The Syracuse University Carrier Dome is one of the more unique and recognizable venues in college sports. The nearly 50,000-seat indoor stadium was considered state-of-the-art when it was remodeled back in 2003, but many Syracuse fans have voiced their displeasure over the home of five different Orange sports teams, particularly when it comes to football.
Syracuse athletic director John Wildhack has been hinting at an eventual Carrier Dome renovation for several years now — yet the project seems to get stalled as quickly as it is brought up.
I struggle to understand how programs like Kansas can suddenly announce they are going all-in with a $300 million renovation to their stadium which will include a new indoor facility, yet 'Cuse keeps making excuses. Virginia — another ACC program that has struggled with football in recent history — is also on the verge of adding a shiny, new $40 million football operations center.
In today's college football landscape — facilities might as well be considered gold. So how far is Syracuse from breaking ground and turning the tide?
Wildhack fielded questions from fans during the school's No-Huddle event last Thursday in Albany and offered little clarity into the progress.
"We're looking at a variety of options for the Dome," Wildhack told Syracuse.com. "We are deep in the due dilligence phase. It's an incredibly complex project and what makes it that way is it's home to five of our sports… and other university functions We don't want to disrupt any of the seasons for any of those five sports. We're looking at a variety of models."
That sounds like a bunch of smoke and mirrors — and the story goes much deeper. According to Syracuse.com, the big-time renovation plan that included major upgrades to both the Carrier Dome and Archbold Gymnasium was released last year — and was expected to include an investment of $255 million.
But it stalled and there is no resolution in sight.
There were a bunch of hurdles with construction, and the Walters Group (in charge of the project) released a statement putting it all on hold.
"We're on hold at this point," Ruby Bowry, marketing director of the Walters Group told Syracuse.com. "There's not much else to say. I don't have a whole lot of clarity on exactly what that means."
For now, it appears everything will remain as is at 'Cuse. If the football program wants to catch up to the success of the basketball program, though, the Syracuse brass better figure out a way to upgrade the facilities. As we know now, shiny locker rooms and alluring stadiums resonate with 16-20 year-olds the most, and if the Orange don't catch up with Clemson, Virginia Tech and even UVA, they will get left behind.