Arsenal visit New York for the very first time this week - and our USA editor Kevin Mooney runs through some of the activities planned in the Big Apple...
The City that Never Sleeps has no shortage of attractions and activities for residents and visitors. And while the New York Red Bulls vs Arsenal match is without doubt the biggest attraction of the upcoming week, fans in New York will have plenty of other options to make the most of #ArsenalNYC weekend.
It gets an early start on Thursday, July 24 with an Arsenal Fan Party at the IZOD Center in the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. In addition to photo ops and giveaways, the event will feature the FA Cup - yes, the ACTUAL FA Cup - and guest appearances by none other than Thierry Henry and a few Arsenal first-teamers with a fan Q&A session.
IMPORTANT: This is a members' only event ('80s-style jacket not required) so if you would like to attend and are not already a member of Arsenal America, Arsenal Canada, Arsenal New York City or the Philly Gooners please contact your respective organisation for membership information. The membership list for this event will close at 6pm ET on Wednesday, July 23.
On Friday, July 25, things really get going. Beginning at 9:30 a.m., PUMA will kick-off their #StrongerTogether event in Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Station. Throughout the day you will be able to watch a 3-on-3 mini tournament and buy the new Arsenal kits by PUMA. At noon, the FA Cup will make an appearance and fans will be able to take photos with the venerable trophy. At 5 pm, three Arsenal players will arrive and participate in the fun for about an hour. And Gunnersaurus will be there as well!
Immediately after the event at Grand Central winds down, Arsenal New York City will be hosting by far the largest Arsenal social America has ever seen. Head down to 14th Street between 1st and 3rd Avenues in Manhattan's East Village, for "#14thStIsRed." More than 1,000 Arsenal fans are expected to be in attendance for multiple events at the group's three home pubs: The Blind Pig, O'Hanlon's and The Winslow.
Among those events:
- Andrew Mangan - Arseblog himself - will be signing his new book "Together: The Story of Arsenal's Unbeaten Season" at O'Hanlon's at 6pm
- At the same time over at The Winslow, you can check out "This Big Gun On Your Chest", an Arsenal-themed art show featuring more than a dozen artists from the USA and UK
- A photo booth and Arsenal giveaway by JEANRICHARD watches
- An opportunity to buy the new Arsenal kit - and even have it customized on site!
- EightByEight - a new magazine about football and its place in our culture
For more information please visit ArsenalNYC on Facebook. Please note that the event is 21 and over.
The big day is, of course, Saturday, July 26 for New York Red Bulls v Arsenal at Red Bull Arena at 5 pm. The match is sold out, but it will air live on ESPN2 in the USA and TSN2 in Canada. There will be no live audio commentary on Arsenal Player for this match, but highlights will be available shortly after the final whistle.
If you are still in New York on Sunday, July 27, Arsenal America will be hosting a five-a-side tournament at 10am at Chelsea Piers on Manhattan's West Side. It will feature teams from branches of Arsenal America and Arsenal Canada. Space in the facility is a bit limited, so admission is limited to players, their friends and family.Copyright 2016 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source