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Marina Auto Stadium is a soccer-specific stadium in Rochester, New York. It is currently home to the Rochester Lancers and Lady Lancers of the NPSL and UWS, respectively. The stadium previously hosted the Rochester Rhinos of the USL, the Rochester Rattlers of MLL, and the Western New York Flash of the NWSL. The stadium hosts other sporting events such as collegiate soccer, Rochester Rhinos Elite youth soccer games and practices, American football, field hockey and drum and bugle corps competitions as well as concerts, as well as occasionally hosting the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Section V football championship and Far West Regional championship (played between Sections V and VI).

Marina Auto Stadium
Marina Auto Stadium logo.png
PAETEC Park overview.JPG
Former namesPAETEC Park (2006–2008)
Marina Auto Stadium (2009–2010)
Sahlen's Stadium (2011–2015)
Rochester Rhinos Stadium (2015–2016)
Capelli Sport Stadium (2017)
LocationRochester, New York
OwnerCity of Rochester
OperatorRochester Soccer Corp.
Capacity13,768
Record attendance15,404 (July 20, 2011)[1]
SurfaceFieldTurf
Construction
Broke groundJuly 9, 2004
OpenedJune 3, 2006
Construction cost$35 million
ArchitectPopulous
Tenants
Rochester Rhinos (USL; 2006–2017)
Rochester Rattlers (MLL; 2006–2008, 2011–2014, 2017)
Rochester Rhinos Women (WL; 2006–2008)
Rochester Ravens FC (WL; 2009–2010)
Rochester Raiders (IFL; 2010, 1 game)
Western New York Flash (NWSL; 2011–2016)
Rochester Dragons (AUDL; 2014, 1 game)
Toronto FC II (USL; 2018, 4 games)
Rochester Lancers (NPSL; 2018–present)
Rochester Lady Lancers (UWS; 2018–present)

Contents

HistoryEdit

The stadium was designed by HOK Sport (now Populous). It was constructed on a filled-in section of the Erie Canal's original routing through Rochester. This was also once the route of the Rochester Subway, which was built in the old canal bed and ended operations in 1956. The facility was funded jointly by the state of New York, the city of Rochester, and the Rhinos (the State of New York paying $23 million while the Rhinos and the city paid the remaining amount). Infrastructure improvements will be paid for by the city of Rochester.

The park hit some minor stumbling blocks even before the first shovel hit dirt: the original designs needed to be revised when it was revealed that the playing field was below the water table, and the environmental impact report revealed that the site had pockets of petroleum that needed to be treated. The groundbreaking took place on July 9, 2004, and the first phase of the construction was completed.[2] The stadium had its grand opening (as PAETEC Park) on June 3, 2006, which featured the Rhinos' first home game of the season. The game was played in front of a capacity crowd of 13,768 fans and ended in a 2–2 draw against the Virginia Beach Mariners.

On August 22, 2018, it was announced that the Rhinos, then on a 1-year hiatus from the United Soccer League, would be leaving Marina Auto Stadium to pursue building a new stadium in the suburbs of Rochester.[3]

Naming rightsEdit

Naming rights to the park were purchased by PAETEC Communications, a local telecommunications company, in 2004 for a reported total of $23 million over 12 years. However, when the club changed ownership, the agreement was voided at the end of the 2008 season.[4]

The stadium then became known as Rochester Rhinos Stadium. In mid-2009, the team had a raffle to determine the naming rights for the stadium. For each $1,000 an individual, group, company, or other entity paid to the Rhinos, they would be given one chance to win the right to name the stadium.[citation needed] On May 30, 2009, the night of the Rhinos' 2009 home opener, Marina Auto Group, a Webster-based automobile dealership group, won the raffle.[5] The Marina Auto name was retained through 2010 under a traditional naming rights agreement.

On February 10, 2011, it was announced that the new name of the stadium would be Sahlen's Stadium after the deal with Marina Auto expired. This was part of a five-year naming rights agreement with Sahlen's Packing Company, Inc. of Buffalo, New York, with an option to renew the agreement for another five years.[6] The cost of the agreement was not released, but was estimated at about $2 million.[7] In October 2015, the stadium operators announced that they would not exercise the option to continue the existing naming agreement with Sahlen's, but would instead seek a new agreement.[8] In the interim, the stadium reverted to being known as Rochester Rhinos Stadium.[9] On January 24, 2017, Capelli Sport entered a corporate partnership with the Rhinos and the stadium was renamed Capelli Sport Stadium.[10]

Marina Auto Group entered into a new naming rights deal in 2018, reverting the name of the stadium back to Marina Auto Stadium.[11]

EventsEdit

The Rochester Rhinos and Rochester Rhinos Women soccer teams of the USL First Division and USL W-League, respectively, and the Rochester Rattlers of Major League Lacrosse moved to the facility in 2006. The Rattlers were dissolved following the 2008 MLL season but returned for the 2011 MLL season. The Rochester Rhinos Women dissolved and were replaced by the Rochester Ravens in 2009; the Ravens were replaced by the Western New York Flash in 2011. The Flash then played matches in the stadium until they were purchased in January 2017 and moved to Cary, North Carolina.

PAETEC Park hosted Major League Lacrosse championship weekend in 2007.

On June 5, 2010, the stadium was the site of the first outdoor game in Indoor Football League history as the Rochester Raiders faced off against the Chicago Slaughter.

The Drum Corps Associates drum corps championships were held at the stadium each Labor Day weekend from 2006–2011. The championships returned to Rochester for 2014 and 2015.[12]

International friendliesEdit

  • On September 13, 2006, the United States women's national soccer team (USWNT) played an international friendly against Mexico, winning 3-1 in front of 6,784.
  • On July 19, 2009, the USWNT played an international friendly against Canada in front of 8,433, winning 1-0 on a goal scored by Rochester native Abby Wambach.
  • On September 1, 2012, the USWNT played international friendly against Costa Rica in front of 13,208 fans as part of their 2012 Olympic championship celebration, winning 8-0.
  • On September 18, 2014, the USWNT played an international friendly against Mexico in front of 5,680 fans, winning 4-0.

Prior to the stadium's construction, the team also played matches at Frontier Field and at Eunice Kennedy Shriver Stadium in Brockport.[13]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Kennedy, Paul. "Flash-magicJack game shatters crowd record". Soccer America.
  2. ^ Lowell, Bud. "At Last, PaeTec Park Groundbreaking". WXXI news. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Rochester Rhinos look for new home in suburbs, plan to leave Marina Auto Stadium in city". Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  4. ^ http://www.rochesterhomepage.net/story/paetec-park-soon-to-change-names/d/story/hfCnzxqWs06dV6HRAhcBnA
  5. ^ Rhinos Stadium Officially Renamed Marina Auto Stadium
  6. ^ Adams, Thomas (10 May 2013). "Hall of Famer gets kick out of front office post". Rochester Business Journal. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  7. ^ Quarstad, Brian. "Rochester Rhinos Secure Naming Rights Partner for Stadium". IMSoccer News. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  8. ^ Sharp, Brian. "Frontier re-ups on ballpark naming rights". Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  9. ^ DiVeronica, Jeff. "Grand plans, vision for ambitious new Rhinos owners". Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  10. ^ "Rochester Rhinos, Capelli Sport Announce Major Parthership". Rochester Rhinos. January 24, 2017. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  11. ^ https://www.rhinossoccer.com/news_article/show/911122?referrer_id=2442447
  12. ^ http://www.dcacorps.org/?p=4292
  13. ^ "U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM NOTES FROM ROCHESTER". U.S. Soccer. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
Events and tenants
Preceded by
Frontier Field
Home of the Rochester Rhinos
2006 – 2017
Succeeded by
TBD
Preceded by
Bishop Kearney Field
Toyota Park (as Chicago Machine)
Home of the Rochester Rattlers
2006 – 2008
2011 – 2014
Succeeded by
BMO Field (as Toronto Nationals)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver Stadium
Preceded by
Home Depot Center Track Field
Host of Major League Lacrosse championship weekend
2007
Succeeded by
Harvard Stadium

Coordinates: 43°9′44.0″N 77°37′45.7″W / 43.162222°N 77.629361°W / 43.162222; -77.629361