Right? Am I crazy? If the entire point of naming the Carrier Dome field is to honor Ernie Davis and the other "legends" of Syracuse, why did anyone need to make a donation to make it happen? Let alone a "very generous" donation according to DOC Gross. It's something Mr. McSport Fix mentioned last week and something that the boys over at the Orange Fizz have jumped all over. (Next up on their list of subjects to tackle...FRIGGIN SPECIFIC STORY LINKS). They don't know for sure what the reason was but they have some decent ideas:
1) The school is hurting for the money. There was a donation made for this to happen by two private individuals (Sam and Carol Nappi - more on them later) and it was an offer the athletic department could not turn down.
2) Carrier gets a cut of the cash. To amend the original contract, there must be something in it for Carrier. Doesn't seem like the company would just willingly surrender full naming rights to one of the most famous on-campus arenas in the country without getting something in return (the Carrier Corp. could also be feeling a financial crunch and the rights deal now costs less).
Cause really, what are the costs involved? Donnie got the specifics today from DOC Gross on what's new on the field come this Saturday:
Gross said the words, "Ernie Davis Legends Field" will be added under neath the block S at midfield. He also said a pair of Orange No. 44s will be applied to the 44-yard line to honor Davis, who wore the No. 44 jersey.
So it's not like we're actually installing a new field. From what I can tell, a brand new turf installation would cost upwards of $600 - $900K. And in that case, sure, we probably need some cash on hand for that. But Gross says that "new signage will be applied to the FieldTurf" in the Dome, which sounds like a much simpler job. Either the specific patches where the name and the 44's go will be brand new or the school is just adding some sort of signage over the turf. Either way, it hardly sounds like the kind of the thing that required a "very generous" donation from a captain of industry such as Sam Nappi.
So unless someone wants to come forward and explain why these slight additions required massive amounts of cash, we're just going to have to go with the Orange Fizz's best guesses. Certainly, since the Carrier Corporation is giving up some major placement here, the idea that a buyout of some sort had to be made doesn't seem far-fetched at all.
And to be fair, there's nothing wrong with Syracuse wanting to secure naming rights for the field. The Carrier Dome may have been an early pioneer in the stadium-naming practice for college stadiums but that also means that the Carrier Corp. got away with murder in terms of how much they paid for the rights ($2.75M). And that was a long time ago. Plus, SU doesn't have the luxury of getting a separate basketball arena named. So I can imagine that the university would be very interested in monetizing the Dome however possible.
And so, in the end, I guess we shouldn't complain. It could be worse. We could be getting ready to introduce Nappi Field at the Carrier Dome. Or Jreck Subs Field at the Carrier Dome. Or Pasqualoni Field at the Carrier Dome.
Yes, it could be much, much worse.