Sahlen acquires 10 year naming rights to Rochester stadium

Jeff Kassouf February 10, 2011 2

Former Marina Auto Stadium, now Sahlen's Stadium, Rochester, N.Y.

Formerly Marina Auto Stadium and PAETEC Park, the home of the Rochester Rhinos and Western New York Flash will now be named after Sahlen's. (www.dorochester.com)

The Western New York Flash’s presence continues to grow in Rochester.  On Thursday the team announced the Sahlen’s Packing Company, Inc. has signed a 10 year deal to become the new naming rights sponsor of the downtown Rochester stadium.

Joe Sahlen, who owns both the Western New York Flash and the meat company, continues to solidify his brand in Rochester and the greater Western New York area.  While the move is clearly more geared toward the the meat packing company, it speaks volumes about Sahlen’s commitment to the Flash.  A 10 year deal is no joke.  One report pegs the deal as being similar to the $2.1 million that PAETEC paid for the naming rights to the stadium in 2006.

Regardless, it is clear the Sahlen is committed to a long-term future for the Flash, which already looks like a championship contender in its inaugural season.  In owning the naming rights to the stadium, Sahlen may be able to give the Flash more pull for premium home dates.  The Flash will be working with the Rochester Rhinos, but they will still have to compete with the USL-Pro side for premium dates on the schedule.

Technically, the move marks the second Women’s Professional Soccer team playing in its own stadium. That’s a bit of a misleading statement given the KSU Soccer Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga. was built specifically for the Atlanta Beat, but with this move, Western New York makes it clear that it will at least be level with the Rochester Rhinos as a primary – if not the primary – tenant of the stadium that the team’s owner now owns the naming rights to.