Marina Auto Stadium

Last updated
Marina Auto Stadium
Marina Auto Stadium logo.png
PAETEC Park overview.JPG
Former namesPAETEC Park (20062008)
Marina Auto Stadium (20092010)
Sahlen's Stadium (20112015)
Rochester Rhinos Stadium (20152016)
Capelli Sport Stadium (2017)
Location Rochester, New York
Owner City of Rochester
OperatorRochester Soccer Corp.
Capacity 13,768
Record attendance15,404 (July 20, 2011) [1]
Surface FieldTurf
Broke groundJuly 9, 2004
OpenedJune 3, 2006
Construction cost $35 million
Architect HOK Sport
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)

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).

Soccer-specific stadium Type of sports stadium

Soccer-specific stadium is a term used mainly in the United States and Canada to refer to a sports stadium either purpose-built or fundamentally redesigned for soccer and whose primary function is to host soccer matches, as opposed to a multipurpose stadium which is for a variety of sports. A soccer-specific stadium may host other sporting events and concerts, but the design and purpose of a soccer-specific stadium is primarily for soccer. Some facilities have a permanent stage at one end of the stadium used for staging concerts.

Rochester, New York City in Western New York

Rochester is a city on the southern shore of Lake Ontario in western New York. With a population of 208,046 residents, Rochester is the seat of Monroe County and the third most populous city in New York state, after New York City and Buffalo. The metropolitan area has a population of just over 1 million people. It is about 73 miles (117 km) east of Buffalo and 87 miles (140 km) west of Syracuse.

The Rochester Lancers are an American soccer team based in Rochester, New York. The Original Lancers were founded in 1967, were brought back in 2011 as an indoor team and then joined the NPSL in 2016. The team plays in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), a national league at the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, in the Midwest Region. The team play its home games at the Aquinas Institute's Wegmans Stadium.



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.

Erie Canal Waterway in New York, USA

The Erie Canal is a canal in New York, United States that is part of the east–west, cross-state route of the New York State Canal System. Originally, it ran 363 miles (584 km) from where Albany meets the Hudson River to where Buffalo meets Lake Erie. It was built to create a navigable water route from New York City and the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. When completed in 1825, it was the second longest canal in the world and greatly affected the development and economy of New York, New York City, and the United States.

Rochester Subway light rail rapid transit line in the city of Rochester, New York

The Rochester Industrial and Rapid Transit Railway, more commonly known as the Rochester Subway was a light rail rapid transit line in the city of Rochester, New York, from 1927 to 1956. The subway was constructed in the bed of the old Erie Canal, which allowed the route to be grade-separated for its entire length. Two miles (3.2 km) of the route through downtown were constructed in a cut-and-cover tunnel that became Broad Street, and the only underground portion of the subway. The Rochester Subway was designed to reduce interurban traffic on city streets, and to facilitate freight interchange between the railroads. The line was operated on a contract basis by New York State Railways until Rochester Transit Corporation (RTC) took over in 1938. The last day of passenger service was June 30, 1956. Portions of the right-of-way were used for expressway construction, while the rest was abandoned and filled in over the years. The largest remaining section is a stretch of underground tunnel under Broad Street from Exchange Street to the intersection of Court Street and South Avenue.

New York (state) American state

New York is a state in the Northeastern United States. New York was one of the original thirteen colonies that formed the United States. With an estimated 19.54 million residents in 2018, it is the fourth most populous state. In order to distinguish the state from the city with the same name, it is sometimes referred to as New York State.

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.

Water table top of a saturated aquifer, or where the water pressure head is equal to the atmospheric pressure

The water table is the upper surface of the zone of saturation. The zone of saturation is where the pores and fractures of the ground are saturated with water.

The Virginia Beach Mariners were an American soccer club, who formerly played in the USL First Division of the United Soccer Leagues, the second division in the US Soccer hierarchy behind Major League Soccer. On March 30, 2007 the team folded due to lack of ownership.

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 rights

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]

Naming rights Financial transaction and form of advertising whereby a corporation or other entity purchases the right to name a facility or event, typically for a defined period of time

Naming rights are a financial transaction and form of advertising whereby a corporation or other entity purchases the right to name a facility or event, typically for a defined period of time. For properties like a multi-purpose arena, performing arts venue or an athletic field, the term ranges from three to 20 years. Longer terms are more common for higher profile venues such as a professional sports facility.

PAETEC Holding Corporation was a FORTUNE 1000 telecommunications company headquartered in Perinton, New York, United States. It was founded as the private company PaeTec Communications, Inc. in 1998 by Arunas A. Chesonis. In 2007 it merged with US LEC and then Cavalier Telephone Company and became a publicly traded company, and in 2011 it was acquired by Windstream Communications.

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. 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]


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 20062011. The championships returned to Rochester for 2014 and 2015. [12]

International friendlies

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

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  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.
  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.
  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
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
Succeeded by
Harvard Stadium

Coordinates: 43°9′44.0″N77°37′45.7″W / 43.162222°N 77.629361°W / 43.162222; -77.629361