College Basketball Nation: Carrier Dome

Video: Cameron Indoor vs. Carrier Dome

February, 1, 2014
Feb 1
ESPN Sport Science breaks down Syracuse's unique homecourt advantage.

Life after the Carrier Dome?

June, 18, 2013
Manley Field House is a name most college basketball fans should recognize. Built in 1962, Manley housed Syracuse basketball until 1980, when the team moved into the Carrier Dome. It is still on Syracuse's campus, where it hosts volleyball and other events, but it is most famous for its service to the Georgetown-Syracuse blood feud. Before 1980, the Hoyas and Orange were competitors, and little more. When John Thompson delivered his famous "Manley Field House is officially closed," he managed to pack so much ether into six words that a rivalry was born on the spot.

It's been that way ever since.

Of course, the move from Manley to the Carrier Dome was common sense: Manley was an older building with a capacity of just 9,500; the Carrier Dome was at the time a larger, modern building that could serve Orange football, and help the basketball team pack the thousands and thousands of fans Jim Boeheim's elevated success fosters. Since 1980, visiting the Carrier Dome for a basketball game has seemed to be (note: I've never been, hence "seemed"; I'm sure 'Cuse fans can correct me if I'm wrong) an impressively incongruous experience. Basketball isn't supposed to be good in domes. We purists are supposed to advocate for arenas. And yet for 33 years, Syracuse home crowds have managed to not only be large, but extremely loud and very engaged. At this point, the Carrier Dome feels more like a basketball building than anything else, doesn't it?

Still, it is 33 years old, which has folks in Syracuse -- namely Post-Standard writer Sean Kirst -- trying to figure out what comes next:
Even so, the limitations of the aging building are evident. The lack of air conditioning beneath the vast ceiling makes many Central New Yorkers reluctant to give up precious autumn Saturdays in return for a few warm and sweaty hours of watching indoor football. Bet on this: At the university and in the halls of government, there is already conversation about the life span of the dome, and what comes next whenever it reaches the end of its run.

This is also coming up because the Syracuse Crunch, the city's American Hockey League franchise, is currently competing for the Calder Cup; they play Grand Rapids at the old Onandoga County War Memorial, a charming but aging 6,000-seat stadium that could actually give Syracuse University at least one partner in a new arena venture somewhere down the line. There are plenty of municipal concerns to be dealt with, but the thought of a brand new, centralized 20,000-seat arena is at least a little bit exciting.

Is there any doubt the Orange could turn a new building into a pulsating Orange fortress? Even from afar, it'd be fun to see Syracuse in a basketball arena, right? Or is the Dome too beloved, even in its rapidly increasing age, to discuss it?

Cuse-Nova tickets still flying

February, 16, 2010
Those of you hoping Syracuse and Villanova's respective losses on Sunday and Monday would drive down the price of tickets to the teams' Feb. 27 meeting will be simultaneously pleased and disappointed. Why pleased? Thanks to those losses, the tickets are getting cheaper. Now the disappointment: By "cheaper," I mean instead of paying $700 for a ticket, you might be able to find a few for $600. Good luck!
It’s the high-grossing college basketball game of the season for The ticket-trading site had sold 1,889 tickets as of Monday, with an average price of $157 per ticket. Nearly $300,000 in tickets have been purchased so far. A single ticket for Level A, Section 124 already sold for $750 on StubHub. That’s $350 more than the list price for a season ticket for 21 home games, including the Villanova contest.

There are still more than 600 tickets left on StubHub, ranging from about $100 all the way up to $2,500 for floor seats. So if you want to see Villanova play Syracuse at the Carrier Dome, you're going to have to prioritize. That's easy enough; your kids didn't really need those braces anyway. And hey, when you get to spend the game with 34,000 of your closest friends, what's a few grand, anyway?

Syracuse vs. Nova to be a big deal

February, 4, 2010
Why am I writing about a game that won't tip off until 9 p.m. on Feb. 27? Because if you want a ticket to see Syracuse play Villanova at the Carrier Dome, you better start trying now. About 34,000 people are already ahead of you.

The current ticket sales mark for Villanova's visit to Syracuse is 34,616. That would set a new attendance record for the Carrier Dome. The current mark of 33,633 was set in 2006, when the Cuse hosted Villanova on Gerry McNamara's senior day. One major factor makes this mark different: We're still three weeks away. If it's 34,616 now, how many will it be on Feb. 27? And just how do you fit an extra 1,000 people in an already-packed venue?

Interesting you should ask! (I know, I know: You didn't actually ask, and that was just a rhetorical trick. Work with me here, people.) Sean Keeley reports that some people are already discussing their tickets in "Section 332," which doesn't even exist on this basketball seating chart. (It can, however, be found on this football one). Maybe it's one of those standing-room-only deals like at the new Cowboys Stadium, except there won't be any cheerleaders dancing in cages to keep the masses entertained. Just college basketball. Which is probably a fair tradeoff.

Fortunately for members of Section 332, Syracuse University senior associate athletic director Pete Sala told that everyone will be able to see the court:

"We will not sell obstructed view tickets and we won’t sell tickets just to be in the building,’’ Sala said. “We’ve never done that and we won’t do that."