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Carrier Dome

Syracuse University, about to make $20 million a year from joining the ACC, is pondering the replacement of the iconic Carrier Dome. The Dome was built in 1980 and is a signature of the college and the city skyline.

The Post-Standard reports:

“I think Central New York deserves an unbelievable place,” said Gross, SU’s athletic director. “You’ve got all these great new stadiums in New York City and then you start coming upstate and the next biggest thing you run into is the Dome…”


(Baksetball coach Jim) Boeheim prefers to extend the shelf life of a stadium that has helped facilitate unprecedented growth for his program. He believes the Dome, with its quirky visuals, its capacity to accommodate vast basketball crowds and its strong Syracuse association, still serves the university’s athletic interests.


“You build a new basketball arena, then you’ve got a basketball arena, just like everybody else has,” Boeheim said.


Joe Giansante, SU’s new Senior Associate Athletics Director for Communication & External Affairs, endorses the adage that “if you’re not building facilities, you’re falling behind.”

Syracuse is about to start construction on a $17 million football practice facility and it has the new, $19 million Melo Center.

No one has mentioned the price tag of replacing the Dome, which would easily reach into the tens of millions of dollars. No one has mentioned exactly why this should be done, other than Syracuse suddenly has money to spend.


Links of the Day:


– Midtown Tower is the most important piece of redeveloping the site. But I’m rather horrified at plans for a corner surface parking lot. That’s the type of stuff that destroyed our downtown in the first place.

– Everything we thought we knew about Shaken Baby Syndrome might not be true. The doubts about the diagnosis have come to a Rochester case.

– Refused permission to tear down historic buildings, a Syracuse owner let them rot. Now they have to torn down anyway.

– New York is having problems with the contractor charged with sending out refunds to paper tax filers. The filers are entitled to interest.

– Multi-billion dollar companies are paying low-wage workers with debit cars that carry huge fees.

13 Responses to Why Replace the Dome?

  1. July 1, 2013 at 8:55 am Booored...man...street responds:

    It’s also iconic and a big advantage for their best team, the 11-time champion lacrosse team. I read a quote from a Navy coach describing their home field advantage. When their bus would come up 81 over the first hill where you could see the Dome, there was a noticable chill through the bus when the guys realized what they were in for. Keep the Dome!

  2. July 1, 2013 at 9:14 am Joel McLellan responds:

    Is that Church on a lake??? That is pretty cool.

  3. “…Syracuse suddenly has money to spend.”

    But it doesn’t. And neither does the taxpayer, who will end up footing the bill, plus interest.

    We are addicted to spending beyond our means. Some fine example we are setting for our children and grandchildren.

  4. July 1, 2013 at 1:10 pm bill responds:

    What a waste to put a parking lot on the corner of broad and chestnut for 25+ years at least. That section chestnut has been destroyed by “urban renewal and it doesn’t look like we’ve learned our lesson yet.

  5. July 1, 2013 at 4:03 pm Sean Lahman responds:

    It just cost more than $300 million to build a new football stadium for the University of Minnesota, and that one didn’t have a dome. The new basketball arena in Louisville cost $230 million. Auburn built one for $100 million, but it only seats 9,000. Bottom line, replacing the Carrier Dome with separate venues for football and basketball is at least a $500 million project, and likely more.

  6. July 1, 2013 at 6:46 pm Orielly responds:

    SU has no money, that was the reason they gave last year when they dropped mens and womens swimming. Couldn’t afford a team or a new pool.

    They charge 65K a year to go there, but students (customers) who pay that tuition are forced to wait on line some time for days to buy tickets to attend the school’s games, if they can get a ticket.

    We taxpayers built and paid for the Carrier Dome. Now apparently they no longer need it. Clearly it helped build SU as a national sports power school, in some sports.

    Their commitment to all student athletes in all sports at SU, or to holding the line on their tuition costs, tell the tale of another school, they don’t want told. And the press doesn’t report that side of the SU story as well.

  7. July 1, 2013 at 8:05 pm Animule responds:

    Fascinating stuff. I had no idea that Syracuse got rid of its swimming team. But here’s a story on it with the announcement back in 2011: http://www.nunesmagician.com/2011/2/17/1998531/real-orange-heroes-the-syracuse-swimming-diving-program

    I wonder if the high school that is referred to in the story is Nottingham High. I believe that the Atlantic 10 held some its league championships at this pool in the late 1980s or early 1990s. Either way, its a crime how SU gives non-revenue sports the shaft so it can cash in on football and basketball.

  8. The Dome should be renovated, not replaced. What would Syracuse (City and University) be without the Dome? Utica.

    • Disclaimer: I have never been to Syracuse, much less the Carrier Dome. I live in Indianapolis. I can only go by what I’ve seen on television and our experience here with the Colts in the old RCA Dome…which was a very similar structure.

      It’s not as if replacing the Carrier Dome would suddenly make Syracuse into a dead town because there would be a new stadium — presumably a much better one. They’re not just going to tear it down without having a plan to build something better.

      Back in 2008, Lucas Oil Stadium opened in Indianapolis. It’s orders of magnitude better than the RCA Dome was. Granted, this is an NFL stadium and not a college one, but it’s just sooooo much better than the old RCA Dome was. That’s how we got the Super Bowl. The fan comforts are much better (the old RCA Dome had bleachers in the upper deck), there are many more concession options, wider concourses, more restrooms, and dramatically better sight lines. It’s not a cookie-cutter building like the RCA Dome was — and like the Carrier Dome is.

      And let’s not forget the basketball aspect. You could argue that playing basketball in a dome is never great except that you can get more people in there. But if you built a more rectangular and more flexible facility (like Lucas Oil Stadium is), you could create all sorts of neat seating configurations for basketball that would work better than what the Carrier Dome currently offers.

      For the brief period when both stadiums were around at the same time, Lucas Oil Stadium towered over the RCA Dome across the street. The RCA Dome was eventually imploded and turned into more convention center space, which was much needed. Lucas Oil Stadium has a retractable roof and window so games can be played indoors or outdoors. It’s just a beautiful place. Don’t get so attached to a building as ugly and spartan as the Carrier Dome.

  9. They need to take that money and fix the crummy city.

  10. July 1, 2013 at 11:50 pm Orielly responds:

    Tom Golisano put forth the idea of a NY STATE school for sports D1 Like Michigan State, Ohio State etc. The school to be made the NY STATE school was offered to UB.

    That movement is starting up again at UB with other money coming to the table and Cuomo on the fence on the idea.

    Therefore, besides other reasons SU is trying to get the state money first and stop the move to UB. A strong UB Sports program in D1 could be a threat to SU in upstate as SU has more of a following now in NYC and now moving to the ACC could threaten their upstate following more…. out side of Syracuse.

    SU is less and less an academic institution and more a pro sports farm system. With the exception of the SU Newhouse school, RIT, UR Geneseeo and UB have better academics than SU in my view.

  11. I guess a half billion dollars doesn’t buy what it used to.

    I wonder if they ever thought of using it for academic scholarships? After all, they ARE a school and their primary purpose is education….. isn’t it?????

  12. “Their primary purpose is education…” Not likely Tom.

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