Struggles and Success in Two Neighboring Stadium Towns
Harrison, New Jersey has seen much success with its Major League Soccer stadium, but nearby Newark has had trouble justifying the costs of renovating a stadium for its decreasingly popular minor league baseball team.
"While the Bears fend for scraps, the Red Bulls averaged 18,796 fans for their first 12 home games this season - and that does not include the sellout for the M.L.S. All-Star Game and other exhibition matches.
Although the Newark-Harrison story is an extreme and somewhat unusual case, it reflects an urban cultural shift on which soccer hopes to capitalize as an emergent and faster-paced sport in 21st-century America. Still enormously popular in many markets, baseball has lost traction with young people, especially African-Americans, with a 26 percent decline in youth participation between 2000 and 2009, according to the National Sporting Goods Association."