The Carrier Dome has enough trouble packing them in for men's basketball, football, women's basketball and lacrosse. Can it possibly full the seats all the way up to the nosebleeds for an ice hockey game? We may just find out soon.
I haven't been paying too much attention to the attempt by the Syracuse Crunch to play the first outdoor AHL game, but the latest twist caught my attention. For a quick recap, Crunch owner Howard Dolgon was willing to put up $250,000 in order to stage an outdoor game at Alliance Bank Stadium, home of the Chiefs, this upcoming season. What he needed in return from the county was $350,000 in municipal funds to offset all other costs. The idea being that it would be a small price to pay for the increased exposure, tickets sold, concessions and all-around tourism boost that the game would bring in.
The good news for Dolgon is that the Onondaga County Legislature did approve an amount to help defray costs. The bad news is, they only approved $75,000, far short of his expectations. When the announcement came in, Dolgon immediately took the airwaves on Brent Axe's show and noted two things. #1, the outdoor game is officially now out of the question. #2, the Onondaga County Legislature is, in his words, a collection of "idiots."
"We're not doing an outdoor game. I'll tell ya, besides disappointing the fans and, of course, our organization, I can tell you about 10-12 prominent companies in Syracuse who are not going to be happy because the idiots who voted the way they did. And I don't mind saying that word. What are they going to do? Get mad at me and vote against something else I want to do?"
Well then. But while the outdoor game idea might be kaput, there is a 2nd possibility here. The Crunch could actually play an ice hockey game inside the Carrier Dome. Doing so would make for a history-making event...
Dolgon is coming to town on Wednesday, and he said he'll meet with SU officials to discuss a Crunch game at the Carrier Dome.
The portable rink wouldn't do much damage to the artificial surface, and the 50,000 seats would give the owner a lot of leeway in pricing his tickets. He could absolutely smash the AHL record for largest crowd, which is 20,672 for a contest between Carolina and Kentucky in the Greensboro Coliseum in 1997.
The game would happen during the upcoming 2009-2010 season and would probably have to take place during a time when the SU basketball teams are nowhere near the building. Lots of red tape to work out, I'm sure. But Dolgon seems to think it won't be anywhere near the hassle he would have gone through dealing with the Legislature moving forward:
"We won't have to go through the layers of minutiae and have to deal with any idiots like I've had to deal with with the legislature," Dolgon said.
Word of the day, I suppose.