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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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By ESPN Staff

Red Bull New York gains total control of Harrison stadium

WASHINGTON -- Nearly two years after Red Bull spent $100 million to buy into Major League Soccer, they're willing to spend a little more.

The New York Red Bulls paid an undisclosed sum to buy Anschutz Entertainment Group's 50 percent share of Red Bull Park in Harrison, N.J., the club announced Friday. The deal will result in modifying the design to increase the capacity to more than 25,000 and remove a concert stage to make the facility a soccer-only venue.

The deal was announced in conjunction with preparations for Sunday's MLS Cup championship game in Washington's RFK Stadium.

AEG, which also owns MLS' Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston Dynamo, owned the Red Bulls - previously called the MetroStars - from 2001-2006, selling its interest to the Austrian energy drink maker in March last year.

Red Bull paid $30 million for the team, $45 million for a half interest in the club's new stadium and $25 million for stadium naming rights for 10 years.

It ceremonially broke ground with the Red Bulls on the $140 million stadium in September 2006, announcing the facility would open in July 2008. Due to construction delays, the stadium is not due to open until summer 2009.

"To fulfill our ultimate goal of creating an elite sports franchise in the United States for our fans, it is vital that we have a home that all of us can be proud of," Red Bulls managing director Marc de Granpre said.