MetroStars sold and renamed Red Bull New York

March 9, 2006

NEW YORK -- Major League Soccer's MetroStars are being sold and renamed Red Bull New York.

Anschutz Entertainment Group, owned by Denver billionaire Philip F. Anschtuz, completed an agreement Thursday to sell the team to Red Bull Co. Ltd., an Austrian firm that manufactures an energy drink. Red Bull also bought naming rights for the soccer stadium the team hopes to build in Harrison, N.J., and will have 50 percent ownership. AEG will be in charge of building and operating the stadium.

Red Bull, which has a regional office in nearby Hoboken, N.J., also owns a soccer club in Austria, SV Red Bull Salzburg, and racing teams that compete in Formula One and NASCAR. The company also is involved in extreme sports.

Team president and general manager Alexi Lalas did not confirm the sale price but said it was the highest amount paid for an MLS club.

"This is a seminal moment in the history of this team and this league," he said. "What Red Bull brings to the table is something the likes of which this league has never seen."

AEG still owns four of the 12 MLS teams: the Chicago Fire, D.C. United, the Houston Dynamo and the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Lalas said the partnership between AEG and Red Bull "gets the stadium done in Harrison for the 2008 season." He said the name of the stadium has not yet been determined.

Red Bull said its Austrian and American teams will work together "in athletic areas as well as in management and marketing."

"Projected plans include talent scouting, mutual training camps and friendly matches," the company said in a statement.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press