Sahlen's Stadium

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Sahlen's Stadium
PAETEC Park overview.JPG
Former names PAETEC Park (2006–2008)
Rochester Rhinos Stadium (2008–2009)
Marina Auto Stadium (2009–2010)
Location Rochester, New York
Owner City of Rochester
Operator Rochester Soccer Corp.
Capacity 13,768 (2006)
Record attendance 15,404 on 7/20/2011[1]
Surface FieldTurf
Broke ground July 9, 2004
Opened June 3, 2006
Construction cost $35 million
Architect Populous
Rochester Rhinos (USL PRO) (2006–present)
Rochester Ravens FC (WL) (2009–2010)
Rochester Rhinos Women (WL) (2006–2008)
Rochester Rattlers (MLL) (2006–2008, 2011-2014)
Western New York Flash (WPS) (2011–2012)
Western New York Flash (NWSL) (2013–present)

Sahlen's Stadium, formerly PAETEC Park and Marina Auto Stadium, is a soccer-specific stadium in Rochester, New York, US. It is home to the Rochester Rhinos of the USL Pro league, and the Western New York Flash of the National Women's Soccer League. It is also home of the Rochester Rattlers of Major League Lacrosse. The stadium also 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.


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. PAETEC Park 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 will pay the remaining amount). Infrastructure improvements will be paid for by the city of Rochester.

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.[citation needed] Notwithstanding these roadblocks, ground was broken on July 9, 2004, and Phase One of the construction was completed. 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.

Naming rights[edit]

Naming rights to the park were purchased by PAETEC Communications, a local telecommunications company, in 2004 for a reported total of $12.8 million over 22 years.[citation needed] Due to delays in construction, however, the amount had been reduced to $2.1 million over 12 years. When the previous owners of the Rhinos were forced to give up the team in early 2008, the agreement was voided.[citation needed] PAETEC then signed a new 1-year agreement with new owner Rob Clark's firm, the Adirondack Sports Club.

On December 11, 2008, it was announced that PAETEC would not renew their naming rights agreement when the contract expired in April 2009.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] On May 30, 2009, the night of the Rhinos' 2009 home opener, Marina Auto Group, a Webster-based automobile dealership group, won the raffle.[2]

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 ten-year naming rights agreement with Sahlen's Packing Company, Inc. of Buffalo, New York. The cost of the agreement was not released, but is estimated at about $2 million.[3]


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.

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 with the Raiders triumphing 43-36.

The Drum Corps Associates drum corps championships were held at the stadium each Labor Day weekend from 2006-2011. The championships will return to Rochester for 2014 and 2015.[4]

NACKA Kickball plays kickball at the stadium regularly in Spring, Summer and Fall. Championship games are played on the field at the end of each season.

On September 18, 2010 Courage Bowl VI was held at Marina Auto Stadium. The Courage Bowl is the annual football game between the St. John Fisher College Cardinals and the University of Rochester Yellowjackets.

On July 31, 2012, U.S. Soccer announced that the U.S. Women’s National Team will face Costa Rica in its first post-London Olympics international friendly on Saturday, September 1. The match kicked off at 2:30 p.m. ET, and was broadcast live on NBC.[5]


External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Frontier Field
Home of the Rochester Rhinos
2006 – present
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′43.97″N 77°37′45.67″W / 43.1622139°N 77.6293528°W / 43.1622139; -77.6293528