Saturday, October 18, 2008

Orange Spotlight

This edition of the Orange Spotlight is dedicated to a building that is filled with emotion and history for me. As someone who lives out of the Syracuse area, every time I drive north on Interstate 81, I can always tell I am there when I can see the view in the horizon. Also, I remember standing in my grandfather's hospital bed as he was sick with a view of this building and remembering the times I visited him while Syracuse was playing. It is also named after a business my grandfather worked at until he retired in the early 90's and he also took me there once to watch a BC/SU Football game. By now I am sure you know that this Orange Spotlight will focus on the Carrier Dome.

Located at 900 Irving Avenue, it was built in 1982 at a cost of $28 million. The field made of Fieldturf, the building itself is cited by numerous sources to be the largest on campus structure in the country. The dome weighs 220 tons and is made of Teflon coated fiberglass. When snow approaches the Carrier Dome it is heated to 145 degrees to prevent it from collapsing. In March 1993, the dome was deflated because nearly four feet of snow fell in the Syracuse area. It was built to replace both Archbold Stadium for football, which was not up to standard and had already been reduced due to fire code violations as well as Manley Field House for men's basketball. And for the record, and for those who have never been inside it, despite being named after Carrier Corporation which builds air conditioners, there is none inside the Dome.

I have heard many discuss replacing it in favor of a state of the art facility with luxury boxes and seats and even some wanting an outdoor stadium again like Archbold was to allow for more seating. I understand the current trend but to me, the Carrier Dome is still a great place for fans to see the Orange and building a 100,000 seat stadium just because other places have them to me is over rated. The facility itself is just fine, they do improve certain things as the years go by and it seats enough fans(can seat 50,000 fans as is) and even at one point, WWE considered holding Wrestlemania there to help set the indoor record for a sporting event(though university officials decided against it). Maybe I am just a sentimentalist but I love the Carrier Dome, get chills sometimes when I go near it and as I stated earlier, it reminds me so much of Syracuse that nothing could be a better representative of the area then this. So I dedicate this column to the greatest sports arena in the world, the Carrier Dome. Go Orange.

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