ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester New York FC is ready for the team’s official home opener this Saturday, April 23 at Monroe Community College.
Owners Wendy and David Dworkin are ready to bring fans an intimate soccer experience.
“It is amazing to finally see everything that we have been working on for the past two years come to fruition,” said Wendy Monday during News 8 at Sunrise.
“What started off as just a lone soccer and lacrosse pitch now has 1,200 new seats — which have a story behind it, of course, due to COVID and the supply chain. There are a lot of really exciting things that we’re putting in at MCC and we’ll continue to improve upon them as the season unwinds.”
The owners have enlisted the expertise of consultant Paul Beirne to help create the perfect fan experience. Beirne has successfully worked with Toronto FC and others.
“I have to take my hat off to Wendy and David,” Beirne said. “The idea of creating an atmosphere in a venue that is exactly the right size that it needs to be and then incrementally improving it and increasing it over time as the needs demand I think is super-smart. We’ve latched on to this phrase — it’s going to be intimate, it’s going to be gritty, and it’s going to be loud.”
Beirne noted that, unlike other North American sports, in soccer, the entertainment comes from the stands and the energy created there.
“Having a small, intimate space like this really means that the home advantage needs to come from those fans. Every single fan is going to be almost on the pitch. They’re so close to the pitch you can feel it. I went and sat in the worst seat in our stands the other day and it’s probably the best seat in the house. I know that’s hard to understand but the seat up in the highest corner is an absolutely terrific view.”
Rochester New York FC has already played a couple of away games and even hosted a U.S. Open Cup game in Rochester — but Saturday’s game against NYCFC represents the official beginning of a new era in local soccer.
“It’s one of those where you feel like you need to pinch yourself,” said David Dworkin. “We played in ’16 and ’17 and went on the hiatus. To think where we were to where we are — as Wendy said — we’re playing. We not only have a home, but we also have a team with an international coaching staff. You look at South America — 5 to 7% of our followers are from South America. We’re at a place now where we’re so excited and to think about where we were to where we are — it is a step on the road. There’s a way to go but the journey is just getting better and better as time goes on for us.”
Get your tickets for Saturday’s home opener and more information about the franchise online at RNYFC.com.