According to legislation submitted by the mayor to City Council, Adirondack Sports Club, owners of the Rochester Rhinos soccer team, pay $1 in rent for the facility. But “due to financial hardship,” ACS has been unable to pay other operational expenses.
The mayor proposed gradually increasing the amount ASC pays for these costs. This year, the city would foot the entire bill. Next year, the city would pay 90 percent and the following year 80 percent. By 2020, the plan is to have ACS picking up the full tab.
The legislation didn’t specify the dollar amount the city would have to pay.
ACS will pay the city $20,000 in rent this year.
“The sports teams are stable,” said Rob Clark, head of ACS.
The key to making Sahlen’s Stadium profitable is booking concerts and other events, he said. Clark was pleased to have Syracuse University’s football team practice at the stadium recently.
“Concerts are a difficult business to get into,” Clark said. “You don’t want to take a loss.”
Soccer stadiums have formed an alliance to book major acts. Clark hopes to announce two big concerts this summer.
The fact ACS’ utility payments would be cut through 2020 is an indication taxpayers will be subsidizing the stadium for a very, very long time. Taxpayers are also subsidizing Frontier Field, as the stadium construction isn’t paid off and tax dollars are paid to the company that manages the stadium.