Rhinos schedule 4 games even with legal issues looming over Capelli Sport Stadium lease

Jan 26, 2018

Credit Alex Crichton / WXXI News

Even with the legal wrangling still going on over the future of Capelli Sport Stadium in Rochester this year, the Rochester Rhinos have announced four regular USL contests this year.

Rhinos owners David and Wendy Dworkin say that Toronto FC II will serve as hosts for the four games, including the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on May 5, Indy Eleven on June 16, Nashville SC on July 28 and Bethlehem Steel FC on August 16.

David Dworkin said that the owners, “are ecstatic that there will continue to be professional soccer in Rochester during the 2018 USL season.” The Toronto team president, Bill Manning said that, “We are happy that we can give the fans four USL games to attend this season as the Rhinos prepare for their return to action in 2019.”

The games including the return of Pittsburgh Riverhounds Head Coach Bob Lilley to Rochester.  Lilley was the head coach for the Rhinos for six years before leaving last fall.

The Dworkins are embroiled in a legal dispute with City Hall, after Rochester’s Corporation Counsel sent a letter to the Rhinos’ owners recently telling them that they are in default on their lease, after having said they would take a year off from league play this year. The city has told the Dworkins they have to be out of the stadium by the end of February.

The city maintains that the Rhinos have abandoned their right to participate in the USL, but the Dworkins say the opposite, that the league has told them they remain in good standing.

The Dworkins previously said they were working on some other USL games for this upcoming season as well as other events involving local organizations to keep the stadium busy.

City Hall Communications Director James Smith says the city will try to work with any event organizers impacted by the situation with the stadium to accommodate them if possible either at the Capelli Sport Stadium or at a different venue.