Let’s be honest, the Carrier Dome can be a bit, uh, drab. Opened in 1980, the home of Syracuse football and basketball used to put the Orange in a small but not-that-glamorous club of domed FBS stadiums. But Minnesota and Tulane left their respective NFL teams’ stadiums after they built their own open-air stadiums, Georgia State left the Georgia Dome for a renovated Turner Field, and Idaho is no longer in the FBS.
So that leaves only Syracuse and UTSA.
But to leave the Carrier Dome completely could be costly, since you’re probably talking about building a new football stadium and a new basketball arena. So it makes much more sense to improve the home you’ve already got.
On Monday, Syracuse released an artistic rendering of how a new, cable-truss roof would look.
For a point of reference, here’s how the roof looks now. You may be able to tell there’s a certain light-emitting orb hovering somewhere above the roof, but you definitely can’t see it with your own eyes.
As you can see, it’s not an open-air stadium, but it’s the next best thing. For what it’s worth, Dino Babers views the Carrier Dome as an asset, given that it guarantees his up-tempo spread offense perfect conditions for every game. Here’s how I described his thoughts at his introductory press conference:
One can safely assume Babers would not be at Syracuse without the Carrier Dome, a venue he referred to as “a gift” multiple times Monday. The Orange will play seven home games in 2016 and their membership in the ACC Atlantic affords them biannual trips to places like Clemson, Florida State, N.C. State, Wake Forest and Louisville. Seemingly only Boston College will offer weather troubles to his grip-it-and-rip-it attack.
And, look, just like Minnesota, the fall weather isn’t as bad in Syracuse isn’t near as bad as the dome might imply. Average highs in September are 72 degrees, and by November they’re in the high 30s — which in the Big Ten they call “football weather.”
But, again, the practicality of housing both major programs in one facility can’t be topped and the head football coach isn’t itching to get out, so this solution makes sense.
According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, Syracuse University will put its plans in front of Syracuse the City on Tuesday.
“The new roof structure presents a new era on the Hill,” Syracuse mayor Ben Walsh said. “We’re pleased the University is moving forward with the project.”
If approved, the school hopes to have the new roof in place in time for the 2020 football season, and by 2022 the dome would have air conditioning for the first time — ironic, given the dome is named after the Carrier HVAC company’s former CEO — and new restrooms.