Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

July 10, 2016 — Grounds for a complaint

It’s been a year and a half since a kerfuffle over the planned used of artificial grass for the 2015 Women’s World Cup resulted in a lawsuit against the organizers and FIFA.

It’s also been about six months since the U.S. women’s national soccer team sued U.S. Soccer over inequitable pay and playing conditions, including playing Victory Tour games on crumb-rubber turf pitches.

In this backdrop, what happened yesterday in Rochester, N.Y. was inexcusable.

The Western New York Flash of the National Women’s Soccer League are one of two tenants of Rhino’s Stadium, a soccer-specific stadium in Rochester, N.Y.

But this weekend, a two-day music festival forced the Flash to move their regular-season game to Frontier Field, the home of the Rochester Red Wings, the area’s long-time minor-league baseball franchise.

The pitch laid out on the outfield of Frontier Field was estimated to be 100 yards long and 58 yards wide, much smaller than the usual soccer field, and smaller than the NWSL standard of 110 by 70 yards..

The condemnation through social media and through some sports-specific websites has been swift and unsparing. The general manager of the visiting Seattle Reign, Laura Harvey, called the episode a “farce,” showing a “lack of professionalism.”

I’m surprised that no other options except for Frontier Field were explored. Given the fact that the team is named “Western New York,” and not “Rochester,” there should have been options all the way from Buffalo to Syracuse, from Geneva to Watertown.

A one-off extravaganza, especially in sports-crazed Buffalo, could have been a tremendous draw. Imagine: a home game with fireworks at Ralph Wilson Stadium for July 4th? Or the NWSL’s first indoor game at the Carrier Dome?

I’ll be interested to see who dropped the ball here.


No comments yet»

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: