Rochester, N.Y. – The Rochester RazorSharks say the rent is too high at the Blue Cross Arena. The team cited the desire to control its own revenue as a reason for buying the Dome Arena in Henrietta.
“We would have control and having control means we’d have a chance to make some money and have a profit-making venture versus a losing venture we have in the city,” said team owner Sev Hrywnak.
The basketball team has played at the Blue Cross Arena for seven years and expects this season to be its last. The team plans to spend up to several million dollars renovating the Dome Arena and installing 5,000-6,000 seats and perhaps an ice rink. Hrywnak would not disclose the purchase price.
The RazorSharks pay about $4,000 in rent per game at Blue Cross Arena plus $3,000 per game for the scoreboard. The team gets 4 percent of concession money and limited use of ad space. The Amerks and Knighthawks are the priority tenants.
“In this facility, four different teams, it’s difficult to cut up that pie so many different ways to make everyone happy,” said Blue Cross Arena manager Jeff Calkins. “I understand it and I appreciate the position they’re in. I can understand their desire to move to a venue where they can control those revenue streams.”
Hrywnak said the city should treat all sports teams the same. He was also frustrated with special event parking rates at the Civic Center, which can exceed the cost of a ticket.
Calkins said the 10 games a year netted Blue Cross Arena about $75,000 profit. He believes the facility can offset that revenue with other events. City taxpayers contribute nearly a half million dollars a year to support the venue.
“I think in the big picture they stay in the community,” said Calkins. “They’re still accessible to the Rochester sports fan and they’re able to survive.”
The Monroe County Fair put the Dome Arena up for sale because of financial problems.