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Utica businessman buys Rochester Rhinos

PaeTec Park

A Utica bank executive is buying the Rochester Rhinos, the city's financially strapped minor-league soccer team.

The takeover by Rob Clark, which still needs final approval from Rochester's city council, means the Rhinos will be fielding a team in the United Soccer Leagues once more this year, club and city officials said Thursday.

Their home games are at PaeTec Park, a $32 million soccer-specific stadium opened in June 2006.

Clark, 35, is a vice president of Adirondack Bank in Utica. He kicked in $2.1 million of $10.6 million in loans given to the club's former owners by NBT Bank, based in Norwich.

The Rhinos will play their season opener May 2 in Charleston, South Carolina, and their home opener on May 17.

Often drawing crowds of 10,000-plus, the horned upstarts have not only won the league three times but knocked aside four Major League Soccer opponents in 1999 en route to capturing the U.S. Cup, the nation's No. 1 knockout soccer competition.

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