By Michael Lewis
Soccer Sam isn’t about to hold his breath about the indoor Rochester Lancers coming back this fall.
On his radio show Saturday, Soccer Sam Fantauzzo said “quite honestly, I don’t think it’s going to happen.”
“I think we should plan on next season for indoor soccer,” the Lancers co-owner added.
The Major Arena Soccer League has given the club another extension until Tuesday.
City of Rochester officials were supposed to get back to the team on its playing date proposals at the Blue Cross Arena in downtown Rochester for the 2017-18 MASL season by Aug. 31, but did not until after Labor Day, Fantauzzo said.
“They were going to get back to us the next morning so we can get back to the league to let them know what’s happening,” Fantauzzo said. “When they did get back to us, which was probably 48 hours ago, nothing really changed. It was the same deal we had with the Blue Cross Arena a few years back. It doesn’t really work in today’s standards.”
Fantauzzo said that he and Lancers president Doug Miller will meet with city officials one more time.
“Doug and I are going to try our hardest to get some kind of deal happen at the Blue Cross Arena that makes sense for our fans and ourselves as owners,” he said. “But quite honestly, I don’t think it’s going to happen. I think we should plan on next season for indoor soccer.
“I appreciate how hard Doug Miller worked to get to get indoor soccer back, but Tuesday midnight, if its a no-go, we’re all going to focus on outdoor soccer, the men’s team and the Lady Lancers and just go from there until we can find another facility where we can play here in Rochester, even its the Dome [Arena] or RIT.”
The Lancers also negotiated with the officials at the Dome Arena in suburban Henrietta and with the Rochester Institute of Technology, but those potential deals fell through.
Fantauzzo thanked MASL commissioner Joshua Schaub and the league owners for extending the team’s deadline once again. He said they “have been extremely patient,” adding that the additional time was given because many of the teams don’t have dates for their arenas.
The Lancers outdoor men’s team competes in the National Premier Soccer League, the women’s side in United Women’s Soccer. Their seasons run from May through June.