Thousands to pack Sahlen's Stadium for non-sporting event
Posted at: 06/15/2012 5:16 PM
| Updated at: 06/15/2012 6:25 PM
By: Robin De Wind | WHEC.com
The Rhinos, Rattlers and Western New York Flash are all on the road this weekend. Even the Red Wings are away. So that means Sahlen’s Stadium and the surrounding parking lots are open.
Sahlen’s Stadium has supported big grounds, close to $15,000, when the U.S. Women’s National Team was in town and Abby scored her 100th goal and more recently, when the Pittsford native returned with her team to play the Flash after the World Cup.
This weekend, the stadium is expected to hold this many people once again, but not for a sporting event. “Rock the Lakes” has moved into the stadium. The two-day crusade features the Reverend Franklin Graham, who is Reverend Billy Graham’s son, and a number of Christian rock and rap groups performing.
30,000 people are expected for the free two-day event. Crews have been able to set up easily which makes Sahlen’s a cost effective venue.
General Manager Pat Ercoli says this weekend will expose more area people to the stadium, which is ultimately good for three local teams that play there. He says concerts and expanded sporting events were considered when the stadium was built.
Ercoli says another concert with Summerland will be held later this summer and he is open to other sporting events.
Pat Ercoli, Sahlen’s Stadium GM, said, “This is something that we feel we needed to look at for our viability with Summerland coming in we are looking for bigger acts but in anything you have to prove yourself in anything you do. Certainly other events, motor cross any thing that adds to the community we're open to all events. We want to focus on sporting events and now concerts and these types of events that can attract people, it's a win for everybody.”
Ercoli says he would like to have the Bills practice or scrimmage at the stadium, but that creates a contract issue with St. John Fisher College. But he’s hoping that the success of this weekend’s event could lead to this soccer venue being expanded.