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Could Syracuse change Carrier Dome setup for Duke game?

By Matt Norlander | Staff Writer

Might the Carrier Dome go big -- really big -- for the Duke game? (USATSI)
Might the Carrier Dome go big -- really big -- for the Duke game? (USATSI)

Syracuse could be moving its home court. That's a literal possibility.

The Carrier Dome is still housing Syracuse games (for the forseeable future, anyway), but in terms of the construction of the court and stands inside the famous on-campus building with the marshmallow top, a change could be coming. Instead of assembling the SU court on one side of the Dome (like it has always been), a move of the court to the center of the stadium could be in order.

Why? How? Duke. The Orange are now members of the ACC and next season will see the Blue Devils travel north to play SU. Mike Waters of the Post-Standard reports rumors are growing that this could happen. At the very least, a big to-do will be in order for SU hoops.

The decision to move the court would be done, in part, to make history and also to mark Syracuse's first year as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Moving the court would mean breaking the NCAA's all-time attendance record for an on-campus game. The current record of 35,012 was set on Feb. 23, 2013 when Syracuse hosted Georgetown for the final time as Big East foes. It was the first announced sellout in the Carrier Dome's history. ...
Joe Giansante, SU's executive senior associate athletic director, would neither confirm or deny the university's plan to move the court to the middle of the Dome.
"We're going to look at all kinds of options to make our move to the ACC as special as possible,'' Giansante said Thursday. "There are a lot of different things on the table to consider.''
When asked if those options included moving the court, Giansante remained non-committal. "The schedule hasn't been released yet, so I can't confirm it or deny,'' Giansante said. He then added, "We're looking for ways to celebrate our inclusion in the ACC. Obviously, when Duke comes to town, it's going to be a special day.''

A non-denial denial if I ever heard one!

Hey, this would be cool. Final Fours recently went to the center-court aesthetic in recent years. (That said, there are some real logistical hurdles to overcome, as the story notes.) The reason why Syracuse has stuck with the seating arrangement before is obvious: putting everybody on one side of the dome allows it to fill up and get the place to feel as intimate as possible. Expectations of a Syracuse-Duke game, though, put early estimates in the 50,000 ticket allotment area -- beyond the official listed seating capacity of 49,262.

Syracuse is also set to host UNC and Indiana next season. But no team draws like Duke does, especially in years where Duke is top-10 worthy, and that'll certainly be the case in 2013-14. Syracuse is set to release its men's basketball schedule later in August. Soon after that, tickets will go on sale, and then we'll have our answer.

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