The Carrier Dome has been the staple of Syracuse University and Syracuse sports since its construction in 1980. While there have been talks of renovating the 36-year-old facility over the past few years, recently those discussions have advanced into stages where questions regarding renovations to the Carrier Dome now appear to be more of a matter of "when," rather than "if."
While a new roof appears to be the largest – and most important – renovation, there are a number of other changes that could be coming the Carrier Dome's way. Syracuse.com's Chris Carlson spoke with two sports architects who shared some of the changes and improvements that they would make.
In addition to a new roof, possible renovations include: smaller capacity with improved seating, upgraded concession stands with more choices, upgraded locker rooms, improved Wi-Fi, a large center scoreboard, improved bathrooms (HOORAY! no more troughs in the men's room), upgraded luxury suites, and more natural light with possible glass and/or transparent walls.
While Carlson mentions that both of the architects in question have not seen Syracuse's proposal and that these are their own personal opinions, it doesn't seem far-fetched to believe that a number of these ideas could potentially be in the works.
Home Games Away From Home
With a new roof at the center of discussion, it's important to note the two different options on the table. Option No. 1 is simply replacing the current roof with a new bubble roof. This would only take three months and could be completed during the offseason. Thus, it would have no impact on neither football nor basketball season. Option No. 2, however, proposes replacing the current bubble roof with a new hard roof, which would take eight months to complete – and no matter when this process begins,it will affect both Syracuse football and basketball.
If Syracuse officials decide to proceed with the more modern second option of a hard roof, Syracuse will be forced play home games for football and basketball at an alternative venue. Options for football are: University of Buffalo Stadium in Buffalo, Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, Schoellkopf Field in Ithaca, MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, and Citi Field in Flushing.
While options for basketball are: Manley Field House, War Memorial, Times-Union Center in Albany, Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ, Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Madison Square Garden in New York City, First Niagara Center in Buffalo, and Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.
It's Going to be Costly
A new bubble roof and improvements to lighting and sound systems alone would cost approximately $25 million, according to Carlson. Replacing the bubble roof with an improved hard roof would cost even more. When Vancouver's BC Palace underwent renovations in 2010, replacing the bubble roof and minor upgrades were originally estimated to cost only $72 million. However, that number eventually rose to more than $400 million after an 18-month construction period finally came to an end.
In addition to renovations, Syracuse will also have to pay a large sum if construction forces the Orange to play home basketball and/or football games elsewhere. Not only will Syracuse lose the revenue that comes with home games in the Carrier Dome, but they will be forced to pay money to rent out whichever stadium they choose to play their home games in.
Regardless of the specifics, renovations won't be cheap.