News Release - City Reaction to Rhinos Announcement

City of Rochester

News Release

(Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017) — “The City of Rochester remains supportive of our professional soccer team,” said James Smith, Director of the City’s Communications and Special Events Bureau. “While understandable, the decision by the owners of the Rochester Rhinos to suspend play next year is, nonetheless, disappointing on many levels. Rochester has a long history of professional soccer and today’s announcement is clearly a disappointment for our region’s soccer community and fans. Obviously this decision also calls into question the future of the soccer stadium itself and how that will impact the neighborhoods that surround it.

“Since the City inherited this facility, it has been a budgetary challenge. Nonetheless, Rochester has invested significant funds into the ongoing maintenance, operation and capital needs of the facility – having spent nearly $1.6 million over the past two years alone.

“While it is disappointing that the Rhinos were not able to attract additional community support for their business model, it is not feasible or appropriate for City government to subsidize the team’s operation given the already large public investment being made in the facility.

“With the decision to suspend team operations next year, City officials will need to meet with the Rhinos management to discuss how their decision fits within the existing lease agreement.”

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