More than 35,000 fans are expected Saturday at the Carrier Dome for the big game against the Duke Blue Devils, and such large crowds mean big money for various businesses.
James Colgan is going to the game on Saturday. "
I've been looking forward to this game for like two months now after I found out I was going, crowd obviously being one of the largest crowds in basketball history
," says Colgan.
At Varsity Pizza on the Hill in Syracuse, any basketball game is always going to bring a packed house in for a piece of pizza. However, the Duke game will be particularly busy.
They have placed extra food orders, as well as increased their staffing throughout the day Saturday.
Jerry Dellas, the co-owner of Varsity Pizza, says he told his staff to be prepared to work this Saturday. "I told everybody a month ago, two months ago, that everybody is working this game," says Dellas.
The Marriot in Armory Square will be featuring drinks and chocolates which are custom-made specifically for this game.
Fans can come in at any time starting Friday night into Saturday to buy an Orange Crush cocktail, which is an orange flavored drink with blue food coloring.
Fans can also pick up special Syracuse-themed chocolates, which will continue to add to the orange atmosphere. This chocolate is a typical cream-filled chocolate, however the inside, like the cocktail, is colored blue for Duke.
The Marriot in Armory Square has sold out each of their 180 rooms for Saturday, a number that is not typical for other basketball games.
Jim Wefers is the General Manager with the Marriott in Armory Square. "I haven't seen this type of excitement since we've been here since the Georgetown game, so it's certainly going to be along that type of rivalry for years to come," says Wefers. "We see a lot more of the visiting team fans, we see a lot of Pittsburgh fans and a lot of Duke fans."
At the Quality Inn in Liverpool, they have also seen a dramatic increase in business for this weekend. With 80 rooms available, this time of the year they usually only sell 5-10 rooms a night. However, this weekend, with Duke in town, they have 45 rooms reserved throughout the weekend.
Pamela Smith is the General Manager of the Quality Inn in Liverpool. "We are looking forward in years to come as the rivalry grows to that being an annual event," says Smith.