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The Carrier Dome is a 49,250-seat domed sports stadium located on the campus of Syracuse Universitymarker in the University Hill neighborhood of Syracusemarker, New Yorkmarker, USAmarker. It is home to the Syracuse Orange football, basketball, and lacrosse teams. High school football championships are also held in "The Dome," as are occasional concerts. New York's high school indoor track and field championships have also been held at the Carrier Dome, as well as the annual New York State Field Band Conference championships.

Notability

The Carrier Dome is the largest domed stadium of any college campus and the largest domed stadium in the Northeastern United States. Also, it is the largest on-campus basketball arena, with a listed capacity of 33,000, but this limit has been easily exceeded several times. Consequently, Syracuse University's Men's Basketball per-game and single-season attendance numbers are usually annual contenders for the top rank in the nation. Lacrosse crowds are not as large, but the venue allows Syracuse's lacrosse teams to play home games throughout the February-May regular season.

On March 5, 2006, a new on-campus basketball attendance record was set, at 33,633, in the last regular-season college game ever played by Syracuse guard Gerry McNamara in a 92-82 loss to Villanova Universitymarker, breaking the previous record NCAA attendance record of 33,199 set in Syracuse's 60–57 win over Notre Dame at the Dome on February 5, 2005.

On March 19, 2007, a new NIT attendance record was set, at 26,752, in the second-round men's basketball game against the San Diego State Universitymarker Aztecsmarker.

Some notable concerts in The Dome's past have been by Bruce Springsteen, The Police, Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Prince, Elton John,Duran Duran, Foreigner, Billy Idol, Rush, Frank Sinatra, Billy Joel, The Grateful Dead, Rod Stewart, U2, Genesis, The Rolling Stones, Garth Brooks, The Who, Neil Diamond, ZZ Top, and Pink Floyd. Each October, the dome hosts the New York State Field Band Conference marching band championships. It also hosts the New York State High School Football Championships each November.

Billy Joel played a special sold-out concert on March 25, 2006 to help mark the Carrier Dome's 25th anniversary. All tickets were sold for $39.50, the same price as his last solo appearance in Syracuse in 1998.

View of the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY.


History

Toward the end of the 1970s, Syracuse University was under pressure to improve its football facilities in order to remain a Division I-A football school. Its small concrete stadium, Archbold Stadiummarker, was seventy years old and not up to the standards of other schools. The stadium could not be expanded; it had been reduced from 40,000 seats to 26,000 due to the fire codes. Therefore Syracuse University decided to build a new stadium, which, appropriately for Syracusemarker's often cold weather was to have a domed Teflon-coated, fiberglass inflatable roof. It would also serve as the home for the men's basketball team, as a replacement for Manley Field Housemarker. The Carrier Dome was constructed between April 1979 and September 1980. The total construction cost was $26.85 million, including a $2.75 million naming gift from the Carrier Corporation. Hueber, Hunt and Nichols, Inc. was the general contractor.

It was speculated at the time that political considerations helped this project advance. The State of New York provided a $15 million grant in 1978 for the Dome's construction. At the time Democratic incumbent Governor Hugh Carey was thought to have trouble in his re-election campaign with upstate voters. He visited the site of the old Archbold stadium and was sold by local officials and SU brass on the utility of a Dome. Carey won re-election to a second term following the approval of state funds, although the extent to which it helped him may never be known.

Football inside the Carrier Dome
The Dome has been upgraded several times throughout the past 25 years. Most recently the University installed a LED video display system with 2 video boards (15' x 25') that are located on the east end and northwest corners of the 3rd level, along with 58 color TVs for the back rows of the 2nd and 1st levels. The inflatable roof was also replaced in 1999 at a cost of $14 million.

The Dome has also been the site of a tragic accident. In June 1999, worker Bryan Bowman was killed when he fell through the Dome roof to the bleachers 60 feet below. He had been working with a crew from Birdair, Incorporated, to replace the roof. The next month an electrician fell down a 50-foot shaft while installing cables for a new speaker system. He survived with injuries to his leg, arm, back and ribs.

FieldTurf was installed at the beginning of the 2005 football season, replacing the outdated AstroTurf. Additionally, the Dome also received orange paint and banners between its decks, and its corridors were lined with historic photographs.

In 2006–07, the women's basketball team began playing home games in the Dome.

The 1981 Big East Conference men's basketball tournament was held there, as were the 1988 and 1991 Division I NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championships. The Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament East Regional semi-finals & finals have been held at the Dome five times (1983, 1997, 2000, 2002, and 2005) and Syracuse will be a host again in 2010.

The Dome is served by CENTRO buses. Shuttle buses transport fans to and from remote parking lots.

Despite carrying the name Carrier (an HVAC manufacturer), there is no air conditioning in the dome. The need for it is presumed low, as the facility is primarily used during the academic year (August–May), during most of which the outside temperatures rarely go far above room temperature. However, the temperatures greatly rise when filled to capacity even in November.

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