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SU announces $118 million plan to create 'new stadium experience'

Conceptual renderings (Courtesy Syracuse University)

Syracuse University has announced plans to invest $118 million plan to create a "new stadium experience" on its campus.

The plans call for a new fixed roof, added air conditioning, a new vertically-hung scoreboard, new sound and lighting systems and more; the majority of the new features are expected to be in place by the fall of 2020.

A release by the university on Monday highlighting the plans for the building currently known as the Carrier Dome avoided using the words "Carrier" or "dome"; instead it highlights what it says is a "new stadium experience."

"The Dome reconstruction has nothing to do with our relationship with Carrier," Amir Rahnamay-Azar, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, said when asked about the implications the changes have on the university's naming rights deal with the Carrier Corporation. "This is really just a very exciting project for us... to really create a brand-new stadium experience."

Athletic Director John Wildhack said during a news conference Monday that construction to make the changes happen will not interfere with the university's football, basketball or lacrosse programs. Vice President and Chief Facilities Officer Pete Sala explained that exterior changes necessary to accommodate the new fixed roof would begin in May 2019, but would not interfere with activity inside the facility.

The construction of the roof itself is scheduled to happen from May 2020 to September 2020, during the off-seasons for each of the programs. Wildhack said the university's board of trustees approved the plan over the weekend.

In a release, the university said the addition of air conditioning, along with new accessible restrooms and new concessions space, are expected to be complete by fall 2022.

The planned changes are part of the university's "Campus Framework" plan.

“This is a great day for Syracuse University as we take a significant step in advancing the goals contained in our Campus Framework, a 20-year roadmap designed to align our vision and mission with our physical space,” Chancellor Kent Syverud said in a release. “Creating a new stadium experience is a key element to supporting a vibrant and diverse campus community. I am excited for our students—undergraduate and graduate—who will receive their degrees in front of their families and friends, for the student-athletes who will compete in this space and for the thousands of individuals who will visit our campus for athletic events, concerts and other activities.”

The Campus Framework is a 20-year plan to overhaul the university and the student experience, from ease of mobility across the campus to renovating the Carrier Dome.

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