserves were back at RBA before the year was out.

Last year, USL announced requirements for its member clubs' home stadiums, the most notable of which were the need for teams to have a 5,000 seat capacity home field by 2017, and be the primary tenant in a soccer-specific facility by 2020.

Red Bull Arena would presumably fulfill both those criteria (assuming USL isn't going to get pedantic about the fact NYRB II is not the Red Bulls' first team and therefore not, strictly speaking, the primary tenant of the facility that exists to showcase Red Bull soccer). But it's also not ideal to open the Arena for an average of fewer than 600 fans.

So RBNY has persisted with its search for a home ground that will accommodate NYRB II's more modest needs, while remaining aligned with USL's stadium requirements. The day may yet come when the Red Bulls' reserves can fill RBA, but that is not now.

Therefore, RBNY has been hunting for a new home for NYRB II, and now it has found one: Montclair State University's Pittser Field.

The team will play at MSU in 2017, per RBNY's official release. That means the remainder of the USL 2016 season is your last chance - for now - to savor NYRB II in RBA.

But wait - isn't this a backward step? Didn't RBNY use Montclair State as a practice center before the current Red Bulls Training Facility was built? And wasn't the stark difference between the two a major talking point back in 2013?

It was. Here's the opening line of Franco Panizo's piece on the opening of the Red Bulls' training facility:

To say the New York Red Bulls’ new training facility is an upgrade over what they had at Montclair State University (MSU) would be a disservice.

RBNY is not unfamiliar with the disparity between its training center and MSU, nor indeed the need to ensure its new home is compatible with USL stadium requirements. The official release promises "increased seating capacity, press box and streaming capabilities."

So NYRB II's new home won't quite be to the standard of its current home, or even its training facility - but Pittser Soccer Complex will be upgraded for 2017, and will perhaps a little more accommodating to the sort of crowds the team can expect to attract for the foreseeable future.