What is Going On With Syracuse And the Carrier Dome?


Syracuse has long been known for their sports over everything. While they’ve fallen off in recent years across the board, Syracuse teams of old still live in legend across the country. Whether it was football or basketball, all events worth remembering took place in their home arena, named the Carrier Dome. The school gave naming rights “in perpetuity” to the air-conditioning company (according to a company spokesperson) in 1980 after they gave nearly $3 million to the university’s construction effort.

The Carrier Dome hasn’t changed much since it was bestowed the name nearly 40 years ago. The university recently approved a $118 million reconstruction project expected to go through 2021. The more things change, the more they stay the same and all that.

Well, Syracuse doesn’t agree, apparently. WNBF, an upstate New York radio station, reported on Tuesday that the season ticket holder packaging for the upcoming college football season didn’t include the name of the stadium. Like, at all. The return address on the envelops is merely “Dome Box Office” and the included materials mention it only as Syracuse University Stadium.

Kind of weird, right? It gets weirder. In the football media guide, the university doesn’t call it the Carrier Dome a single time, according to CollegeAD. For those familiar, football media guides are pretty hefty. Not only that, but they also wiped any mention of Carrier from their history of the stadium provided in the guide. Going full Revisionist History on their dome is an interesting tact for a supposed pillar of education.

Why are they doing this? The most likely reason seems to be, and this will shock you, money. Carrier Corporation paid $2.75 million to hold the naming rights forever. Mercedes-Benz is paying a whopping $324 million total for the naming rights to the NFL’s newest stadium down in Atlanta. Fighting Orange football isn’t quite the same money-driver as a pro football stadium, but it’s safe to assume ‘Cuse could stand to benefit from a new naming rights deal.

They have no chance of doing so while under contract with Carrier, however. Neither side has released the full details of the original contract from 1980, but both have taken the public stance that the agreement didn’t have an end date.

This would be an interesting, shall we say, strategy for the university to employ in order to get their way. Outright refusing to acknowledge the stadium’s name is childish at best, and seems rather pointless if Carrier’s name is literally on the stadium. Carrier primarily makes air-conditioners and haven’t been in the news for anything horrible, so there doesn’t seem to be any outside pressure on the university to turn their backs in this manner.

What’s going on up in Syracuse? We aren’t entirely sure, but it’s a good bet that someone’s wallet is involved.