If the rumors are true, Syracuse University could try to host a basketball game in the center of the Carrier Dome this coming season, and break another attendance record in the process.
It has been discussed for years, the possibility of the Orange staging a basketball game in the Domeâ??s football configuration, with the court centered where the football field typically sits.
Even though the University has been non-committal, the drumbeat for an event of this type has gotten louder since SU announced it was joining the Atlantic Coast Conference this summer.
Common sense suggests the game would be against one of the prime opponents to visit the Dome this coming season, such as new ACC rivals Duke or North Carolina or non-conference opponent Indiana.
College basketball expert ESPN analyst Dick Vitale tweeted that he thinks it would be a great idea:
I'm thinking how the Carrier Dome will rock when the Cuse & HoFer Jim Boeheim welcome the Dukies -gut says they break record of over 50 K !
â?? Dick Vitale (@DickieV) July 31, 2013
â?? Otto's Army (@OttosArmy) August 1, 2013
SU fans CNY Central talked to Thursday seem to echo Vitaleâ??s enthusiasm.
One drawback would be that season ticket holders would perhaps be moved to less appealing seat locations and would have to be appeased by the University. Another obstacle is that work would need to be done on the Dome to rewire the center of the floor for basketball.
The Dome seats a maximum of approximately 35,000 for basketball in its standard configuration, and just less than 50,000 for football. The school could see more than 50,000 fans show up for a basketball game against a nationally-known opponent, if you factor in additional floor seating.
The current on-campus record for a college basketball game is 35,012, set by the Orange and former Big East rival Georgetown on February 23 of the past 2012-2013 season. Some SU fans who had long distance seats for the Georgetown game say opening up the Dome would have made the experience more fun.
"I think it would be cool, it would be different," said SU fan Sammy Balastra.
"I think it would be great to be one of the people there to watch the game. The environment would be spectacular," said SU fan Jason Mott.
Season ticket holders - especially those who pay thousands for tickets close to the court - have argued against the plan for years. Some have said they don't want to watch on of the biggest games of the year from a distant viewpoint or a strange angle.
"I think that is concern with the seating. The sightlines and the seating arrangements. Especially for season ticket holders," said SU fan Pat O'Neill.
Some fans said they could see the season ticket holders concerns but hoped everyone would embrace the idea as a special event.
"It's one game right? One game - deal with it," said SU fan Zach Eccles.
SU is no stranger to playing a high profile game the middle of a Dome. Last April, the Atlantaâ??s Georgia Dome hosted the Orange and Michigan Wolverines in the middle of the football field as part of the 2013 NCAA Final Four. More than 72,000 tickets were sold for that event, albeit in a much larger building.