SU students get early start on camping out for Duke game

Dedicated Syracuse University students are camping out at the Carrier Dome to get the best seats for the game against Duke on February 1st. Student seating is general admission so first in line gets the seats closest to the court. For a normal game students show up early but in this case - early means twelve days before tip off.

SU student Mike Barta moved into â??Boeheimburgâ?? outside Gate E Sunday night. He is equipped with everything he needs to make it through the twelve days of waiting, including a sleeping bag, ground pad and extra blankets for warmth.

â??Checking the temperature on your phone, seeing itâ??s below zero and pulling every little bit of clothes over you,â?? said Barta in regards to preparing for the cold temperatures. â??But you will get to be right down by the court on game day when Duke runs out.â??

The line is run by an SU student group called Ottoâ??s Army. Students waiting for seats can work in teams of four, with one person staying at the camp site at all times. As long as one group member is waiting, the other students can go to class or even get a night of sleep in their warm beds. These dedicated fans say it is worth the wait.

â??Weâ??ve had, for big games in the past, really long lines of hundreds of kids camping out,â?? said Danielle Matfess, a member of Ottoâ??s Army. â??We need to have a system in place and get organized. Yeah it is twelve days away but weâ??re here for the long haul.â??

For some students, it is all part of the college experience.

â??My dad went to Cornell, and he told me he camped out for hockey games and I was like â??why would you do that?â?? when I was a kid,â?? said Topher Lane, an SU student. â??Now Iâ??m sitting here in college and saying, I kind of understand what youâ??re doing.â??

In the past, the Carrier Dome has brought the students inside when the temperatures got dangerously cold.