The New York Red Bulls intend to move their corporate headquarters and training facilities to a state-of-the-art soccer complex in Morris Township, ROI-NJ has learned.
The privately funded facility will include eight full-size soccer fields and be large enough to accommodate the club’s wide range of professional, academy and youth training programs — as well as offices for the team’s front office and training staffs.
The complex will be on Columbia Road, approximately a mile from the entrance to Route 24, on an 80-acre parcel of land — part of which was the former home of Honeywell.
The announcement, which is expected to be made Wednesday morning, still needs approvals from the Morris Township council and planning board. It is expected to be introduced at a Morris Township council meeting in November. Pending approval, it will go to the Morris Township planning board in January 2022.
Upon securing all necessary approvals, the team would start construction in 2022, with an expectation that it will be completed in 2024.
The facility will benefit both Morris Township (which has been looking for a new tenant since Honeywell exited in 2018) and the Red Bulls (who have been rumored to be looking for a new facility for a few years).
The team will continue to train in East Hanover until the new facility is completed. The Morris Township facility would be less than 5 miles from the team’s current facilities.
The training complex would be one of the finest among the 27 teams that compete in Major League Soccer.
Red Bulls General Manager Marc de Grandpre said the new facility will help the team and help the sport.
“We are fortunate to have the support and commitment from Red Bull to help realize our vision of developing a world-class training complex for our organization,” he said. “This will further our pledge to develop, engage and inspire the local community through the beautiful game.”
Kevin Thelwell, head of sport for the Red Bulls, agreed.
“The development of the training complex demonstrates our unwavering commitment to the game of soccer in this country,” he said. “The facilities and accommodations will provide our First Team, as well as our valued young players, with the highest levels of support necessary to succeed with our club.”
Morris Township Mayor Jeff Grayzel was thrilled to hear the announcement.
“We are excited that the New York Red Bulls are planning to make Morris Township their future home, and looking forward to beginning the approval process with them,” he said. “The Red Bulls organization has done a tremendous job contributing to and supporting their local community and creating lifelong fans. We are pleased that the Red Bulls are considering Morris Township for their new facility.”
The Red Bulls have trained in East Hanover since 2013. That facility, which features numerous fields, a locker room and office facilities, was upgraded in 2017 but is no longer is considered top tier across the league.
The Red Bulls, currently sixth in the 14-team Eastern Conference, play host to D.C. United on Wednesday night, one of four games remaining on their schedule. Seven teams advance to the playoffs.