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SU group develops Carrier Dome backup plan in case of roof failure

By Eric Reinhardt


Article photo courtesy of, the website for Syracuse University Athletics

SYRACUSE — Syracuse University (SU) will “likely” need to replace the current roof on the Carrier Dome in the next seven to 10 years at a cost that would approach $25 million.

That cost figure would include likely improvements to the lighting and audio system.

It's one of the findings that the "Carrier Dome Backup Plan" work group presented to SU Chancellor Ken Syverud this week.

Details on the “Carrier Dome Backup Plan” work group are part of a memo that Syverud distributed to the university community on Friday.

The school also posted the memo to Syverud’s blog, which is part of the SU website.

The full memo detailed some organizational changes that Syverud has made in SU’s organizational structure, such as an appointment to lead the school’s Division of Enrollment Management.

In the memo, Syverud notes that he had assembled a group to develop a “comprehensive” backup if the Carrier Dome should become “unusable” because of a roof failure.

He asked the group to develop a contingency plan that would allow the school to “quickly” respond should the need arise, quantify the costs involved, and better understand the potential negative economic impact to the region.

For example, if school rendered the facility unavailable for a single men’s basketball game against a top opponent, and the game was played outside of Central New York, the region would lose as much as $8.3 million in economic activity, with a loss of income of as much as $2.6 million, according to the group’s findings.

The group also considered how a similar scenario would impact a full home football schedule, with games scheduled outside the Central New York region.

Under such a circumstance, the region would lose economic activity totaling in a range between $23 million and $44 million, with the loss of income ranging from $7 million to $14 million, according to the memo.

The group also noted that Central New York doesn’t have another facility that could accommodate the 30,000-plus attendance for an SU football game. The closest location would be Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, near Buffalo, the memo said.

When considering the SU men’s basketball program, the group noted the program has more than 24,000 season-ticket holders. No existing NBA arena has the capacity to seat that many spectators, the group added.

The group delivered its findings to Syverud on Thursday. Syverud, who is reviewing the findings, expects the group to provide an overview of its work for the campus community within the next several weeks, the memo said.

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