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Big upgrades to Carrier Dome will change its iconic roof

Syracuse University
A rendering of the new exterior of the dome.

Syracuse University is investing $118 million dollars in renovations to the Carrier Dome as part of SU’s 20-year Campus Framework plan of projects. The renovations include a new roof for the dome, which will change what has been an iconic part of the Syracuse skyline for the past several decades.

Construction will begin next year on a new cable truss roof held up by a steel structure around the Carrier Dome. The roof will have a 40-year lifespan and will be translucent in the center to allow in more natural light. SU Director of Athletics John Wildhack said the changes will enrich the history of the building and help with athletic recruiting.

Credit Syracuse University
Syracuse University
A rendering of the new interior of the dome.

“It's one of the most treasured and unique buildings in all of American sports," Wildhack said. "Now is the time to take something that is great and make it greater."

Vice President and Chief Facilities Officer Pete Sala said they are still going over the schematic designs to determine how it will look from the outside.

“We’re looking at different ways to look at that façade of that steel, whether that steel stays exposed or whether we put some type of louver system," Sala said. "It will change the skyline a little bit. You'll see it as you go down I-81 and we want to make sure that's special."

SU's press release did not refer to the stadium as the dome. Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Amir Rahnamay-Azar did not discuss any possible new naming rights.

“The dome reconstruction has nothing to do with our relationship with Carrier," Rahnamay-Azar said. "This is really just a very exciting project for us to create a brand new stadium experience.”

Other investments include a new vertically hung video scoreboard, sound system, LED lighting, accessibility upgrades and improved WiFi. Along with the roof, those would be completed by 2020 and air conditioning, new restrooms and concessions would come later. Construction is not expected to impact any SU football, basketball or lacrosse games.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.