After four decades as the “Carrier Dome”, the iconic Syracuse venue has a new name.
Syracuse University officially introduced the JMA Wireless Dome, also to be referred to as the JMA Dome, at a press conference Thursday morning. Chancellor Kent Syverud was among the first to call it by its new name.
“As we prepare to embark on the next era of the Dome, we are doing so with a great partner who is equally committed to this city and to this region,” he said. “This morning I have the distinct pleasure of introducing for the very first time, the JMA Wireless Dome.”
Syverud pointed out the importance of the Dome to the Syracuse community, including that 935,000,000 people attend events in the venue each year, and that more than 240 million dollars in rincome for the CNY community is created. He also noted that not just games and concerts are held there, but also that it was a home to COVID-19 testing, it’s the host of the NYS Marching Band Championships, police training, high school football championships, and more.
Chancellor Syverud touched on both what this means for SU, as well as the greater Syracuse area.
“I want to thank the people of Syracuse and Central New York,” he said. “Our communities have never been more intertwined and aligned than they are right now, and this JMA Dome is as much a part of Syracuse and Central New York, as it is a part of our campus.”
Back in April a report from Sportico initially speculated on the partnership, but it wasn’t until today that SU officially made the announcement.”
JMA Wireless has yet to officially open their location on the south side of Syracuse, but that didn’t stop a number of representatives from attending the conference.
CEO of JMA, John Mezzalingua, was among them and took to the podium to look at this 10-year partnership.
“This partnership will give the Dome the first and only 5G network of any collegiate stadium in the world, and it will be more powerful than most NFL stadiums,” he said. “It will not only transform the experience of fans, players, and coaches, but it has the potential to supercharge the competitiveness of Syracuse University, and create excellence at the level we all expect.”
JMA has installed 5G technology in “several hundred of these stadiums” according to Mezzalingua, including Yankee Stadium, SoFi Stadium, and the Fiserv Forum.
The JMA CEO said that they have a start time in August to start installing, and that they hope to make a finish time in early fall a reality.
So why after 40 years did they decide to end the deal with Carrier and forge a new one with JMA Wireless? Well, according to Syverud, nobody knew the consequences of a deal made “in perpetuity.”
“The naming deal for the dome with Carrier was an innovation by Syracuse University and Carrier, he said. “it was the first naming deal in a college venue in the world. So, like most things that are first, we had no idea what was gonna happen later on in the world.”
Syverud then went on to say that this current deal and the “expiration date” on it felt right.
“What happened later on in the world is that naming rights to venues became very valuable and no one did them in perpetuity, because perpetuity I’ve discovered is a long time,” he said. “So ten years seems like the right amount of time to establish a genuine partnership between these two great organizations.”
While Kent Syverid and John Mezzalingua discussed the many of the logistics in the partnership, other officials were there to both reflect on the past and future of the well known Syracuse spot.
Felisha Legette-Jack played in the then Carrier Dome during her years playing at Syracuse, and now she’ll continue her Orange journey as head coach of the Syracuse women’s basketball team in the JMA Wireless Dome.
“Our future is bright and I’m so glad JMA decided to join hands with us to take this thing even higher. When we were growing up we thought we were at the highest peak of loving orange,” she said. “Our goal is to not just play and win, our goal is to not just represent Syracuse and our great community, our goal is to make this world notice that we are alive, and we are great.”
Chief Facilities Officer, Pete Sala, was there as well and talked about some of the research that went into this partnership, including visiting SoFi Stadium earlier in the school year.
We spent some time there in the fall and it is just absolutely amazing. That has never been done before,” he said. “That facility, thanks to JMA, is one of, if not the, most high-tech stadiums, cutting edge athletics and entertainment venues in the country, and we’re going to be better than them.”
While a lot of officials walked up to the podium at the press conference, they all shared similar sentiments and hoped about the JMA Wireless Dome. Director of Athletics, John Wildhack, summed up everyone’s thoughts pretty well.
“As we usher in the era of the JMA Dome one thing is certain, the future for Syracuse athletics is bright.” he said.
While the University announced the name earlier today, it will be a little while before it’s displayed on the outside. According to Sala, they’re working with the city on the permitting processes of the signage.