September 19, 2020
KEEPING THE FANS SAFE: Lancers introduce Safe Suite for their indoor season
The Rochester Lancers want to make their game atmosphere as comfortable and safe as possible for their fans for the 2021 season.
So, the Major Arena Soccer League team has devised a revolutionary way to keep their biggest supporters in a safe environment at indoor and outdoor matches.
Quite appropriately, it is called Safe Suite.
Safe Suite allows fans to sit and watch a game safely during these challenging times.
"We have no idea what our governor will mandate prior to our season opener but we will be ready," Lancers owner Salvatore "SoccerSam" Fantauzzo said.
“We’ve been focusing on every COVID safety detail since March in our other businesses and will continue to make sure that all our indoor games are COVID-19 safe. We will have safety shields, distance decals with seating safety distancing and wash/ sanitize stations everywhere and now a first for soccer ... Safe Suite!
Safe Suite is a 4 X 4 foot vinyl area that protects fans on all sides. Each Safe Suite sits two people, with enough room for game refreshments. Supporters can zip up the plastic front shield for even more protection.
“Season ticket holders can reserve Safe Suites for the season," Lancers director of operations Kayla Kark Kent Moreira said. "We will have 10 for our indoor games."
The Safe Suites will be located on each side of the home and visiting team benches at the Dome Arena. Each Safe Suite will have six feet between each one for proper social distancing.
"They won't have anyone close next to them," Fantauzzo said. "It's designed for the fans who are cautious."
The Lancers' Safe Suite is believed to be a first for an American sports team.
Fantauzzo said he came up with the idea after a fan called and wanted to know how the team was going to keep their supporters safe when the MASL season kicks off at the Dome Arena in Henrietta, N.Y. safe in early 2021.
"I started thinking, if we could put people in their own safe environment," Fantauzzo said. "We tweaked it a bit. That's what we came up with it."
Many sports team owners have tried to think of ways to keep their fans safe. It is believed no club has come up with such a unique way to enjoy and keep safe at a sporting event during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I think Safe Suite can be used for any sporting event," Fantauzzo said. "I hope more people consider using them if our economy is going to open up."
“Our 2021 indoor home season will start late January or early February and we anticipate a 24-game season," Lancers president of soccer operations Ashley Maria King said. "Things change daily with COVID-19."
The team will go down the list of season ticket holders until the Safe Suite orders are filled up. If they are not, Safe Suite will be made available to the general public.
If season ticket holders decide to upgrade to Safe Suite, they will have to pay $50 for each person, a total of $100 extra, for the season. Season tickets cost $150 per fan.
The Lancers also plan to use Safe Suite for their outdoor soccer season, which includes the men's team in the NationalPremier Soccer League and the Lady Lancers in United Women's Soccer.
For the second week in a row, the Lancers have made headlines by unveiling an innovative, head of the curve concept.
On Sunday, Sept. 13, the 50th anniversary of the team winning the 1970 North American Soccer League championship, the Lancers announced 21 player signings for the 2020-21 MASL season. They also will play in replica jerseys of classic Rochester soccer teams of the past. That includes the 1970 Lancers, the 1981 Rochester Flash and the 1996 Rochester Rhinos. Fans also can purchase these special replica jerseys at www.RLancers.com.