The Rochester Rattlers played their last home game of 2013 last week, and possibly their last game in Rochester ever. Head coach Tim Soudan said the future of the franchise might be bleak.“I hope not, but at this point I don’t think it’s looking very good,” coach Tim Soudan said about the subject. “We do have, from what I understand, some interested parties in the Rochester area to keep this thing here, but I just don’t know if from a league standpoint if they’re going to be able to get a deal done. At this point, I don’t even know if they’re even negotiating… I’m kind of hoping that we’re able to put together a group, we might be able to save it, but it very well could be.”
The Rattlers have played two home games on the road in Florida and Atlanta, and one road game in Florida as well. They were involved in every MLL test market game in 2013. When contacted, the league said they would not comment on the future of any teams for the 2014 season.
“It hasn’t been the easiest travel. It hasn’t been easy to practice, that type of thing, so it really shouldn’t be an excuse, but I think all those little things kind of weigh on people’s minds a bit,” he said. “We haven’t had that real identity of being a real strong team in Rochester because there hasn’t been a lot of marketing going on in town. You don’t get the same feel as you do when you go to Denver, you go to Charlotte, you go to some of these other places, Boston, so you’re not getting that community feel, but for what we’ve been given, I think we’ve done a good job of getting people in the seats. The Rochester fans are awesome, but at the end of the day, I don’t think it should affect the guys because they’re traveling every week, even to get to Rochester.”
This week two Denver players, including leading goaltender of the year candidate Jesse Schwartzman tweeted about the 1,031 fans in attendance at the Outlaws at Rattlers game last week that was on national TV.
— Jesse Schwartzman (@schwarty19) July 20, 2013
“There hasn’t been a whole lot of marketing done in town,” Soudan said. “You don’t get the same feel as when you go to Denver or Charlotte. You’re not getting that community feel.
“We’ll absolutely see.” says goaltender John Galloway. “We would love to stay in Rochester. We love the fans there. We love being able to be in upstate and proud of that label” he said. “But at the same time if the league decides that if they deem it would be good for everybody to expand to different markets then we’d be happy to hear it. We’re just lucky we can all play. As long as we have a home we’ll be happy.”