Rochester wants the Rhinos out of Capelli Sport Stadium by the end of February

Jan 23, 2018

Credit Alex Crichton / WXXI News

The owners of the Rochester Rhinos are being told they have to vacate Capelli Sport Stadium by the end of February.

A letter from the City of Rochester’s Corporation Counsel, Timothy Curtin, says that the recent announcement by team owners David and Wendy Dworkin that they will not field a team for the upcoming season means that they have defaulted on their lease.

The Dworkins had earlier said they would not field a team in the USL this year after they were unable to raise the $1.3 million they needed to make the operation financially viable this year.

But the league had told the Rhinos they would remain in good standing with the USL this year, and the Dworkins had said that Capelli Sport Stadium will host several other USL games during the year.

In the letter from the city, it says that Rochester’s utility and maintenance obligations cost about $650,000 per year, and calls the expenses “an intolerable burden” on city taxpayers for an empty stadium. The letter says that the city will immediate move to look for other uses for the stadium for the upcoming spring and summer seasons.

The Dworkins say that both they and the USL and the league’s lawyer believes that they have met the terms and conditions of the lease, and that the Dworkins will now be responding via their attorneys.

The letter from the city's lawyer says that Mayor Lovely Warren has offered to discuss the situation in person if the Dworkins want to do that.