The outside story at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse

Inside these walls, sports have been played.

Inside these walls, sports have been played.

Earlier this week, I journeyed over to the Carrier Dome, walking inside the revolving doors of Gate B to the box office.

It was quiet. My football season ticket renewal payment was handled in a snap, after I told the courteous worker that yes, I do want to settle up a month before the deadline.

Outside, the sight of the dome’s still-sturdy walls struck me.

It’s a smart looking building, right there on the Syracuse University campus.

Not too long ago, this site held a parking garage/outdoor lot combination.

Not too long ago, this site held a parking garage/outdoor lot combination.

On the same walkway/ramp that leads to and from Gate B, I looked out over the nearby campus streets.

There’s construction going on.

A parking garage was leveled so a new academic building can rise.

That’s the way of the university world. Grow and learn. Learn and grow.

There’s talk going on about putting up a new 44,000-seat facility several blocks toward downtown, which could serve Syracuse University football and basketball as well as many other events.

Politicians and business leaders are discussing with university officials the financial needs and social ramifications to their various jurisdictions. Some appear to covet the project more than others.

If it is built, anything state-of-the-art would make this 34-year-old bubble-domes stadium obsolete.

It’s not a perfect stadium by today’s standards. The Carrier Dome has no air conditioning. The bench seating quickly gets uncomfortable. The concourses are cramped and can get too crowded.

Until that if becomes a when, though, this Carrier Dome will continue to add to contribution to Syracuse’s vault of memorable events.

On my list of glad-I-was-at-the-Carrier Dome favorite memories I’d put:

Syracuse’s football victories over top-ranked Nebraska in 1984, nemesis Penn State in 1987, and the first game my dear wife Karen and I went to with our new season tickets, against Minnesota in 2009.

Syracuse’s basketball victories over Boston College on Pearl Washington’s rainbow half-court shot in 1984 and Big East rival West Virginia in 2005 with Christmas present tickets from my-to-be-dear-wife Karen.

Maryland’s East Regional basketball victories over Kentucky and Connecticut to earn my alma mater its spot in the Final Four in 2002, when the Terrapins went on to win their only national championship.

Concerts by David Bowie, Prince, Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, Billy Joel, Garth Brooks, Joel and Elton John, and the Zac Brown Band.

No wonder I like the place, huh?

A college campus never stands still.

A college campus never stands still.

Does your city have old-but-still-memorable buildings that may be replaced?

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34 thoughts on “The outside story at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse

  1. I always loved to go to SU football games when my daughter was there. And there was one weekend, I went , stayed in the dorm with her and we went to the CD to see a Lacrosse game with the amazing brothers. They did all sorts of amazing shots. I am sure you remember them. . . . Thanks for the memories, Mark.

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  2. I was going to say about basketball in the dome…..we didn’t like it. We were in the seats far from the court and had to watch on huge screens. Husband who is not a particularly strong sports follower said, “I paid all that money for tickets, drove 150 miles to sit in the nose bleed seats and watch on TV?” We only went to that one basketball game, but loved the football and especially the sounds and the temperature! Do you think SU could fill a larger space? Thanks Mark!

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    • It actually be a smaller space for football. And I don’t know how they’d set up the configuration for basketball, but 44,000 for that sport would be a once- or twice-a-season thing, Anne. Yeah, there are seats in the dome that are ridiculous for basketball.

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      • We shall see. We get to Syracuse again now for the family in Skaneateles and Syracuse. who knows maybe we will make to the Dome or the new space for an event sometime! Thanks , Mark!

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  3. As nice as a new stadium would be, they could definitely replace the seating for less. I can see the Dome being “outdated.” Originally, the Carrier Dome was created for and encouraged any event, but SU kind of controls that, which defeats its original purpose. SU promising to open the new venue for more events (especially when school is not in session), judging from the past, is full of false promises. Maybe things will change with the new Dean, who seems to be a really nice guy.

    A lot can be done to salvage the Carrier Dome as is venue, and it would take less time and money.

    I don’t see a new venue (with less seating) bringing in “more people” since it will be utilized for the same purposes. Heating and air conditioning will still be an issue. Then again, like many things, it’s about money.

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  4. what fantastic memories you have at the dome. there is something about being in the original place where all that history is made, that makes it very special. while it may be more appealing to the eye and fiscally appealing to have a new stadium, something is always lost in the transition to new and big and shiny. for me, it was tiger stadium, so many memories growing up there, and olympia arena, where i used to watch my wings. joe louis arena has never the same for hockey and now there is a new stadium coming to town in the next couple of years to replace the joe.

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    • You’ve seen it in your city, Beth. Progress in stadiums wows fans in many ways. But then there’s the element of retiring, even demolishing, a house of memories. I feel for you with the new places for your Tigers and Wings. For me, it was the Mets. I loved Shea Stadium. I grew up going to see my Mets at Shea. The new Citi Field is pretty freakin’ fantabulous, but I will always miss Shea Stadium because that’s where my Metsies won their two World Series crowns (and lost two, also, but oh getting there for the Subway Series with the Yanks, to help heal from 9/11).

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      • i feel like you feel about shea/citi and tiger stadium and comerica park. while it’s pretty and new, there is still something i miss about the old stadium experience. and yes, the subway series was amazing –

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  5. Great memories to have. One of the ‘places’ I miss from where we live isn’t a building but a tree! It was an old horse chestnut tree with branches that dipped down onto the ground creating a natural arch over the path. We used to walk under it every Friday after school when we took our weekly detour to the bakery. Then one day they cut it down. Just like that. Gone. Over a hundred years to grow and gone in an hour or two.

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  6. In the “old days,” I used to like the Browns/Indians stadium before it was taken down. Oh, I am not sure if I actually got to be considered, a member of the “Dog Pound!” I do enjoy what I still call “Jacobs’ Field” but I think there is an advertising name attached. Used to be, while at BGSU, a fun thing to do was put your name on the ‘ride board’ and hitch a ride to the “Shoe.” (Student tickets were cheap at OSU, in the “old days” of the seventies!
    Too bad your “Dome” doesn’t have air conditioning… the concerts sound outstanding and you were very lucky to have been able to attend such famous legendary bands! Smiles, Robin

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  7. My daughter and son-in-law both graduated from Ohio State, Cleveland. He got his FUD, and she got her two Master’s. He is now the Chief of Staff at UK, so every Saturday he takes one of the kids to the game. They usually get to sit in the President’s box, because it gets boring after a few years. My bro was Associate Dean of UK Med School when my kids were students there, so I stayed at his mansion — not kidding, it really is, when I would visit the kids. I used to be a lot younger than I am now. So how did I get from Syracuse to UK? I remember. I’m sleep deprived, thanks to the idiot who called me last night from the building entry system and asked if Jim was here. We have the same last name, but if you could see what Jim looks like………

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