Syracuse is home to the largest on-campus dome in the country -- the illustrious, ye olde Carrier Dome (emphasis on olde). The Carrier Dome -- colloquially referred to as "the dome" among Syracuse denizens or "the loud house" if you're over 50, wear New Balance shoes and sport Wrangler jeans -- was first established in 1980 for roughly $27 million. To give you an idea, $27 million in 1980 has the same buying power of over $83 million today. You can calculate things like that with a finance degree from Marist. Or if you're able to do a quick search on the inter web thing.
In any event, way back in the paleozoic era of 1980 the dome was financed by three parties; New York State offered a grant of $15 million, the generous Carrier Corporation offered a whopping $2.75 million dollar gift (in exchange for naming rights) and the remaining amount was funded from the true bounteous individuals, donors and alumns from Syracuse University.
With Syracuse recently announcing its new $205 million plan to renovate the dome, fans have been eager to showcase their enthusiasm. As some fans have pointed out, why shouldn't SU Athletics implement a retractable roof to let in the fresh autumn air for football games? How cool would it be to look up and see the sky on a crisp fall day inside the dome while cheering on the football team?
Taking a look at Minnesota's new U.S. Bank Stadium, the fine people in middle America flirted with the idea of putting in a retractable roof. Back in 2012 it was estimated to cost an additional $50 million just to make the roof retract in U.S. Bank Stadium.
Full disclaimer: I am purely speculating as to much it would cost for a retractable roof to be put into place at the Carrier Dome.
With that said, retractable roofs aren't cheap and if it were anywhere near $50 million, which I would imagine to be slightly less given the dome's square footage, it just doesn't seem feasible given SUA's $205 million budget especially considering the more pressing renovations needed to the antiquated dome.
Not only this, but a retractable roof wouldn't get much use in Syracuse vis-á-vis the weather being capricious as Jim Boeheim's temperament. A retractable roof on the dome is akin to having a wool coat in Southern California -- it just won't get utilized that frequently. Segueing into warmer climates, It makes more sense for Marlins or Minute Maid Park to have roofs that retract, not Syracuse. More to my point, the Syracuse football team had seven home games last season with two coming in the latter fall months. That would essentially give Syracuse four or five games per year to use the retractable roof and that's, you know, not considering Syracuse weather. Because Syracuse weather.
You might be asking yourself, but James, what about basketball season? Well, if you think there are any balmy winter days in Central New York, I suggest you stop reading this post and TNIAAM altogether and engage a more unrefined blog like Casual Hoya. There you can peruse mindless stories by the masses as well as anecdotes of catatonic failures in the NCAA Tournament at your leisure.
Moving on. Syracuse could certainly use the retractable feature in the spring for lacrosse games, concerts, and hell, I'm sure the youth that attend Jim Boeheim's basketball camp would appreciate it, but it really doesn't have much business in Syracuse. My advice: keep the noise in the dome and the weather outside. Besides, there are more important ways to allocate spending.