Rochester NY FC will play at John L. DeMarco Field at MCC. (Photo courtesy of MCC)
By Michael Lewis
If there was one thing that has helped the David and his wife, Wendy, to be a success in business, it has been the ability be flexible and adaptable.
In other words, if Plan A isn’t working out, you try Plan B.
Case in point:
The owners’ first choice for a field for their MLS NEXT Pro team. They were hoping to call the Empire Soccer Club home in Henrietta, N.Y., but time wasn’t on their side, especially with a March 2022 kickoff to the fledgling league.
They wanted to add seats on to the field on John Street, next to the club’s training facility.
“The problem was that in order to do that we needed to move some dirt,” Dworkin said. “We needed to do some significant infrastructure improvements. Seating and everything else that was needed. Ultimately, time did not allow us to do that because we needed to have our league chosen, and then we needed to go to whatever permits might be necessary to the Town of Henrietta and there just wasn’t enough time.
“So then the question is where do you want to play?”
They selected John L. DeMarco Field at Monroe Community College, where the school’s soccer and lacrosse teams play.
“MCC is a natural,” Dworkin said. “It’s very close to Empire. So that’s obviously a big help. It’s a natural place for us to be.”
Dworkin wouldn’t say how long RNYFC would play at MCC.
“I would say that the physical spot that we’re playing in is temporary and temporary could be defined obviously over the course of a number of years,” he said. “But ultimately our plan is to have a stadium somewhere that accommodates what we wish to do. But for now, one of the things that I think is very important for this team is to be able to create an atmosphere, to be able to create an excitement when we’re playing.”
When crowds failed to fill out the downtown soccer stadium in Rochester when the Dworkins and their predecessors owned the team, that excitement faded or was non-existent.
“One of the challenges that existed in the old stadium was it has 12,000 seats and when it’s a third full, you just lose you lose that that atmosphere, you lose that excitement,” Dworkin said. “I would rather have 1,500 seats at MCC that are filled then have 3,000 or 4,000 seats that are not. This is that sort of progression, if you will, of seating and the hope is that we fill up our seats. Then we make the stadium bigger than the seating bigger and then ultimately, we make decisions going forward.”