CNY reacts to potential new downtown Syracuse sports complex
By Alex Resila
Mon, 13 Jan 2014 04:33:18 GMT — A report about the possibility of a new sports arena in downtown Syracuse has a lot of people talking. According to a Post-Standard report, the new facility would be built on the former site of the Kennedy Square Housing Project on East Fayette Street. It would seat roughly 40 thousand people and include a parking garage and retractable roof. It appears County Executive Joanie Mahoney might have something to say about the proposal this week. If built the arena could benefit Syracuse University Athletics and attract big-name concerts. Many neighbors like Chris Clare and Adam Cooper are in favor a new venue. "The city's definitely expanding it really is, and at 40 thousand plus anywhere is gonna be great, it really is," says Clare. "I think that would be kind of exciting, because right now the Dome is really big for basketball, it's really open. I've had season tickets since 2002 and a lot of times you feel like it's not very intimate because it's such a large building and for football we kind of struggle getting fans in there, so maybe lowering the capacity by 10 thousand would be beneficial for them too," says Cooper. Jeff Kulichik sees the potential project as a way to grow the local economy. "That would be another area of construction. It kind of spreads out downtown, brings down more people that wouldn't normally come down, so it's gonna bring in revenue for the city," says Kulichik. Not everyone sees the alleged plan as a positive. Some neighbors like Kate Davis who work near this lot here in Syracuse say if anything is being done to this land, they would like to see a parking garage instead of a sports arena. "I work up at the community campus, it's hard for us to find a lot of parking where like I said Upstate took over. It's hard for us all to find parking which we're all kind of fighting over," says Davis. If the project does become a reality, there's hope it will be paid for privately to avoid tapping into tax dollars. "Then everyone's footing the bill. People who are against would have to foot part of it anyways. The more privately funded, that shows more of their investment and they're more likely to do a good job with it," says Kulichik. Regardless of the money, others see a new hotel as a better fit for the space so the city can attract bigger crowds to existing venues, showing a split opinion about the possibility of a new place to play and entertain in Syracuse.
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