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Soccer – The Most Important of Life’s Unimportant Things


June 1, 2006

ROCHESTER’S NEW STADIUM


by @ 3:03 pm.
Filed under Miscellany, Pictures

PaeTec Park

In the small but growing world of internet soccer punditry, there are any number of columns written each week about “signs that soccer is catching on in the USA”. These are usually of the “P-Diddy was seen wearing an Arsenal jersey” variety, or the “Pele wants to make a comeback and play for Red Bulls” type.

So, who am I to not take part?

But, look here, I’m right about this. The Rochester Raging Rhinos of the 2nd-tier United Soccer League First Division are opening PaeTec Park, a brand-new, beautiful, 14,000 seater stadium this weekend. Not only that, the Atlanta Silverbacks of the same league are opening a 3,000 seater on the same day.

If you want to talk about the health of the game in this country, then you have to talk money. People in both cities were willing to plunk down some serious coin to build these stadiums, and they didn’t do it for their health. They expect a return.

PaeTec Park has a pice tag of $35,000,000 (according to Wikipedia, which, as we know, is never wrong), the cost being split between the club and local government. The Silverbacks’ new stadium is part of an existing soccer complex with mutltiple fields and dozens of leagues for youth and adults. Eventually the stadium will seat 15,000, and has a $20,000,000 price tag. That’s an investment that means something.

So, yeah, soccer is catching on in this country. If you need proof, and you’re in the area, check out a Rhinos or a Silverbacks game sometime soon.

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