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Syracuse football is looking to upgrade facilities, but will it change anything?

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Syracuse is once again about to change the architecture of and around Manley Field House

Syracuse Hosts Pep Rally For Men’s And Women’s Final Four Basketball Teams Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange football program is not the richest program in college football. We’ve heard journalists report things to that effect, and the lack of ticket revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly impacted all Syracuse University departments. However, with things getting back to normal this season, it seems that the money is flowing back to the Orange enough that there are new long term (expensive) plans to improve the football facilities at Syracuse, according to Syracuse.com. (Subscription required)

The story is a subscriber exclusive, so we aren’t going to pull out the specifics of the plan here. What you need to know is that the football space attached to Manley Field House is going to expand, as well as the Ensley Athletic Center, which was just erected in 2014.

We know that Clemson, Florida State, and North Carolina have football complexes far above what Syracuse offers. The arms race that is Division I facilities never stops, and the Seminoles are ready to upgrade. But for the Orange, without serious finical windfalls, the money to upgrade the Athletics facilities has been funneled into (much needed) improvements of the Carrier Dome. This plan set forward is promising, but not to move the Orange into the top of the ACC: it’s to keep up with the rest of Syracuse’s peers.

Virginia just unveiled their new master plan for campus improvements, which includes a new stand alone football facility. Wake Forest just announced plans for a new $38 million football facility, Boston College just opened a new field house in 2018, and Pitt famously gets to share a facility with the Pittsburgh Steelers. I could keep going, but having been able to personally visit the campuses and facilities of Duke, North Carolina State, Cincinnati, and Virginia Tech, what the Orange offers (which I’ve also been able to tour) pales in comparison to most peer programs.

It’s not a new development; one of the criticisms of Ensley was that it was a bandaid on what needed to be an overhaul of the football space. Football alumni have not been shy to voice these concerns, and it seems that Syracuse, under new fundraising leadership, is taking a more long term look at what can be done to keep the school competitive with their ACC peers.

We’ve seen that the Orange have amped up fundraising under Wildhack, and it seems that we now know what they’re driving towards.