CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cleveland Crunch opened up home play for the 2022-23 season with back-to-back games at the end of January. They played at the I-X Center, which marked their largest venue since returning to action in 2020. The Crunch drew a crowd of nearly 3,000 fans over two days.
"It was a great place to play. It was fun. It was a positive environment. It allowed us to expand and host that many fans," says Cleveland Crunch Public Relations Manager Andriana Ruscitto.
The Crunch say that four of their six home games were to be played at the I-X Center. The second set of games were scheduled for March 18 and 19 on a verbal agreement with the facility. However, the facility informed the team it would be parting ways ahead of those dates.
"After our January 28th and 29th dates, we had reached out to them and said that we were looking to pursue March and get on the ground running with that. We knew that the events are on a contract-by-contract basis there, so we were very much aware of that," says Ruscitto.
The I-X Center says it was no longer a good fit "financially or operationally."
In a statement to News 5, Director of Sales & Marketing Claire Anter said:
"The Cleveland Crunch held games at the I-X Center on January 28 and 29. Luciano, Ryan, Lou and the rest of the organization brought home two big wins during that time. We wish them continued success throughout the rest of their season."
The Crunch says there are no hard feelings about the decision.
"We parted ways on good terms. It wasn't any ill will by any means," says Ruscitto.
The team is now searching for a new home to host their final two games of the season.
"The process hasn't been easy, but we're working hard. We're definitely not gonna let fans down. Just trying to schedule meetings with different people in the City of Cleveland for potential venue options and really just keeping our options as open as it can be until we kind of lock something in place," says Ruscitto.
Tickets purchased for the March 18 and 19 games will be valid at the new venue. If the original ticket price is higher than the new venue ticket price, refunds will be distributed accordingly.
The Crunch are 4-1 on the season. Their next game is February 11 against Cincinnati at the Soccer Sportsplex in North Olmsted.
View the rest of the Crunch's 2022-2023 schedule here, which includes four more away games before the two home games in March.
Carly Mascitti is a sports anchor at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @carlymascitti.
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