07/15/2016 9:21 AM
STATEMENT FROM WNY FLASH OWNERS JOE AND ALEX SAHLEN
“On Saturday, July 9, 2016, the Western New York Flash hosted the Seattle Reign in a National Womens Soccer League match. Due to a scheduling conflict, the Flash's regular home field, Rochester Rhinos Stadium, was unavailable. The venue for the game was moved a few blocks away to Frontier Field, a baseball venue that, in the past, has had a rich history of hosting professional soccer games, including the United States Women's National Team. Our intention throughout this process was always to provide a quality game atmosphere for players and fans alike in a stadium that holds a special place in the hearts of Rochester fans.
Due to the configuration of Frontier Field, Flash management was aware that the pitch was going to be smaller than a typical field. Certain dimensions were designated and communicated to the league and to our opponent.
After a thorough investigation of what transpired this past weekend, it has been determined that there was a lack of oversight on behalf of our organization in preparing and operating Frontier Field at the standards we should expect for a professional women’s soccer game.
This ultimately resulted in an embarrassment for our league. We, as a family and organization, have always strived to enhance and benefit the sport of soccer and, in particular, women's soccer.
On behalf of our organization and our family, we sincerely apologize to the NWSL for tarnishing its reputation and image. We also apologize to the Seattle Reign organization and to the players and fans. Our club has continued to be dedicated and invested through several iterations of women’s professional soccer and we will continue to work hard to grow the league and the game in the most positive ways possible.”