The Rochester Rhinos are rallying to save their 2018 season. Thursday is the deadline for the team to come up with $1.3 million. Tuesday night, ROC United held an open mic forum for the Rhinos. It was an opportunity for fans, business and soccer leaders and the entire community to express support for the club.
The Rochester Rhinos are rallying to save their 2018 season.
Thursday is the deadline for the team to come up with $1.3 million. Tuesday night, ROC United held an open mic forum for the Rhinos. It was an opportunity for fans, business and soccer leaders and the entire community to express support for the club.
Two weeks ago, the owners announced that, in order to operate for the 2018 season, the team would have to meet some critical financial needs. The team hoped to pull in $600,000 in season tickets and revenue from suites, $540,000 from the hotel occupancy tax and $160,000 in jersey sponsorship.
The team is still not where it needs to be two days before the deadline, but the team and its owners aren't giving up hope just yet. They're crossing their fingers that something or someone will come through.
The rally Tuesday featured fans who pledged undying support to people who work for the Rhino's organization.
"It would be a shame if this team did not exist for so many reasons," says Andrew Battisti, "Soccer is a Kick in the Grass" host. "People around the country who are sports fans know about Rochester because of the Rhinos."
"As a sponsor of sports teams in town, I urge all the big companies out there, all the big sponsors, all the people who believe in Rochester and who believe in our city to please come out and support this family that has worked really hard," says Soccer Sam Fantauzzo, sponsor.
The team is one-third of the way to its goal of 2,500 season ticket holders. It still does not have a jersey sponsor and wants the city and county to agree on giving the stadium $540,000 annually from the hotel tax like Frontier Field and the Blue Cross Arena.
The team's manager says they won't know until the 11th hour if they made it. Co-owner Wendy Dworkin told the group which packed into the Rhinos locker room if they don't make it, it won't be for lack of trying.
She said, "It matters because of the people we've brought in, the people that we employ, it's from the small food vendors to the people who walk to work for the concession stands. And while you're at it, you get to watch some good soccer. So whatever happens, I thank everyone for the support you have given us."
In addition, the team held a food drive for Foodlink. If you'd like to support the team, you can buy tickets online or by phone at (585)454-5425 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.