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New Stadium Experience

The University’s renovated Stadium offers many improvements and some colossal construction statistics.

Interior of Syracuse University Stadium with turf laid down on field
The Stadium roof is designed to hold the kind of snowstorm we should hope never to witness in Central New York.

Someday, fans of Syracuse University sports, music concerts and monster trucks alike will return to a place they’ve been before and will experience something different. Something they’ve never felt when going to a local event in the loud house. Something they typically felt right at the front door. Something missing.

“It’s the rush of air,” says Pete Sala, vice president and chief facilities officer overseeing the replacement of the Teflon bubble. The Stadium’s roof is no longer air supported, meaning the structure no longer requires air pressurization. The familiar whoosh of air when one enters the building is now a thing of the past. “One of the things we’ve never done here is to open both big overhead doors at once,” says Sala, referring to the past need to avoid letting too much air out of the building at once.

But fans will notice more than just the absence of air pressurization. Along with many other improvements to the concourse, restrooms and accessibility, they’ll also notice a brand new view when they glance skyward: a new roof and scoreboard.

The new roof of the dome nears completion.
Steel used in the new Stadium roof and its supports weighs nearly 8 million pounds.

Here’s a look at the Stadium renovation project by the numbers:

  • 8 million pounds of steel used to construct the new roof (roughly 4,000 tons). Think of 1,800 regular sized pickup trucks stacked on top of one another to get a better idea of the weight of this project.
  • Nearly 3 acres of fabric used for the center portion of the roof. By comparison, the old roof covered just over 6 acres.
  • 62.5 feet by 20 feet—the height and width of each of the four sides of the new scoreboard, which will also feature four concave corner boards and a 6 foot ribbon board that will wrap around the bottom of the scoreboard.
  • 10 millimeters—the so-called pixel pitch on the ribbon board, which is easy on the eyes regardless of where you’re seated.
  • 7,700 tons of snow—the weight this new roof was designed to hold.
  • 280 people working on the project site during the busiest days of the project.

The impressive construction numbers tell some of the story, but for those who manage the Stadium the transformation goes beyond what the eye can see. For one thing, operating an air-inflated roof is no longer an issue. “From my end,” says Sala, “never having to worry about a power outage and generator failure that would allow the old roof to deflate will allow me to sleep a little bit easier at night.”

Keith Kobland

This story was first published on September 23, 2020 and last updated on .


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