The “Crown” of Syracuse Taking Shape on Syracuse University Campus


The Carrier Dome seats 49,262 people and sits on the campus of Syracuse University. Since its construction in 1980, the Carrier dome changed the skyline of the city with its pillow topped roof. It is the largest building of its kind on a college campus. When constructed, it was ahead of other colleges and universities which quickly allowed Syracuse University to break attendance records for major sporting events. That was then, now sports fans and industry observers all agree, it’s time for a new arena.

For observers, the new dome meant upgrades to what had long bothered many attendees, lack of air conditioning in a building bearing the name Carrier.  Several plans were floated to replace the aging structure, one through Gov. Cuomo with over 400 million dollars received the endorsement of then Onondaga County Executive Joannie Mahoney. Dreams of a new facility were squashed when the deal was immediately rejected by then Syracuse Mayor Stephanie A. Miner. Ideas for extending the university to Erie Boulevard along with an aggressive multi-tiered development plan for Syracuse were shredded. The relationship between the County Executive and Mayor became synonymous with a treat sold at Wendy’s, “Frosty”.

The University sought different options for the aged facility; eventually the Board of Trustees decided to invest in a massive makeover of the existing Carrier Dome, eliminating the iconic pillowtop opting for a structural solution.

Syracuse University the ambitious plan to transform the aged facility into a state-of-the-art arena has a price tag of $118 million dollars.

According to Pete Sala, VP and chief facilities officer, “The Carrier Dome Stadium Improvement Project will cost $118 million. Project includes new fixed roof (secured via the crown truss ring around the top of dome exterior), new vertically hung scoreboard, air conditioning, improved accessibility, improved Wi-Fi.  New restroom facilities (no trough) and new concession stands.”

Syracuse University creating a “New Stadium Experience” see Gallery and multiple links below 

Sala continues, “We are now in second phase of roof structure going up (first phase was crown truss, this phase involves the cables you saw in video and installation of the actual roof.  There will be a ‘rigid roof’ beneath a ‘fabric roof.’ The big arches you see will support the fabric portion of the roof.” (the middle of the roof you see in the artist rendering photo).

  • New restrooms are being installed right now, including new family restrooms. The air conditioning is moving along well and should be ready by fall.
  • Lighting is attached to the trusses-pre-aimed and pre-hung, so once they install these trusses lighting will be all set.  Same with the sound system-speakers assembled and wiring is in place. New sound in arena and in concourses.

The Scoreboard

In center of building, the scoreboard.  It’s the 3rd largest in the country, made by Daktronics.  Currently being built.

  • The project has 160-200 people working on construction, with 7-8 cranes being used now on site.
  • New seating installed in lower rim (capacity remains the same as the footprint of building does not change).

To get an idea of what’s going on “click” on any of the following links to get a birds-eye view of the massive construction site on University Hill.

The Hayner Hoyt Corporation Presents-A New Stadium Experience  The Hayner Hoyt Corporation Presents-A New Stadium Experience