- Myron Medcalf, ESPN Staff Writer
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On Thursday, a dream died when Syracuse officials nixed the idea of moving Syracuse's basketball court to the center of the Carrier Dome for its inaugural ACC matchup against Duke.
Syracuse, which already owns the attendance record for an on-campus game, could have shattered the previous mark with the switch.
Both programs could be ranked in the top 10 when the season begins in late October. Standouts Jabari Parker, Rasheed Sulaimon, Jerami Grant and C.J. Fair will all be on the same floor for that game. Coach K vs. Jim Boeheim. The first ACC meeting for the two powerhouses.
Moving the floor to the center of the facility could have created enough space to fit 50,000 college basketball fans into the Carrier Dome for the highly anticipated matchup.
But school officials, after researching the possibility, vetoed the concept.
The good news is that Syracuse vs. Duke could still break the record.
From the Post-Standard (Syracuse.com):
The Carrier Dome court will remain in its usual location.
Syracuse University officials have decided to keep the basketball court in the end zone of the Carrier Dome when the Orange hosts new Atlantic Coast Conference rival Duke on Saturday, Feb. 1.
Joe Giansante, Syracuse's executive senior associate athletic director, confirmed the school's decision Thursday.
The idea of moving the court to the middle of the Dome's football field has been discussed among Syracuse fans for years. The topic gained traction over the past month when SU officials would neither confirm nor deny the plan for moving the court for the Duke game.
But Giansante said SU officials nixed the idea after studying all the factors involved in moving the court.
"It was considered and studied intensely," Giansante said. "We considered it very seriously. A lot of things pointed us in the direction of being able to do it, but several pointed in the other direction."
Giansante listed factors such as moving season-ticket holders, sight-lines for temporary seats and the logistics of moving the court for the Saturday game against Duke and then hosting a women's game at the Dome on Sunday and a men's game against Notre Dame on Monday.
"It wasn't just one factor," Giansante said. "There were many factors that we took into consideration."
Moving the court would have meant breaking the NCAA's all-time attendance record for an on-campus game. The current record of 35,012 was set on Feb. 23, 2013 when Syracuse hosted Georgetown for the final time as Big East foes. It was the first announced sellout in the Carrier Dome's history.
A Syracuse-Duke game with the court in the middle of the Carrier Dome would likely draw a crowd of 50,000 or more.
But Giansante noted the SU-Duke game could still surpass the record of 35,012.
"We already have the best college basketball environment in the country," Giansante said. "That game is still going to be special."
I don’t question their reasoning. I’m sure they took a serious look at the possibility.
But I am disappointed.
It seems feasible.
Google has a car that drives itself.
Elon Musk thinks we can send humans through a tube at 800 mph.
Nik Wallenda walked across the Grand Canyon on a tightrope without a net.
And this guy jumped ... from space.
But we can’t move a basketball court to the center of the Carrier Dome?