— After a two decade hiatus, the Rochester Lancers, a former outdoor team, came back as an indoor team in 2011. They are halfway through their season and their owners say they are happy with how the community has received them.
“We’ve surpassed all of our expectations,” says team CEO Sam Fantauzzo. “The ownership group is really excited about that.”
Fantauzzo says each Lancers game has averaged about five to six thousand guests and says the games are a huge hit with families.
“This city knows soccer so we can't fool them,” says Fantauzzo. “They love this game. They love our players and they love this team. I would just like the young kids to fall in love with soccer again and feel for the game. People have a great night out and it’s an inexpensive night out with the family.”
Children under 12 years old can get into Lancers games for free. The average adult ticket price is $10.
Tricia VanPutte of Greece has come to several Lancers games. Her daughter dances on the Junior Lancers Dance Team and she’s noticed the attendance at the games has increased.
“I think they're doing a great job pulling people in,” VanPutte says. “I think the first couple of games people were wondering what it was all about and now I think Rochester is hooked.”
Steve Schiano of Chili came to his first Lancers game on Monday. He says it was affordable for him and his family. Also, he heard indoor soccer was very different from outdoor soccer.
“We're starting to learn,” says Schiano. “But we don't know very much about the sport or the Lancers yet.”
John Bustard of Webster says he likes indoor soccer because it’s fast-paced. There is music playing the whole time and there are very few stops for out-of-bounds or penalties.
“There is a lot of excitement,” says Bustard. “They do a really good job for the families and they do a great job with the game itself. It's very exciting.”
Fantauzzo says that the team ranks second in the Major Indoor Soccer League for attendance, but he says that there is always room for more fans.
“So many people in Monroe County have never even seen indoor soccer. Once they come, they get hooked.”