Syracuse University Orange is one of the most recognized college football teams in the State of New York. As an FBS team, they play in this the top-flight subdivision of the NCAA’s Division I. The school, while notoriously known for its achievement on the basketball court, is a big player when it comes to football in the northeast. At sporting events, you’ll see Otto the Orange, the school’s costumed baseball cap-wearing orange, up to his usual antics.
The football, basketball, and lacrosse teams share a stadium, the Carrier Dome, which has the capacity to seat close to 50,000 fans on game day. Interestingly enough, the stadium only seats 35,000 people during basketball games because only a portion of the stadium is used. The Carrier Dome was built in 1980 because the previous stadium was older and could only seat 26,000 people, which is not sizeable enough for a college football team of their caliber. The stadium is domed due to Syracuse’s cold winter weather, and it’s the largest domed stadium in college sports.
The Orange, who was previously a part of the Big East Conference, have been members of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 2013. They have healthy rivalries with Boston College, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and Penn State. When it comes to accolades, the team has won the college football national championship once when it beat the University of Texas in 1960 at the Cotton Bowl.
The Orange have appeared and won in four bowl games since 2010. Not to be outdone, the men’s basketball team has gone to dozens of NCAA tournaments, of which they had also won one back in 2003. The school competes in more than 10 sports, including rowing and hockey.
To see the Syracuse University Orange at Carrier Dome, you can expect to pay, on average, around $40 to $50. The prices, which are based on previous seasons, may change when the team plays against higher-ranked teams or conference rivals. Tickets to see the men’s basketball are a bit more affordable, with prices averaging around $25. Incidentally, the Carrier Dome is the largest college basketball venue in the country.
Syracuse University is in the City of Syracuse, New York. Several major interstates and highways run through the city, which should make it easier to get to no matter where you begin your journey. Buffalo, home of the eponymously-named chicken wing, is about two hours to the west and near Lake Erie. New York City, with its timeless skyline and endless experiences, is about four hours to the southeast. The state capital, Albany, is around two hours to the east.
There are several parking lots available on game day, but only the Skytop Lot accepts RVs. The Skytop lot is about a mile and a half south of the stadium. To park there on game day expect to pay around $40, but overnight parking is not permitted.
The Skytop Lot may be too far for most people to walk, especially after a day of tailgate football games and snacks, but the school provides a solution. When you purchase a parking pass at the Skytop Lot, you get free access to the shuttle, which begins picking up passengers starting three hours before the game.
With full tanks of gas, propane, and water, you could stay almost anywhere, but, unfortunately, overnight parking is not offered at the Skytop Lot. Instead, it may be best to book a stay at a nearby campground.Green River Lake State Park
RVers can find a few places close to Syracuse where to spend the night in a Class A or campervan, and there are more options on the outskirts of town and in nearby cities. To the north, you’ll find RV campgrounds near the water that offer scenic views of nature.
Pleasant Lake Campground is about a 30-minute drive to the north in Pennellville. Even if you’re only in town for a football game, why not spend a few days relaxing by the water. Green Lakes State Park rests about 20 minutes to the east offering families a peaceful landing spot.
When you’re parking away from the stadium, it’s important to have alternative traveling options. Of course, you’re more than welcome to take the shuttle from the Skytop Lot, which departs every 15 minutes, starting three hours before the game. But you could also walk, that’s if you don’t mind the one and a half-mile distance. The stadium doesn’t allow strollers, so you’ll have to leave it behind if you’re traveling with children.
If you’re visiting Syracuse in the summer or fall, dress in light clothing. Thankfully, the stadium’s dome protects against harsh sunlight and freezing cold. As the season progresses and temperatures drop dramatically, so pack as many layers as you can, especially if you often feel cold. Most importantly, don’t forget to look the part by dressing in orange.
No tailgate party is complete without a grill, so don’t forget to bring yours. You may want to stock up on charcoal, wood, or propane, depending on what type of grill you’re using, before you begin your tailgate festivities. Also, bring an ice chest to keep drinks cold and a table to prep your food and display your dishes.
With bitingly cold temperatures in the winter, it’s important to dress properly in layers and cover your extremities, especially if you’re outdoors at a tailgate party. Additionally, you’ll want to purchase a travel-sized first-aid kit in case of any accidents, which tend to happen no matter how careful you are.
While you may be excited to start your tailgate early, don’t forget to stop by the grocery store beforehand to shop for groceries and last-minute items. When preparing a tailgate menu, you may want to consider making finger foods that guests can easily eat while standing up.
With so many different dining options, you won’t go hungry in the City of Syracuse. There are tons of Italian restaurants, some of which are the best-rated restaurants in town. You’ll also find BBQ, steak, pizza, and seafood restaurants throughout the city. Out for a walk near the Syracuse University, you will find a few locations within a mile of campus, or venture through town to find a wider selection of eateries.
Hungry? Orange games won’t leave their fans hungry. Choose from snacks or meal options to enjoy during your game experience. You’ll also find plenty of merchandise locations inside the Dome in case you want to deck your crew out in orange Syracuse-branded gear. All major credit cards are accepted at the Carrier Dome.
Before you make your way to the Carrier Dome, make sure you have everything you want for the day, such as your phone and wallet, because re-entry is not allowed. Also, leave behind any prohibited items such as outside food or drinks, weapons, backpacks, strollers, and noisemakers. Syracuse follows a general clear bag policy for most of their events, so keep this in mind when choosing what you will bring.
With Syracuse being so far north, you may be surprised to hear that summers are warm and pleasant and last about four months. Winters, however, can be adventuresome. The average low temperature in December is in the mid-20s and continues to drop further into the teens in January. It also tends to snow a lot in Syracuse, so toss some snow gear in your motorhome in the winter and keep an eye on weather reports.
Like most modern stadiums in college football, the Carrier Dome provides medical services to treat minor issues and accidents. To find the first aid room, head to the lower concourse level which is on the southern part of the stadium; the first aid room is in between sections 101 and 102. Ask about Sensory Saftey Kits if you have a fan with you who might benefit from their use.