Syracuse is not eliminating the biggest issue with the Carrier Dome — the dome itself — but they are making one of the worst venues in college football a little better.
Syracuse is the only Power Five program and one of only two FBS programs to play football indoors (Texas-San Antonio). They've been doing so since the Carrier Dome opened in 1980 and while indoor football was more acceptable 38 years ago, largely because the 50,000-seat was once considered a remarkable feat of engineering, it's always been an egregious assault on the sanctity of the game.
For nearly four decades, the stadium has been covered by an air-supported roof that requires significant maintenance and could fail at any moment in a city with an average annual snowfall of 10 feet. There were discussions of a new football-only stadium in downtown but those never materialized into actual plans. Now, a four-year, $118-million renovation project won't remove the Carrier Dome roof but it will make it a lot better.
Among the improvements planned to be ready for the 2020 football season include a new permanent roof, sound and lighting systems and scoreboard. The vertical-hanging scoreboard will be on a track system that allows it to be moved from the center of the stadium for football games to the side for basketball games. Additional improvements are planned for 2022, including updated restrooms and concessions and air conditioning.
Yes, a stadium named after an air-conditioning company will finally have air conditioning.
Here is a rendering for a partially transparent roof:
For the transparent roof material, vice president and chief facilities officer Pete Sala said they are looking into a fiberglass mesh that allows for 45-percent light transmission.
"I just (look forward) to not having to stress every single day, of not having to worry about the roof in the winter," Sala told Syracuse.com. "I don't know what it will be like to enjoy the winter.
No football, lacrosse or basketball seasons will be lost because of the renovations.