Statement on stadia for 2015 season

It was never our intention to wait this long to announce our home field for the 2015 season. So for making you wait, we apologize. For sticking with us, we thank you.

This has been the most challenging offseason in the history of FC Buffalo, but we’re happy to announce a resolution to a winter of work regarding our home stadium.

As many of you know, Robert E. Rich All-High Stadium is the only covered stand in the City of Buffalo, making it our home priority each offseason. The club was happy to play at Canisius College’s Demske Athletic Complex last season, a wonderful facility.

On the eve of our season in May of 2014, we were told that Buffalo Public Schools does not allow amateur teams to use All-High, and would be reviewing its guidelines for use of the stadium. We’ve been in constant contact with the BPS board since our 2014 season ended, and want thank Larry Quinn and Jason McCarthy specifically for their advocacy during this process.

Last Wednesday, a resolution was placed on the board agenda that would bring a vote on whether FC Buffalo would be able to use All-High as a home stadium in 2015, a vote we felt confident would go well. As you may have read, that meeting was filled with controversy over the appointment of a new superintendent. That took the evening in a different direction, and voting was moved. We will not have an answer until Wednesday, May 13, which makes one of the dates we needed it for, Saturday, May 16, a problem.

Throughout this process, we have been in touch with the fine people at Canisius, who have agreed to make the stadium available to us for all dates but our home opener on May 16. Once we became aware that All-High was not going to be available, either, we were forced to move the opener outside the City of Buffalo for the first time in club history.

Still, we’ve viewed this as an opportunity, not an obstacle, and we are excited to play our home opener under the lights at Howe Field, which has served as the venue for the Section VI championships this season. The wonderful, soccer-forward people at Hamburg High School have stepped up to ensure we’ll be able to put forth a top-notch product at the 2200-seat venue just off the I-90. We’re grateful for them.

It’s important that you know we continue to work on finding or, more likely, cooperating to build a full-time facility inside the City of Buffalo or very close to it. There are multiple discussions going on, and have been for well over a year, but these talks are intriguing and continue to gather steam. We never stop working to put the best product possible at the best possible field, and we can rest assured we’ve made every effort to do that once again.

Address any questions you might have to, and we will reply promptly. This is going to be a memorable season, and no minor stadium hiccups will slow down the growth of our club, for our city.