The Syracuse Orange are set to get another wave of upgrades to their longtime home - but one of them won’t be completed as soon as originally thought. The new chairback seats that are set to replace the Carrier Dome’s silver bleachers won’t arrive this summer. The University is still determining what the best way to replace seating is, but stadium capacity will decrease by some amount in this stage of renovations.
The Dome currently seats a tick over 49,000 spectators, with the attendance record for football being over 50,000 during the inaugural 1980 matchup. While the football squad has struggled to fill the stadium in recent years, men’s basketball still commands one of the largest average crowds in the nation, including an annual 30k+ showing against Duke. So there is a balance to be made here - make football games seem a little more full while also not hindering your biggest money-maker’s ability to get people views of the court.
I’m no expert, but I think the seat trimming won’t be as extreme as other recent projects like the University of North Carolina’s football field, which cut capacity by nearly 20% when it converted from bleachers to seats in 2018.
The soon-to-be-renamed Dome will still add other renovations over the summer, including a new Wi-Fi system and likely new signage for future naming-rights holder JMA Wireless.