By Michael Lewis
No lease, no news, at least not yet.
The Rochester Lancers still are waiting word about a lease from the Blue Cross Arena and the city of Rochester on whether they will return to play indoor soccer this November.
Lancers co-owners Doug Miller and Soccer Sam Fantauzzo met with officials to Thursday.
Miller said the meeting went well, but the team was “in a holding pattern” as it awaits a lease. He said BCA general manager Jeff Calkins has released more dates for the team to give to the Major Arena Soccer League, which had given the Lancers until Thursday to obtain a lease.
Now, it appears the new deadline is Tuesday due to the Labor Day weekend.
“They want to see us at Blue Cross Arena,” Miller said on Kick This! Saturday morning. “We are waiting for a letter from them in regards to the lease at Blue Cross Arena. Mr. Calkins at Blue Cross Arena has released a couple of more dates for us to give to the league. So I’m in a holding pattern right now looking for the lease that we could give to the league and finalize the dates.”
The key is how many dates the BCA would free up for the Lancers. The building has several tenants, including the Rochester Americans (hockey), the Razorsharks (basketball) and Knighthawks (lacrosse). Factor in concerts and it can get quite busy, especially on the weekends.
“There are a lot of holds for events that could possibly come to Blue Cross Arena that may or may not happen and we’re sitting on an opportunity that our events could happen,” Miller said. “Things have changed with the Blue Cross Arena and the city of Rochester. It was a really exciting meeting. again, it’s not just us coming into the Blue Cross Arena to play, but also how do we impact the city of Rochester? The kids are playing soccer that have the technical, tactical ability to go beyond and sharing the desire, the determination, dedication, respect and integrity to the game and love of the game to the kids in the inner city.”
If the Lancers get 11 decent dates, Miller was optimistic about the team’s prospects.
“Yeah, I’ve been saying it for the longest period of time now. we’re getting beind the eight ball,” Miller said. “I think they have other organizations in regards to dates. It just the way society and these arenas are being run right now. Everybody is trying to figure out what’s best for the arena and how they can monetize it. For us, we have the same opportunity and as long as we can get some good days, I think that this could happen.”
If the Lancers do return, they would begin playing again in the MASL with two home dates in November, Miller said.
The BCA has a capacity of 10,654.
The Lancers started playing indoors with the Major Indoor Soccer League in 2011. After moving to the MASL, the Lancers went dormant after the 2014-15 season.