Gross downplays immediate possibility of building new facility

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 15, 2014 at 8:26 pm Contact Trevor: tbhass@syr.edu | @TrevorHass Syracuse Director of Athletics Daryl Gross downplayed the immediate possibility of constructing a new athletic facility during an interview on ESPN Radio CNY late Wednesday afternoon.“These are the things we talk about every year that are just being talked about a lot right now publicly,” Gross said.Gross said moving from the Carrier Dome into a new stadium in the future is definitely a possibility, but he insisted his staff is still taking its usual approach. He and his colleagues have discussed the situation in-depth for years, Gross said. The discussion has just received more publicity in the last week.It has been reported by several media outlets that Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney and Governor Andrew Cuomo had discussed plans to build a new sports stadium in Syracuse that would serve SU and possibly other local sports teams. But The Post-Standard reported on Jan. 14 that Mahoney had abandoned her request because she was unable to persuade Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner to support the project.SU Chancellor Kent Syverud released a statement Tuesday evening about the process, saying that he hopes SU will continue to work with the city and county to consider all potential options.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textGross likened a potential new facility to switching from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference. The switch wasn’t impromptu, Gross said, but rather a well-thought-out decision that had been researched and analyzed in-depth.“Every building that’s built has some half-life to it, right?” Gross said. “It’s not going to last forever. I mean look at the Roman Colosseum. It doesn’t look very good right now, but it’s still a nice tourist attraction.”Just like they did in that case, Gross and his staff will decide if a new stadium makes sense when the time is right. For now, Gross said his staff’s goal is to continue to improve the Carrier Dome. For example, box seats that were built in 1980 can be improved upon, Gross said.Despite his zeal for a potential new stadium in the future, he “loves” the Dome and wants to continue to make it the best it can be.“If the Dome is the way we’re going to go, we’re going to make sure that it gets better and improves,” Gross said. “That’s our goal.”However, if the opportunity presents itself in the future, Gross said moving into a new stadium has “been a dream of ours.”One issue with the Carrier Dome as it stands is the potential of a snowstorm that could cause the building to collapse, Gross said. He fears that at any point in time, a brutal storm could result in a catastrophe, like when the Metrodome in Minnesota caved in during 2010.A retractable-roof stadium would be safer, Gross said, and would also allow the community of Central New York to take in games outside.“Maybe retractable makes more sense,” Gross said.For now, his main priority is ensuring fans have the most enjoyable experience possible at the Dome. Gross called the “macro” of the decision-making process pleasing the fans and community.“Something that’s intimate and loud and something that is attractive for events 365 days a year,” Gross said.The priority is focusing on ensuring that happens, whether it’s in a new stadium or not.Said Gross: “We try to control the things we can control.” Commentslast_img

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