When Hurricane Sandy forced D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls to swap home dates in their two-game playoff series, many fans of the Black-and-Red saw their road trip plans cast aside. The league and the two teams have now provided free tickets to the match and transport to New Jersey for United fans.
Last weekend, you may have heard, a big damn storm worked its way up the eastern seaboard, causing particular devastation to New York's Tri-State Area. With regard to D.C. United's scheduled playoff opener at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, the storm left the stadium without power and the train tunnels from New York flooded. After initial reluctance, United agreed to exchange home dates (and, effectively, playoff seeds) with their playoff opponents and biggest rivals, the
New York Red Bulls Jersey Scum.
While it certainly doesn't compare to the toll caused by Hurricane Sandy, this certainly forced the 500+ United fans planning on making the trip north this weekend to change their plans. For one, they'd need to be at RFK instead of heading to a suburb of Newark. To compensate for the inconvenience, and the competitive advantage United would be giving up, Major League Soccer and the Red Bulls agreed at the outset to increase United's 500-ticket allotment.
Yesterday, they went a step further, offering free match tickets and bus transport to United fans. Tickets moved very, very quickly, and as of this morning, the tickets and buses are already sold out (though you can add your name to a waiting list if interested).
While obviously an imperfect solution to a generally sucky situation (technical term, that), I have to give kudos to both teams (even New York) and the league for coming up with a way to try and make the best of things for fans. I know I'll be on one of the buses heading north on Wednesday, and you can bet we'll be bringing the noise at RBA (from whatever new seating location they give us). If you're heading up too, hit me up in the comments or on Twitter (@the_amt), and we can aim for a B&RU North Jersey Meetup before the game.