The 2023 MLS schedule is finally out, and for those who love the New York Red Bulls and love to travel it’s time to start planning trips.
The Red Bulls start the season on the road against Orlando and end it on the road vs Nashville. With the new Apple TV deal almost every away game is played on a Saturday — outside of four on wednesday and a Philly away day on Labor Day weekend. This makes traveling even easier with the ability to leave Friday after work and be home in time for work on Monday. Additionally the league will break in the summer for the Leagues Cup which will see LIGA MX face off against MLS.
While I like to travel, I enlisted the true expert, Off The Perch host and Empire Supporters Club head of sport Steven Ferrezza. Steve is probably one of the most well-traveled fans in MLS and is definitely the most well traveled Red Bull fan.
So with that being said, here are 6 trips I want to take to see the Red Bulls play in 2023. This list is in the order they appear on the calendar and is not a ranking.
MInnesota - March 8th
You may call me crazy for wanting to go to Minnesota in March, but I went in February for a World Cup qualifier so perhaps I am. Allianz Field is awesome and the vibe around the city is really cool with awesome breweries and tons of people who love soccer. It is also not a super expensive city with a good light rail system that can take you downtown from the airport and to the stadium. It will be cold and it sucks that this is not in the summer but it is worth a trip since it may be a while until the Red Bulls return.
Minneapolis-St. Paul is a fun place to visit and the locals are some of the nicest you’ll ever meet. Black Hart of Saint Paul is where Dark Clouds hangout and they’ll happily welcome you in. Since the game is in March, outdoor options are limited. If you want to recreate the scene from D2: The Mighty Ducks, rent a pair of roller skates and head over to the Mall of America.
Montreal - April 22
Another colder city but by April it should hopefully be a bit warmer. Montreal has been a city high on my list for a while and everyone I talk to raves about it. An international destination if you plan to attend make sure your passport is up to date.
French Canada: Half the nice, all the cold. Montreal is a premier city for food, drinks, and culture. Head to Bar Bifteck the night before for the perfect dive bar experience. Pregame at Peel Pub before taking the Metro up to Saputo. Stay alert of your surroundings and be respectful.
Seattle - May 27th
Memorial Day weekend in the Pacific Northwest? That is hard to say no to. If you like nature and being outdoors Seattle and its surrounding areas have a lot of that to offer. Seattle has a very cool brewery scene as well as a coffee scene for those who partake.
Take some time to do an underground tour of Seattle. Seriously, it’s a lot of fun. If you’re the outdoorsy type, head out to Olympia National Park for a day of hiking. I also recommend taking the ferry from one side of the sound to the other to catch some breathtaking views. If you do take the ferry, The Madison Diner on Bainbridge Island is an actual New Jersey diner that was shipped across the country. I visited when it was Big Star Diner and it was fantastic. I also recommend taking a trip up to Vancouver while you’re there.
Salt Lake - July 15th
Real Salt Lake saw a resurgence under new ownership last season with a ton of sell out games and a rocking atmosphere at the stadium formerly and may still be known as the RIOT. Not far from the mountains, this is another destination for those who like getting outdoors and exploring. Summer in the mountains can be a ton of fun and the atmosphere at the stadium is sure to be a good one. This is also the last regular season game before the League Cup starts.
Hear me out, Salt Lake City is a fun place. No, really, it is. Go to Red Iguana for awesome Mexican food. Rent a car or van and take a drive to one of the many national parks in the area. Hang out with the local supporters. RCB (Royal Cavalier Brigade) are cool people.
DC - September 23
DC on a Saturday in the final stretch into the playoffs, what more needs to be said? This is a massive game that deserves a massive away crowd. While some games are about the trip this is more about the game. Look out for a potential bus trip with the supporter club as its the best way to do the down and back. This is the game to be a hater and get all your hate out as we are the DC haters:
Bus trips to DC are some of the best opportunities to meet new people and get stuck in with a supporters group. There is no hate like DC hate, so get on the bus.
Say something nice about DC? Um...of all the capital cities in the United States’ history, DC is certainly the current one. If you enjoy having to push past families from the Midwest who walk two mph, five wide, blocking the sidewalk, you really don’t have to leave NYC. But if you must, go to DC and check out the Smithsonian museums and all the monuments and memorials honoring politicians with checkered pasts. If you want to do anything else, skip the Air and Space Museum and go to the Air and Space Museum Annex in Virginia. They have a SR-71 and one of the space shuttles, as well as a fraction of the crowd. You will need a car for that. Audi Field is next to a power station, so options are limited near it, but there are a couple of beer gardens a short walk away. If you want to eat somewhere historic, go to Ben’s Chili Bowl.
Nashville - October 21
Nashville may not appeal to everyone. However, this is my list and it appeals to me. Tons of places to party and lots of country music to listen to this has been high on places I’ve been to as a kid that I would like to return to as an adult. Couple that with it being decision day and another big match, how can one say no. Maybe a Supporters Shield may be on the line we can only hope.
Do you like bachelorette parties, loud country music, and having a sensory overload so bad that you have to immediately get off the main strip and head to somewhere quiet to lower your anxiety? Then come to Nashville. Honestly, it’s not that bad. I just wasn’t ready for Broadway on a Friday night. Go to 6th and Peabody for moonshine, beer, and escaping the touristy part of town. (Thanks for the solid recommendation, Steve Jolley.)
Mexico for the league cup ¯\_(ツ)_/¯