The home of Syracuse Orange football, basketball, and lacrosse is set to undergo a complete seating replacement over the summer, and during Saturday’s MBB game against NC State, myself and others in attendance got to look at some physical seat samples in the backcourt area.
Here are the 20”-wide seats with armrests, which will be in the 100 and 200 sections...
...and here are the 18”-wide ones without armrests, which will be in the upper deck.
I didn’t have a ton of time to check them out before the game, but as someone whose been to a ton of stadiums, arenas, and ballparks across professional, college, and minor league settings, I do want to give my initial observations and compare these seats to others.
First, I think most fans will be happy with the color. These are not Duke blue or some other brand, but one that’s very close to the shade SU uses as a complimentary color.
However, I have to point out that these might be the thinnest stadium seats I’ve ever seen. I’m sure part of that has to do with fitting them in the restraints of the current rows, as these do fold up to allow walking room for people entering or leaving - no more standing on bleachers required. Still, I’m curious how durable these will be.
In the case of the lower-level seats, “armrests” may not be an accurate description, as they seem to only have one on the seat-holder’s right-hand side. Outside of that, the two sets of seats are virtually identical.
The seats feel perfectly fine to sit in and are absolutely more comfortable that the current bleachers. There’s considerably more room between you and your neighbors on either side, and I’m guessing that there will be solid leg room as well. (Just mind your drinks!)
The backs to the seats are firm, but not so much that they won’t give a little bit if you really try to lean back. I couldn’t really tell if/how one person moving around in theirs may affect others close by.
What I don’t like are the very small armrests. I’m 6’ & change so not the widest wingspan in the world, but more than just my wrists were hanging off these. And remember - each seat only has one of ‘em attached, and they’re too thin to even think about sharing.
For the most part, I can’t think of any one-for-one comparisons with these seats. Locally speaking, the backs are much closer to those at the War Memorial than NBT Bank Stadium. The small indentation at the back of the seats is something I haven’t seen before and didn’t notice when sitting down.
The last major seating renovations at an ACC football stadium was Louisville’s north end zone expansion in 2018, but those seats don’t particularly match these either. SU’s finalized model may be a unique look - but will it be one that fans embrace?
What is your opinion of these seat samples? Are they what you expected? If any readers viewed them in person, what did you think?