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The San Francisco Rush are no more. PRO Rugby CEO and owner Doug Schoninger sent out an email Thursday informing players and coaches the team would not continue, citing venue issues.
"With no suitable venue available, we are forced to make the hard choice of terminating operations for the SF Rush and terminating all employees, effective immediately," Schoninger's email read. "I am particularly saddened as I feel, with more work and more local cooperation, we could have made the team successful in the short term."
The Rush finished fourth amongst the original five teams in 2016. Schoninger acknowledged there were issues with the San Francisco team from the league's beginnings.
"As you all know (probably better than me), San Francisco was challenging from all perspectives: training facilities, venue, venue facilities, local club relations, fan attendance and engagement, and local tv/newspaper's support, to name a few," he wrote.
"During the last season we determined that we could not return to Boxer due to its substandard facilities, fan experience and wind conditions. We have been actively looking for a replacement venue in SF for the Rush, but unfortunately, we have not been able to find a suitable venue. We did have high hopes that Kezar Stadium would be available to us, but unfortunately the SF Parks and Recs Dept. informed us recently that the stadium is only available to the new soccer team SF Deltas and would be not available to us."
Though the Rush's players and coaches are out of a job currently, Schoninger did say in the email that if they had any interest in joining the Sacramento Express, they should contact Dominic DeFalco, the league's other current front office employee.
Schoninger's email did not mention any plans to replace the Rush or get back to five teams for the second season.