Orange Watch: The Carrier Dome name no longer exists for Syracuse University

Carrier Dome Crane
The Carrier Dome is currently under construction. Mandatory Photo Credit: The Juice Online/Sean Murphy

Item: Apparently until further notice, and until legalities allow the announcement of a new name, the building on campus in which the Orange football, basketball and lacrosse teams compete will be simply known as the “Stadium.” At least that’s how the structure was referred to in the first sentence of a release the university emailed on Monday announcing a basketball date with Maryland-Baltimore County this coming November.

The basic concrete edifice that helped contain the air-supported roof of the Carrier Dome when it debuted in 1980 still exists, but everything about the renovation when completed in stages over the next couple of years will shout “new sports stadium!”

The central New York Dome opened to amazement in an era in which four other similar style, air-supported, Teflon roof facilities also sprouted to host both football and large basketball crowds, but have since been replaced or entirely renovated. The cities covered were cold weather and Midwest oriented:

  • Pontiac (Mich.) Silverdome-1975-2013. Replaced by Ford Field.
  • Minneapolis Metrodome-1982-2013. Replaced by Target Field and U.S. Bank Stadium.
  • Vancouver B.C. Place I (no basketball)-1983-2009. Replaced by renovated B.C. Place II.
  • Indianapolis Hoosier Dome-1984-2008. Replaced by Lucas Oil Stadium.

» Related: Who is the most famous person to perform at the Carrier Dome?

This summer, the first SU phase has the roller coaster-looking truss structure in place to support the roof installation expected in July. That will in turn allow for the mounting and fitting of the video board high above, the one feature sorely missing from the old Dome as other new facilities opened around the country since 2000.

The Orange home stadium’s expected name change led to an idea we heard from a longtime inside fan who reached out; why not a new building address as another way to make clear that the ‘Cuse is going into a new facility?

Forget 900 Irving Avenue. How about a short Ernie Davis Drive between Irving and ESF’s Forestry Drive, veering off to the building’s ramp and doors directly into Ernie Davis Legends Field?

The new (fill in the eventual name here) Stadium at 44 Ernie Davis Drive. That has a nice ring to it, along with a sweet annual naming-rights fee.

In addition, depending on the eventual decisions regarding the future of Interstate-81 as it winds through the city on the western fringe of several current stadium parking lots, it would seem logical that there would be additional parallel development (retail, hotel, expanded parking?) with a new sports stadium.

Already the three-block corridor sitting below where the construction cranes currently hover has become crowded, but new construction means opportunity.

Out-of-nowhere societal changes over the first half of 2020 will have a permanent impact on Syracuse and college sports moving forward. When SU eventually resumes competing it will also mark the beginning of a new era of the building Orange athletics calls home.

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Brad Bierman
About Brad Bierman 692 Articles
Now in his sixth decade of covering SU sports, Brad was sports director of WSYR radio for eight years into the early 1990s, then wrote the Orange Watch column for The Big Orange/The Juice print publication for 18 years. A Syracuse University graduate, Brad currently runs his own media consulting business in the Philadelphia suburbs. Follow him on Twitter @BradBierman.