Have you been wondering where things stand with regard to the Carrier Dome renovations? Well wonder no more.
While talking to Brent Axe on Tuesday, Syracuse Orange athletic director John Wildhack shared that SU Athletics would be vacating the Dome starting March 1, 2020 to begin the heavy lifting of adding a new roof. If you’ve forgotten, we’re going to have a hard ceiling now, so in order to do that, it would have to be built on top of what’s there. Far from easy to get that done safely while there are still games going on inside.
While March 1 won’t interfere with football on the front end, it could potentially impact a few other sports. Both men’s and women’s basketball would certainly close out the regular season on the road, and the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams would be without the use of their home field for a good chunk of the schedule. If the SU men’s basketball team wound up in the NIT, those games couldn’t be played at home (as they usually are for the first two rounds). More importantly, the Orange women’s basketball team wouldn’t be able to host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament if they received a top-four seed.
Wildhack only said “athletics” would be vacating, so who knows if commencement activities would still proceed at the Dome or if they’d move to South Campus or something.
He also didn’t say anything about when it would reopen. But anyone paying attention to recent football scheduling probably noticed the Orange starting on the road more often than they have been previously. SU opens with two road games in 2019 and already has a September 12 road game schedule against Rutgers for 2020. You could potentially expect the opener to also occur away from the Dome, though we have no idea who that opponent would be just yet.
We also don’t know if the new Dome roof would actually be “done” at that reopening point, or if just the most involved aspects would be completed. Assuming the biggest stuff’s done, You could potentially bank on a “big” week three home opponent ACC in 2020 to mark the event.
While the roof is the biggest planned change to the building, there’s a lot more to it, just to remind you of everything we know so far as part of the $118 million project. Last we heard, Syracuse was looking for approval for roof renovations back in October, and of course, the venue will soon have air conditioning to render all of your jokes moot. There are a lot of other fan enhancements in store to make the gameday experience better. We’ll see how many of those ideas wind up being implemented.
Also, Carrier’s still the naming rights sponsor until we hear differently about Syracuse getting out of the contract. Wouldn’t expect the building to reopen in September 2020 as Wegmans SubHouse Ernie Davis Legends Field at “The Vault” KeyBank Stadium. But hey, you never know.