The afterglow won’t last long.
The players on the best women’s soccer team in the world don’t know how they’re going to make a living. The fans have gone home. Rochester is still stuck with a stadium in a blighted neighborhood with an (unfounded?) reputation for being unsafe.
No has been able to figure out how to make women’s professional soccer work. The Western New York Flash had arguably the best soccer player in the world – Marta – right here in Rochester, but game attendance was a constant disappointment. The league has since suspended operations.
The glory days of soccer in Rochester have long past. The men’s team, the Rhinos, is not even on Major League Soccer’s radar anymore.
Soccer Town U.S.A.? Only when Abby’s here.
You can blame Sahlen’s Stadium’s location, the Rhinos’ previous ownership or fickle fans. But people do come out when there’s a big draw:
— Jeff DiVeronica (@RocDevo) September 2, 2012
Here’s something that might work to draw more fans and improve the area surrounding Sahlen’s Stadium and Frontier Field. The city should create a stadium district. The two venues are a half mile apart, yet one is perceived as downtown and safe and the other is perceived as in the ‘hood.
The city should connect the stadiums with pathways, parks, shops, parking and other attractions to make it feel like one neighborhood. The Buffalo Sabres are building a massive hotel and ice rink complex right next to First Niagara arena. I’m not suggesting anything on that scale, but creative minds can surely come up with a way to link Rochester’s stadiums on the landscape.
Neither stadium has done much for its immediate surroundings. Frontier Field is surrounded by parking lots. Sahlen’s is surrounded by poverty and blight. Strategically thinking about how to maximize both assets could benefit sports, sports fans and the city.
Links of the Day:
– The management company of Frontier Field is under investigation for allegedly not paying prevailing wages. Some employees were required to do work on the owner’s cottage.
– The tanning industry is taking a page from Big Tobacco and fighting back.
– An Avon teenager got to dance in the dark with Bruce Springsteen!
– The last veteran of the War of 1812 died in 1905. He lived in Central New York and his death was a big deal.