When thinking of some of the greatest college football venues, places like “The Big House” and “Death Valley” come to mind among a number of many others. And due to the fact that there are so many great stadiums, some seem to slip through the cracks without getting the full recognition they deserve. This can especially be the case when the program that plays at the particular stadium isn’t exactly a national powerhouse.
That case can absolutely be made for the Carrier Dome, the home of the Syracuse Orange.
The Dome which has been opened since 1980, can seat just under 50,000 which isn’t too big for a college football stadium but seems to be an appropriate fit. A unique characteristic of the Carrier Dome is actually the dome itself. Its inflatable roof is now one of a kind since the one at the Herbert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis clearly couldn’t handle the pressure of winter weather. Literally.
Unfortunately, The Carrier Dome is often critiqued for its dark feel and old concourses. Though the Dome was considered to be a state of the art structure when it first opened up, it is simply starting to feel quite outdated in that regard. These issues haven’t gone unnoticed and the Dome is actually scheduled for some renovations heading into the next decade that’ll total $118M. The renovations will also include air conditioning, as well as the aforementioned roof getting a sick facelift.
But what really makes the Dome great and such an underrated venue for a college football game is the overall atmosphere created by the fans. I’ve experienced a handful of games at the Dome and have been impressed with the climate every time, one of which included Syracuse’s upset of then No.1 Clemson on October 13th, 2017.
The fans were REALLY into it and remained rowdy throughout the game which really created an exciting atmosphere especially with how loud the place can get being an enclosed building. That goes back to the size of 50,000 fans inside of a building feeling so appropriate. It’s like the fans have one single pulse bottled up inside an inflatable roof and concrete dome. It was a Friday game too, which only added to the excitement (mostly for the fact that I knew I wouldn’t miss a full slate of games the next day).
Here’s the bottom line: even if a program may not be elite, their stadium just might be a gem. Therefore, if you ever find yourself in the upstate New York area come football season, I highly recommend giving this place a try!
(This dope image is my own)