Ever since the Syracuse Orange moved into the Carrier Dome in 1980, the facility has been lined with aluminum bleachers. Over 40 years later, that’s finally going to change.
As part of the recently unveiled New York State budget, $20 million will be put toward a $44.7 million set of upgrades to the Dome. These changes include replacing every last seat - or lack thereof - with individual plastic chair-back seating. That means fans sitting in the upper deck, who previously only had benches, will get some back support too. There’s no word yet on whether or not this will affect seating capacity.
SU said the bleachers will all be donated to local high schools to be used in their own stadium upkeep. Additionally, the lower concourse will receive four additional ramps to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
This second stage will also add a 5G Wi-Fi system, which I’m sure both fans and press alike will greatly appreciate. Finally, SU proposed an events-center that would connect the Dome to the nearby Barnes Center at the Arch. This upgrade is slated for stage three and, unlike the others, is not yet confirmed.
Construction can begin as soon as June, meaning that we may have already seen our last Cuse football and basketball games while sitting on metal.
Overall, there shouldn’t be many people, if any, disappointed with this. Combined with the new scoreboard, air conditioning, lighting, and roof, the Carrier Dome is quickly transforming from a maligned, outdated facility to a flashy, modern one. More comfortable seats should also get more people to show up and help keep the “Loud House” nickname alive and well.