Stadium is shrouded in gray/silver panels that give the stadium a "space age" appearance from the outside. It is similar to Univ. of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ.
Interior first impressions
For a soccer stadium, it is very impressive when you get into the inner bowl. It is a 2 level stadium and even the worst seat in the stadium is really not a bad seat at all. It is impressive and intimate at the same time.
Game day atmosphere
In multiple trips to Red Bull Arena, I have never seen it sold out. When it is, it can be a really great atmosphere. But, even on a regular game day, it is worth coming in for opening ceremonies. It has a "big game" atmosphere with fireworks, the traditional soccer intros, and energy. Great way to get the party started!
Food & beverage
Typical stadium fare - hot dogs, pretzels, nachos, etc. It would be great to tie in some of the great local cuisines including the Brazilian, Spanish, Italian, Polish foods from the neighboring communities.
There is a mix of domestic and import beers with a decent selection.
Prices on food and beverage are really high though. So the value index definitely goes done. Recommendation, go out to dinner pre/post game in nearby Ironbound and go light at the stadium...
Prices on food are rather high as well as parking. Tickets are reasonable and even the cheapest seat is still a good value.
For soccer, this is a great stadium to watch a game! It is a complete bowl and can be intimidating when full or near capacity. It can get loud and the stadiums completely close in the stadium. You can definitely see some of the Red Bull factor too. Sitting near the supporters section behind the South goal is a great place to be. They add a lot of atmosphere to the game with chants, drums, and singing - particularly if the Red Bulls score.
For a soccer stadium it is a very nice place to see a game. It is am impressive stadium in that regard. It does not have a lot of bells and whistles to it, but for a soccer purist, it is very impressive to watch a match.
PATH trains are the easiest since the Harrison station is 2 blocks away. You can take NJ Transit train to Penn Station in Newark and it is about a 15 minute walk. There is always a crowd walking, so safety is not really an issue.
Driving is a challenge. Going south through Newark, it will take a long time to get out to a major thruway. Taking I-280 is an option, but getting to the entrance ramp is a huge challenge if you part in Harrison. Trains are definitely the best option - ditch the car!
Lots of construction going on around the stadium to build housing. So, it is very chaotic around it. The few surface lots don't leave too much room for tailgating. Have to get there really early if you want to tailgate.
Home team fans
There are some passionate fans, just not enough of them to fill a 25,000 seat stadium. Best to sit by the supporters section to get a better taste of the atmosphere they create.
Overall, it is a smaller stadium, but for a big soccer game, it is the place to see a game. When the stadium is full, it is rocking, loud and intense. On an average day, it is still a great place to watch a game but may lack the feverish atmosphere.
Red Bulls vs Montreal (MLS Playoffs)