The Stadium Project: Carrier Dome begins transition
Looking forward to what's next with the Carrier Dome renovations
On March 1, following the Syracuse women’s basketball team’s 4 p.m. contest against Boston College, the Carrier Dome officially closed its doors – at least for the next few months.
In order to ensure the final improvements to the roof of the stadium are finished by the first home football game on Sept. 19, SU Athletics will be vacating the Carrier Dome for the remainder of the spring sports season. This announcement made back in April 2019 by Syracuse athletic director John Wildhack is a shift from the original timeline, which would’ve allowed events to continue through May.
Instead, many games and events will have to take place elsewhere. That includes Block Party, the annual end-of-the-school-year concert that is usually set in the Carrier Dome. University Union, the official programming board of Syracuse University, declined to release any details about the location of Block Party this year. It’ll also be the first time in nearly 40 years that the Syracuse University Commencement is not held in the Carrier Dome as the ceremony has occurred in the stadium ever since it opened on Sept. 20, 1980.
“It’s very disappointing to know that the place that makes this school so unique is where an instilled tradition will be broken for this year,” said Jessica Mannetta, an engineering and computer science senior. “It feels like we’ve been cheated out of an experience that makes going here for four years so special.”
Syracuse’s different schools will hold their individual events at various places on and around campus, with the majority of undergraduate convocations planned to be held at Manley Field House. The class-wide commencement will be held on the Shaw Quadrangle. It’s the first time the graduation ceremony will be outdoors since 1972, when it was held at Archbold Stadium.
The average high temperature in Syracuse on May 10, the day of graduation, is 67 degrees, while the average low is 45 degrees. Last year on May 10, there was a high of 72 degrees but SU received 0.67 inches of rain.
“One thing I’ve learned over my four years here is that you can’t predict Syracuse weather,” said Matthew Savignano, a senior Management major at SU. “You always have to be prepared for that random cold May day here.”
How SU Athletics will be affected
The sports most impacted by the Dome’s closing are men’s and women’s lacrosse.
The women’s team, which is currently 6-1 and ranked No. 4 in the country by Inside Lacrosse, played its last game in the Dome on Feb. 24, a 21-4 win over Colgate. Of their 10 remaining games, just one will be played in Syracuse, on April 11 at Christian Brothers Academy against North Carolina. Should SU reach the NCAA Tournament and receive a top-eight seed, they will host the first two rounds and be forced to play outside, like they did last year at the SU Soccer Stadium.
The men’s lacrosse team, which is currently 4-0 and ranked No. 1 in the country by Inside Lacrosse, played its last game in the Dome on Feb. 28. The Orange took down Hobart, 21-13. Two of their remaining eight games are at home, on March 28 against Notre Dame and April 11 versus North Carolina, and both will take place at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. On the men’s side, just the first round of the NCAA tournament is hosted by a top-eight seed.
The men’s basketball team played its final game in the Carrier Dome this season on Feb. 29, a 92-79 loss to North Carolina. Their remaining two regular-season games are both away, so the only chance of another home game would be if they receive an invitation to the National Invitational Tournament (NIT). In that case, the higher-seeded team hosts the first two rounds, but due to the renovations, Syracuse would most likely be forced to play on the road no matter what.
Finally, the women’s basketball team earned the honor of playing the last game in the Carrier Dome this season, an 88-81 loss to Boston College on March 1. If the Orange receives a bid to the NCAA tournament and is a top-4 seed in their region, they’ll host the first two rounds of the tournament, just as they did last season.