February 25, 2008
For a third week in a row, we were able to get someone on the show that had said previously that they would not talk to the media until a deal was complete.
First, it was Steve Donner and Matthew Ford coming in studio, then it was Frank DuRoss, and this past Saturday it was Dan Williams himself.
While Mr. Williams was unwilling to discuss the state of the negotiations, he did talk about a lot of the issues that fans have wondered about.
Most notably, Mr. Williams said that the timing of the potential deal wouldn't make it feasible to completely revamp the management team with the Rhinos. With a little over two months remaining until opening day, I think that is a completely understandable position to take.
Mr. Williams also clarified some assumptions that were made elsewhere, such as the "soccer village" concept that they have in St. Louis. While Mr. Williams liked the idea, he pointed out that replicating that in Rochester would require taking over half of downtown. But, it did sound like Mr. Williams would work hard at trying to see what could happen to revitalize the area both around PAETEC Park and between Frontier Field and PAETEC Park.
At the end of the show, Alex Loj made some rather damning comments about Mr. Williams and his the financial ability to complete the deal and deliver on what he's talked about.
Mr. Williams has responded in the comments to Devo's "Miller time" post at his blog. I have also offered to have Mr. Williams post an open letter to Rhinos fans here in response to Alex's charges.
Personally, I did a little research over the weekend on various Blackburn Rovers fan sites and found some rather recent postings from fans that want to see Dan Williams' group buy their club. So, if the deal did fall apart due to a lack of real funding, it doesn't appear to be something that is widely known by the Blackburn fanbase.
And if Alex's information is largely blog comments and webboard postings, I think it was very unfortunate that he would make such comments on the local airwaves.
Alex is scheduled to be on with Bob Matthews this evening at 6:30pm and perhaps he'll be more forthcoming with information at that time.
News & Notes:
- Ryan Whirty is asking where the money for PAETEC Park went. I know a few things that LeChase would have been unlikely to contract out: the contaminated soil clean up that was needed prior to construction and all the work that the architects did to design PAETEC Park. And given that they had to do three different designs (the original $50 million stadium, the in ground design that was scrapped due to the high water table at the current site, and the final design), I would expect that the architect fees weren't small.
Now whether those two things, and anything else that LeChase wasn't in charge of, adds up to $7 million. It's obvious that with all the checks and balances in place for the state funding that the $18.3 million from NYS went where it was supposed to.
- MLS is saying hold it on Thursday being the big day for the Philly to MLS announcement.
- Santino Quaranta is back where his MLS career started as he's on trial with DC United according to Steven Goff.
- That's got to leave a mark! Houston lost 6-1 to Gamba Osaka in the Pan-Pacific Championship final early Sunday morning in Hawaii.
- I'm off to NYC for a couple of days. Hopefully Dan Williams owns the Rhinos when I get back on Wednesday night!
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, and not necessarily those of the Rochester Rhinos or SoccerSam.com. Feel free to send any comments or complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org. James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them.