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In the future Syracuse Orange fans will sit in blue seats

Is this the right call? Let’s discuss...

Michael Ostrowski

On Friday we learned more about future renovation plans for the Syracuse Dome. The second phase of Dome renovations will focus on replacing the metal bleachers throughout the Dome and putting in individual seats. The goal is to have seats ready for the 2023 football season and the switch to individual seats as well as accessibility upgrades will result in a decrease in the Dome’s seating capacity, the extent of which has not been determined yet.

We also learned that the seats will be navy blue and feature cup holders. The decision not go with orange seemed curious at first and confusing when the initial response from Syracuse was concern over getting the right shade of orange. More detailed information from Syracuse.com’s Chris Carlson gave the context behind the choice

That hockey team would appear to be the Detroit Red Wings who had red seats in their lower level before replacing them. Looking a little deeper at Detroit’s choice might explain why Syracuse is going with a standard navy blue for the roughly 40,000 seats to be installed in the Dome.

Little Caesars Arena holds more than 20,000 but features all-red seating in the bowl section, which cost $3.5 million to install, and as the News noted, those red seats “became a public-relations nightmare for Red Wings and Pistons officials last season, serving as unwanted spotlights for empty seats.”

Matching the right shade of orange should be an achievable outcome but to get a manufacturer to produce a special color is likely going to increase the costs and perhaps at a significant level. If we look at the costs of the Red Wings project then we could understand that perhaps Syracuse didn’t want to spend the money required to custom order 40,000 seats.

Is that the right decision? It’s an understandable decision to be fiscally conscious especially since the renovations may not be finished after this phase (which will also include an events center and additional wireless upgrades from JMA). However it does feel like the Syracuse Orange certainly passed on an outstanding branding opportunity- even if it was just for the lower level.

What do you think? Does the color matter to you or was all this just overblown on Friday?