Syracuse Orange to Leave Carrier Dome?
There is a lot of talk right now about New York State and Syracuse University, among others, partnering to create a new stadium costing approximately $500,000,000. The details are sketchy, and the Syracuse Mayor may be pointlessly interfering with the idea, but these are interesting times on the Hill.
For those who do not know, the Carrier Dome was built for a mere $27,000,000. It is in the design of the Hoosier (RCA) Dome and the Pontiac Silverdome, among other inflatable roof domed stadiums (stadia?). While the Carrier Dome is an iconic sports venue for basketball, breaking its own single-game attendance records nearly every year, it is also a bit long-in-the-tooth for an inflatable roof dome. It is 35 years old, which is longer than most domes have lasted without major renovations. The issue is not IF the Carrier Dome will require major renovations, but when.
At the same time, neither Syracuse, New York State, or the United States for that matter have excess money. Syracuse University may be a private school doing well, but its endowment is not at Ivy League levels. Its sports revenue is increasing due to ACC membership, but that revenue lags behind the other major conferences. So this is not being contemplated because there is plenty of money and nowhere to spend it. This is a major project.
It will be interesting to see what happens with this project. What do you think? Is it time for Syracuse to enter a new era from a stadium standpoint? Share your opinion below…
From a recruiting standpoint, I think that having a state of the art stadium dedicated for basketball would be fantastic (much like the Melo Center has been). Especially if the City can parlay the new facility into hosting more NCAA tournament games, and giving a new venue for lacrosse, hockey, indoor soccer, concerts, and who knows…maybe even a future D-League NBA team.
However, I would like to know what the cost would be for the University to fill its wish list for upgrading the dome to accommodate all sports? Adding a retractable roof, adding more luxury boxes, seat backs for the lower section, improved locker rooms and press area….possibly just building a whole facility completely.
It wouldn’t have the restaurants, bars, hotel, and other accoutrements that a private developer could offer at the proposed location.
Either way, I’m glad that the University and the City are thinking ahead and being proactive about the future needs of the facility; and not being total cheapskates about it.
It wasn’t that long ago when the previous administration said that there was no way that the Carrier Dome could get field turf (field turf was later installed) and that after changing the name from “ORANGEMEN” to “ORANGE” the letters “M-E-N” in the endzone were painted green instead of repainting the entire endzone.
They’re thinking about either renovating the Dean Dome, or building a new arena for us as well. I think it’s important to find funding from the right place, but when done well (with additional revenue streams such as luxury areas, etc.), it can be a huge benefit to the school.