Rochester becomes the seventh AUDL team to cease operations.
October 30, 2015 by Charlie Eisenhood in News with 2 comments
The AUDL’s Rochester Dragons — one of the league’s worst-performing franchises — shuttered its doors this week after its fourth straight losing season.
The franchise was one of the original eight in the AUDL, joining the league as the Buffalo Hunters. After the team struggled to draw crowds in Buffalo, it moved an hour east to Rochester. There, attendance remained among the lowest in the league.
“This decision in particular took many months to finalize, but is a necessary step to ensure the future prosperity of the league,” said AUDL Commissioner Steve Gordon.
The Dragons become the seventh AUDL team to cease operations and the fifth of the original eight teams to fold. Of the eight teams that competed in the inaugural 2012 season, only the Cincinnati Revolution (formerly Bluegrass Revolution), Detroit Mechanix, and Indianapolis Alleycats are still operating.
“It’s never easy to see a franchise leave the AUDL, but we felt this move was in the best interest in the league and opens the door to a new franchise in the East in the near future,” said league board member and Madison Radicals owner Tim DeByl.
Rochester’s exit, trimming the number of teams in the Eastern Division to six, does pave the way for an expansion to Boston, a city long on the wish list of the AUDL. DeByl says that a Boston franchise could join the league as early as next season. “It is our number one priority in the next few months,” he said.
The Boston territory rights were owned by Detroit Mechanix owner Brent Steepe until last year, when the league bought the franchise back from him for an undisclosed sum. The league is actively seeking a buyer.
The AUDL offseason reshuffling began earlier this month with the announcement that Salt Lake was folding permanently and that Austin and Dallas were joining the South Division.