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New York Red Bulls to Host Autism Awareness Match on Saturday, April 21 at Red Bull Arena

April 10, 2018 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
New York Red Bulls News Release


HARRISON, N.J. - The New York Red Bulls will host the annual Autism Awareness Match at Red Bull Arena on Saturday, April 21, when the Red Bulls take on the Chicago Fire at 3:30 p.m. As part of the event, the Red Bulls will welcome families impacted by autism to Red Bull Arena and donate $3.00 of every ticket purchased to Autism Speaks.

"Our club, including players, coaches and front office staff, is dedicated to making this afternoon a memorable one for all families impacted by autism," said Marc de Grandpre, General Manager. "From the moment they walk into Red Bull Arena, families will be provided a comfortable environment to enjoy the match. We are committed to raising awareness and providing support to those on the autism spectrum not only on this day, but throughout the entire year."

Last season, the Red Bulls were the first club in Major League Soccer to open a permanent Sensory Room inside Red Bull Arena. The room is available for all families impacted by autism for no additional charge during all home matches. The New York Red Bulls teamed up with the Family Services team from Autism Speaks to design the room, which provides space for families to enjoy Red Bulls games while sitting inside, away from the bulk of the noise and energy of the arena. The room features dimmed lighting and lightly-colored walls to offer a soothing effect, along with visual aids, fidget toys and other activities.

The club also runs the Believe Program, an outreach initiative for young athletes with special needs. The program forms part of the Red Bulls' extensive player development system that caters to players at all levels of the sport. The Believe Program is specially designed to bring the opportunity of learning and playing soccer to any boy or girl who has special needs.

Red Bull Arena will be fully activated to support the Autism Awareness Match on April 21 featuring:

- Red Bull Arena security staff trained on how to work with families impacted by autism

- Dedicated entrance at Gates C1 to ensure easy ingress for families

- Dedicated Quiet Zone in the "1935 Club" inside Red Bull Arena to provide those in the autism community with a sensory-friendly environment

- The COR Behavioral Group will be in the Quiet Zone to help any families make the transition back into the seating bowl

- Sensory Room at Red Bull Arena to be open

- Julia de Grandpre will be part of honorary coin-toss

- No music in the "BULLevard" Fan Activation Area from 12:30-1:30pm

- Limited-edition, autism awareness-themed match-day posters will be given to the first 5,000 fans

- "Sensory Sacks" will be handed out to families impacted by autism - the items include noise-cancelling headphones, stress balls and wristbands with seating location and info

- Players to wear limited-edition adidas Parley jerseys made from 100% recycled material (each jersey using 13 bottles of recycled plastic) with light blue numbers/names and a puzzle piece to be auctioned off

The Red Bulls will partner with Autism Speaks who is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. They do this through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.

For more information on purchasing tickets to benefit Autism Speaks, please visit http://www.newyorkredbulls.com/AutismAwareness.%20The%20first%201,500 fans to purchase tickets will receive a limited-edition Red Bulls/Autism Speaks scarf. Donations are not tax deductible.


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