Rhinos Benefit From Gold Medal-Winning Women's Team
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From hometown girl to national celebrity, Wambach fever has spread across Rochester, and taken over Sahlen's Stadium.
Awaiting the gold medal team's arrival for Saturday's game against Costa Rica, fans scrambled for tickets.
"It was a nightmare, I went on Ticketmaster forever – closed out, closed out," said Vicki Robusto of Ontario.
"I believe they sold out in ten minutes, but doing it online because they give you time to put your name in and everything, I think it was really instantaneous," said Pat Ercoli, stadium president.
With many fans and even season ticket holders unable to get tickets, the team made additional appearances.
"I felt really guilty that I couldn't get the tickets. As a parent of a child who really looks up to the role models, I feel great that at least she got to see them," Robusto said.
Fans lined the stadium to get Wambach's autograph, cheering for their hometown hero as they waited.
Fans also brought an array of personal items for Wambach to sign. Some got very creative.
"I have this bobble head. I took a penny and covered it with her number. Then I printed this out from the computer," said Janet Piotrowski.
In order to receive a photograph, fans had to purchase a ticket to the Rhinos semi-final game. However, most fans said they were staying to support the Rhinos.
"I am staying to see them. We enjoy any soccer. We love to see any team, it doesn't matter if it's the women's gold or to see the Rhinos," said Robusto.
Ercoli, President of Sahlen's Stadium, says the gold medal team's presence has increased support for the Rochester Rhino's.
"Usually on playoff games we are a little weaker, but today it could be anywhere close to seven thousand people here," Ercoli said.
Fans thanked Wambach for her spirit and sportsmanship and are amped up for Saturday's game.