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Syracuse University to Rename On-Campus Stadium, Readies Next Phase of Transformation
For more than 40 years, the Carrier Dome has been synonymous with Syracuse University and Orange Athletics. Carrier’s historic 1979 gift represented the first naming agreement for a major stadium in college sports, and one of the first in all of sports. More than four decades later, Carrier, whose support was instrumental in creating one of the most iconic and electric sports and events venues, has agreed to allow Syracuse to rename its stadium, effective May 1.
“With Carrier’s cooperation, we will seek to rename our stadium while we continue our work to transform the experience for our students, faculty, staff, fans and Central New York community,” says John Wildhack, director of athletics. “Without Carrier’s generosity and longstanding support, completion of the Carrier Dome would not have been possible, nor would the decades of iconic sports moments and Central New York memories. We are eternally grateful for the tremendous impact Carrier has had on Orange Athletics, the Syracuse University community and the Orange fan base.”
While Syracuse University considers the future identity of the stadium, it will also embark on the next phase of its work to enhance, elevate and expand the stadium experience. This includes a complete reseating, a new publicly accessible event facility and an upgrade of the entire digital infrastructure. The University will begin work later this spring with some of it scheduled to be complete as early as September 2022. The University continues to work closely with the appropriate state and local agencies to ensure enhancements to the stadium align with and support the state and county’s economic development priorities and processes.
“Syracuse University is proud of the important role the Dome plays in the Central New York community and grateful for its longstanding relationship with Carrier,” says Chancellor Kent Syverud. “The Dome has been an iconic sports and entertainment venue for more than 40 years. These new enhancements will generate new and additional economic activity in Central New York and continue the Dome’s reputation as one of the top collegiate venues for generations to come.”
The latest phase of renovations builds on the recently completed $118 million transformation of the Dome funded entirely by the University and private philanthropy without state or federal funding. Upcoming renovations include:
- Reseating the entire venue: The University will transition all seating from bench to individual/fixed seating. The new seating, a longtime request of area fans, will not only improve comfort, but will also enhance accessibility for patrons with disabilities. The Dome’s existing bench-style seating will be salvaged and made freely available to high school stadiums and venues across New York state.
- Build an on-site and publicly accessible event facility: The University will design and construct a roughly 25,000-square-foot addition on the east end of the Dome to infill the space between the Dome and the Barnes Center at The Arch. This new space will provide an improved fan experience, expanded event and gathering space, and upgraded accessibility. This addition will make the Dome more competitive with other peer venues across the United States.
- Upgrading the Dome’s digital infrastructure: The University will elevate the fan experience in the Dome by establishing the most modern connectivity offerings for fans and other users of the Dome.
The Dome is a year-round venue that hosts some of the world’s top performers, college and professional athletic competitions, and the very best in family entertainment. It welcomes more than 935,000 visitors each year, contributes more than $240 million in income to the Central New York economy and supports more than 5,000 local jobs. Once complete, these enhancements are projected to generate nearly $217 million in new travel and tourism spending across Central New York between 2022-25.
“Syracuse University and the Dome are central to the economic, cultural and social well-being of Central New York,” says Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation J. Michael Haynie. “Combined with the University’s $118 million transformation, the Dome will be poised to be the go-to destination for athletic, entertainment, academic and other community events and activities. Accelerating this project will not only expedite these exciting enhancements, but also elevate and increase economic opportunity in Central New York.”
Pete Sala, vice president and chief campus facilities officer, says he and his team are looking forward to getting started on this next phase. He adds that he has received positive feedback from patrons on the work to date, who have expressed equal excitement for what’s to come.
“We have the best fans and patrons who constantly go out of their way to share feedback, both positive and constructive,” says Sala. “We love providing them with the best experience possible and are confident this next round of renovations will have a significant impact on the fan experience. We are eager to get started and even more excited to get this work complete.”
To further cultivate a vibrant, prosperous and economically thriving community, as part of this next phase, Syracuse University will also:
- introduce a local apprenticeship program, in partnership with trade unions, to provide career skills training in the trades, including electrical, mechanical, plumbing and fabrication;
- provide cost-free use of the facility to law enforcement, firefighter and disaster response training conducted by New York State or any local jurisdiction/agency for a period of 10 years;
- implement a procurement and construction process that prioritizes local and New York state underrepresented businesses at a level that meets or exceeds the state’s own procurement goals;
- ensure that events at the Dome remain affordable and accessible to members of our Central New York community; and
- make the bench seating removed from the Dome freely available to school districts throughout the state, as an opportunity to reduce costs associated with ongoing or planned renovations of school facilities or stadiums.
About Syracuse University
Syracuse University is a private research university that advances knowledge across disciplines to drive breakthrough discoveries and breakout leadership. Our collection of 13 schools and colleges with over 200 customizable majors closes the gap between education and action, so students can take on the world. In and beyond the classroom, we connect people, perspectives and practices to solve interconnected challenges with interdisciplinary approaches. Together, we’re a powerful community that moves ideas, individuals and impact beyond what’s possible.