Carrier Dome

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Carrier Dome
"The Loud House"
Location 900 Irving Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13210
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Operator Syracuse University
Capacity Football: 49,262 (2003-present)
49,550 (1998-2002)
50,000 (1980-1997)
Basketball: 35,446
Concerts: 56,250
Surface Astroturf (1980-2004)
FieldTurf (2005-present)
Broke ground November 11, 1978[1]
Opened September 20, 1980
Construction cost $25.63 million
Architect Finch-Heery
Hueber Hares Glavin[2]
Structural engineer Geiger Associates[3]
General contractor Huber, Hunt & Nichols[2]
Syracuse Orange (NCAA) (1980–present)

Carrier Dome is a 49,262-seat[4] domed sports stadium located on the campus of Syracuse University in the University Hill neighborhood of Syracuse, New York. It is home to the Syracuse Orange football, basketball, and lacrosse teams. In 2006–07, the women's basketball team began playing home games in the Dome. New York high school football state championships as well as the annual New York State Field Band Conference championships are held in the stadium, as are occasional concerts.

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 in the nation, with a listed capacity of 33,000; however, this limit has been exceeded several times.[5]


Carrier Dome in its basketball configuration

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 Stadium, was 70 years old and not up to the standards of other schools. The stadium could not be expanded; earlier in the decade it had been reduced from 40,000 seats to 26,000 due to fire codes. Therefore, Syracuse University decided to build a new stadium on the site of Archbold, which, appropriately for Syracuse's often cold weather was to have a domed Teflon-coated, fiberglass inflatable roof. When it opened in September 1980, it was made clear just how loud it was inside; that night the dome's famous nickname, "the Loud House", was coined. The inflatable roof causes the sound produced to echo many times, multiplying the loudness produced inside. It would also serve as the home for the men's basketball team, as a replacement for Manley Field House.

Attendance records

Carrier Dome in 2013

Syracuse University's men's basketball per-game and single-season attendance numbers are 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.

The Dome has seen many of NCAA basketball's largest crowds. On February 1, 2014, the attendance record for a NCAA men's basketball on-campus game was broken by a few hundred spectators in the Duke vs. Syracuse ACC matchup. Attendance was announced as 35,446, as Syracuse went on to win 91-89, in dramatic fashion in overtime. This win marked the 21st of the season for the Orange, breaking a school record for the longest unbeaten streak to start a season. The previous attendance record was set February 23, 2013 (35,012), the final game vs. long-standing Big East Conference rivals Georgetown Hoyas, as a member of the Big East. The Orange were defeated 57-46, ending the Orange's home win-streak at 38 games.[6] Prior to the Georgetown Hoyas attendance record, Syracuse University held the previous attendance record also. On February 27, 2010, an announced attendance of 34,616 came to see the Orange beat the Villanova Wildcats 95-77.[7] University officials briefly considered moving the basketball court to the middle of the football field for the 2014 regular season game with Duke- a move that could have pushed the attendance over 50,000. It was decided, to appease season ticket holders, that the court would stay in its usual location.[8] However, the University did reconfigure the Dome to hold a new record capacity of 35,446.[9]

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 University Aztecs.[10]

On November 22, 2014, the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League set a new "United States Indoor Professional Hockey" record by playing in front of 30,715 fans at the Carrier Dome for the "Toyota Frozen Dome Classic". Syracuse defeated the Utica Comets 2-1.


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 seven times (1983, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2010, and 2015). The NCAA Men's Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships were held there in 1984 and 1985.

Performing artists

Artists who have performed at the stadium include Bon Jovi, David Bowie, Elton John, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart, U2, Genesis, The Rolling Stones, The Police, Frank Sinatra, Garth Brooks, The Who, Neil Diamond, Kid Cudi, Grateful Dead, Kid Rock, Duran Duran, Paul McCartney, Kenny Chesney, Ludacris, Rick Ross, Meek Mill, Taylor Swift, Pink Floyd, Zac Brown Band, Mackelmore and Ryan Lewis, Kesha, Kaskade, Trey Songz, Drake, among others.[4]

Other events

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.

A Billy Graham crusade took place at the Carrier Dome in 1989.

Monster Jam played a sold out show to nearly 40,000 fans on March 10, 2012.

On October 14, 2014, Carrier Dome held an NBA preseason game between the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers. Coincidentally, the 76ers were originally located in Syracuse as the Syracuse Nationals.

On November 22, 2014, the Syracuse Crunch and Utica Comets hosted an American Hockey League game inside the Carrier Dome as part of the Toyota Frozen Dome Classic, which served as the 2014-15 edition of the AHL Outdoor Classic. This event was part of a day-long hockey event that also included the Utica College Pioneers and Oswego State Lakers, both based in NCAA Division III. Also, the cities of Syracuse and Utica participated in a law enforcement charity game.[11] The Crunch-Comets game had an attendance of 30,715, a US indoor professional record, the UC-Oswego game drew 7,074 fans, a new NCAA Division III record.


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.


Construction and financing

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.[12] Huber, Hunt and Nichols, Inc. was the general contractor.

Football inside the Carrier Dome

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. 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 convinced by local officials and SU administrators on the utility of a Dome.[13] 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.

Heating and cooling

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, although it can get very hot in August and September. However, the temperatures greatly rise when filled to capacity even in November.

Remodeling and updates

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

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 November 1988 a grandson of the former president and CEO of the Carrier Corporation, which provided the naming gift for Syracuse's Carrier Dome, was convicted of beating and raping a Syracuse University student.[14]


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


In the 2009 football season the field turf was dedicated to Ernie Davis, the first African American Heisman Trophy winner. The field now reads "Ernie Davis Legends Field" between the 45 yard lines on the home side. Davis's number 44 was also placed along that yard line. The dedication took place at the Syracuse vs. West Virginia game October 10, 2009.[15]


  1. Freeman Galpin, William; Wilson, Richard; Green, John Robert; Oscar Theodore, Barck (1998). Syracuse University: The Eggers Years (First ed.). Syracuse: Syracuse University. p. 286. ISBN 0-8156-8108-9. Retrieved November 6, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Syracuse University Buildings: Carrier Dome". Syracuse University. Retrieved November 6, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Brown, Abram (September 15, 2010). "As It Stands: Despite 3 Decades of Weathering Carrier Dome Remains Face of Syracuse". The Daily Orange. Syracuse University. Retrieved August 8, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "History of the Carrier Dome". Syracuse University Athletics. Retrieved December 21, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Carrier Dome Crowds 30,000+ attendance". Orange Hoops. March 3, 2010. Retrieved May 29, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Clarke, Liz (February 23, 2013). "Georgetown vs. Syracuse: Otto Porter's career-high 33 points carries Hoyas to win at Carrier Dome". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 24, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Jackson, Onuaku Help Orange Drop Wildcats in Front of Record Crowd". ESPN. February 27, 2010. Retrieved February 27, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Waters, Mike (August 22, 2013). "It's Official: Syracuse Will Not Move Its Basketball Court to Middle of the Carrier Dome for Duke Game". The Post-Standard. Syracuse. Retrieved August 22, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Samuels, Brett (January 30, 2013). "Syracuse expects record crowd of 35,446 for Duke game". The Daily Orange. Syracuse. Retrieved January 31, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "NIT Record 26,572 See Orange Beat San Diego State". Syracuse University Athletics. March 17, 2007. Retrieved September 30, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Crunch to host Comets at Carrier Dome". Retrieved 13 June 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Carrier 100th Anniversary: Dome Sweet Dome". Carrier. November 25, 2002. Retrieved December 27, 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Marc, David (Fall 2005). "The Carrier Dome Legacy: Dome Sweet Dome". Syracuse University Magazine. Syracuse University. 22 (3). Retrieved December 27, 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Introducing 'Ernie Davis Legends Field at the Carrier Dome'". Syracuse University Athletics. October 1, 2009. Retrieved November 6, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Archbold Stadium
Home of
Syracuse Orange football

1980 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Manley Field House
Home of
Syracuse Orange men's basketball

1980 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Manley Field House
Home of
Syracuse Orange women's basketball

2006 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Home of
Syracuse Orange men's lacrosse

1980 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Rutgers Stadium I
Home of the
NCAA Lacrosse Final Four

Succeeded by
Byrd Stadium