It is with a heavy heart and a great sense of disappointment that we share with you Rochester NY Football Club will not participate in the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro season.
This decision involved a great deal of input from many stakeholders including MLS NEXT Pro and was not one we arrived at lightly. Our full intention for 2023 was to reward RNYFC supporters with another exciting season of professional soccer in Rochester. Our fans turned out in great numbers in 2022, cheered loudly, and were as impassioned as the players themselves.
When we relaunched the Club after a five year hiatus we, like so many of you, were excited about the future. While our first year was fraught with challenges, we nonetheless persevered and qualified for the playoffs. As we began the offseason it became apparent that to stay competitive, we would need a significantly greater investment in many aspects of the Club. Despite increased attendance, including the addition of nearly 600 temporary seats at our last match, the unfortunate reality is the current infrastructure coupled with other challenges resulted in no path to sustainability.
Monroe Community College was an extraordinary partner, and the game day experience was special. However, a professional team needs a more robust infrastructure to create economies of scale.
We set out in search of a viable way to continue for the 2023 season and beyond. We met with some international soccer team owners to establish a technical relationship that would help reduce the operating costs of running the team. Other international team owners explored a minority investment in the Club, but unfortunately none of those opportunities materialized or would have taken several years to implement.
Most recently, we were in advanced discussions with an ownership group to acquire a majority interest in RNYFC. However, the purchasing group decided not to proceed earlier this week as we were moving to close. This left us with no time and no choice but to decline fielding a team in 2023.
Again, we thank the RNYFC sponsors and supporters who made 2022 a special season. Fans who ordered 2023 season tickets will have their purchases refunded in full beginning Tuesday March 21st with more information being sent by email.