SBD/January 14, 2014/Facilities

Syracuse Chancellor Exploring Arena Options, Including New Venue To Replace Dome

State and private development money could help fund a renovation
Syracuse Univ. Chancellor Kent Syverud yesterday said that a "renovated Carrier Dome or a totally new sports arena costing hundreds of millions of dollars are among the options being explored by local developers," according to Dave Tobin of the Syracuse POST-STANDARD. Syverud said that he had "spoken directly to Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and state Sen. John DeFrancisco." Tobin reports arena proposals discussed have included "a mix of funding sources including Syracuse University, private developers, state and other public money." SU in the proposals "would be a tenant." Syverud said that state and private development money "has also been discussed as funding sources for dome renovation." He added that the costs for dome renovations "range from the low millions on up," and that cost ranges for a new arena "are in the hundreds of millions." Syverud said that if SU "chooses to stay with the dome, the university has an obligation to keep up with the best technology and architecture to make it work." He added that a pressurized air dome "probably in the long run is not that approach." It was first reported on Sunday that Mahoney and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo "had been quietly discussing building a new arena for SU and other tenants," including the AHL Syracuse Crunch (SYRACUSE.com, 1/13). Onondaga County Legislature Chair Ryan McMahon said a "lack of enthusiasm from city hall" is among the reasons preventing the project from coming together. He added that as the deadline looms for Cuomo to present a state budget, Mahoney "may be forced to pitch other ideas to the governor." Cuomo is due to present a budget by Jan. 21 (Syracuse POST-STANDARD, 1/14).

ORANGE CRUSH: In Syracuse, Mike Waters noted SU "currently leads the nation" in attendance for men's basketball games, averaging 24,565 fans "through its first 11 home games." SU's game against North Carolina on Saturday "drew a season-high 32,121." But the school "draws well on the road, too." A survey of the nine ACC schools where SU will play on the road this season "shows higher-than-normal ticket sales at nearly every venue." Officials at Pittsburgh and Duke "reported sellouts for games against Syracuse, but that's not unusual." However, what "is unusual are the prices for tickets through third-party vendors." The lowest-priced ticket on StubHub for SU's Feb. 12 game at Pittsburgh "is listed at $76 for upper-deck seats," while courtside club seats "are over $600." Prices for tickets to the Feb. 22 SU-Duke game at Cameron Indoor Stadium "are starting at $912" (SYRACUSE.com, 1/13).
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