Red Bull Co., the Austrian-based company that makes and markets Red Bull energy drink, announced this morning an agreement to purchase the New York/New Jersey Metrostars of Major League Soccer and to re-brand the team as Red Bull New York.
|The deal includes the construction of a soccer-specific stadium in New Jersey to be called Red Bull Arena.
Financial details were not disclosed, but executives familiar with the matter put the purchase price near $100 million.
Red Bull purchased the team from the Anschutz Entertainment Group, and the deal includes an agreement with AEG to build a soccer-specific stadium for the team in Harrison, N.J., just miles from where the team plays now at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The MetroStars have been based at the 80,000-seat stadium since 1996, when the league first began.
The new stadium in Harrison will be much smaller and will be known as Red Bull Arena. It is due to open in 2008. Both Red Bull and AEG will have a 50% stake in the facility.
Name change happens immediately
The re-branding of the team as Red Bull New York takes effect immediately. MLS begins play in three weeks, and the club will have a new logo, uniforms and team colors. The team emblem -- two bulls charging toward a soccer ball -- was unveiled on the club's new Web site, www.newyorkredbulls.com.
In recent years, Red Bull has increased its investment in professional sports, including Nascar, extreme sports and Formula One auto racing. It already owns a professional soccer club in its native Austria, Red Bull Salzburg, a leading first division club.