Why would Red Bull sell?
April 13, 2009

Once again, we're not saying that Red Bull's desire to sell the team is anything but a rumor. And, with the NY Post getting a denial from the RBNY brass, it might be just that. (Although, it's hard to imagine any response to that question other than an outright denial. And we're now hearing various hearsay that confirm the possibility of a sale.) But, humor us for a second, before we return to our regularly scheduled programming of analyzing Juan Carlos Osorio's Frankensteinian lineups...

Why would Red Bull sell?

We remember the home opener in 2006; Red Bull poured millions (Shakira, paratroopers, the triumphant return of Brian Kelly, etc), and only 30,000 showed. Red Bull was disappointed. Advertising efforts since then have been barely noticeable (thankfully so, if you took a gander at the "Running with the Bulls" campaign).

Now, the spiel is that Red Bull is waiting for Red Bull Arena to open; why sink money into a team that plays at Giants Stadium, where it wont draw no matter what you do? Cut your costs, and splash in 2010.

And that's where the answer lies. Red Bull Arena.

For when Red Bull Arena is built, Red Bull will no longer need the team.

It's becoming quite clear, if it hasn't before, that having an open-air stadium in close vicinity to New York has been Red Bull's priority since Day 1. Buying the MetroStars was the easiest way for them to get on it; they piggybacked on years of lobbying and dealing by AEG with New Jersey and Harrison, made an offer they couldn't refuse, and bam! -- they got themselves half a stadium. With a soccer team to boot.

So then, they made another offer AEG couldn't refuse, and bam! -- the whole stadium was now theirs. So at this point, with Red Bull Arena poised to open in a year... why would they keep the soccer team?

Why not sell the soccer team to the highest bidder (hell, sell it for 50 cents on the dollar, it's a write-off either way), give it a favorable lease in your stadium to fill 20 dates a year, and do what you set out to do in the first place -- stage Red Bull events in the New York area market.

Now, to counter our theory, which, we admit, is only a theory, we might hear about various investments Red Bull has made in the club: acquiring the second Designated Player slot (which is not used), investing into the Academy (started during the MetroStar years, not a single player has graduated yet), building the training facility (plans shelved indefinitely), youth academies in Ghana, Brazil, and Fiji (don't make us laugh), building Red Bull Arena (BINGO).

We don't know what the next weeks, months, or years will bring. But all signs point back to Red Bull Arena.

Then again, it's just a rumor.

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