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No more jokes: Syracuse AD John Wildhack says the Carrier Dome now has air conditioning

Syracuse.com logo Syracuse.com 4/29/2021 Chris Carlson, syracuse.com
a close up of a bridge: Syracuse football will play its first game in the Carrier Dome on Saturday against Georgia Tech since a recently completed 18 million renovation of the facility. © N. Scott Trimble | strimble@syra/N. Scott Trimble | strimble@syra Syracuse football will play its first game in the Carrier Dome on Saturday against Georgia Tech since a recently completed 18 million renovation of the facility.

Syracuse, N.Y. — Syracuse athletic director John Wildhack said Thursday that the installation of air conditioning in the Carrier Dome has been completed, providing fans a long-wanted amenity and ending decades of jokes about how a building named after an AC company could be sweltering.

Wildhack shared the update on Thursday during an appearance on the “Packer & Durham” show on the ACC Network.

In its most recent public comments about the project, Syracuse had said it hoped to finalize the installation of air conditioning before its commencement celebration, which will be held in late May. That timeline has been met. Wildhack noted that the air-filtration system added in conjunction with the AC during the renovation was “as good as any in the world.”

“Air conditioning just got completed this week in the building,” Wildhack said. “It’s a totally different building from that perspective.”

Wildhack’s update followed a conversation with the ACC Network hosts about what the school expected capacity to look like in the fall given the country’s improving battle with the coronavirus.

He said the school is planning as if it will be allowed to have its traditional full capacity for football season, but that would be dependent on the guidance of local and national health officials.

“There’s only one person, guys, who is not happy we have AC in the Dome, and you know who he is,” Wildhack said on the television broadcast. “He was on the show yesterday. Dino (Babers is) always on me, saying, ‘Don’t turn it on too high.’ I tell him, ‘Coach, don’t worry, it’ll still be nice and warm on the field.’”

Syracuse Vice President and Chief Campus Facilities officer Pete Sala said in October that he did not expect Carrier to be heavily involved in the renovation but that the school utilized some Carrier products at the school’s steam plant, which is integral to cooling buildings across campus.

The school and the company don’t appear to have resolved issues regarding naming rights to the building. It is believed that the school sold the rights on the building to Carrier “in perpetuity,” an agreement that was made before the selling of naming rights was a regular part of the college sports business.

While Carrier Dome remains the name on the building, the school has reduced its use of the full “Carrier Dome” name in recent years, often using other ways to reference the building like “Dome” and “stadium.”

The addition of air conditioning leaves a relatively small number of improvements that have been announced but have yet to be completed, including some enhancements of restrooms and concession stands.

Along with the air conditioning, Syracuse has added a new roof, a center-hung video scoreboard and sound and lighting systems, and it made some improvements in restrooms and concession areas. The school has also made improvements to help it better comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Contact Chris Carlson anytime: Email 5/8 Twitter 5/8 315-412-1639

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