Sauna Season? Un-air conditioned Carrier Dome tests Syracuse's opponents

Dabo Swinney: 'I'm sure when you pack a bunch of people in there, it's going to be a little stuffy'

Carrier Dome (Syracuse University photo)

Carrier Dome (Syracuse University photo)

By game time on Saturday, the outside temperature at Syracuse, N.Y. is expected to be pushing toward 80 degrees.

Inside, it's likely to feel more like summer in the South than autumn on the Canadian border.

"There's no air conditioning at the Carrier Dome," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney noted Sunday during his weekly teleconference. "I'm sure when you pack a bunch of people in there, it's going to be a little stuffy."

Commenting on a Syracuse message board, one fan of the Orange painted a more vivid picture:

"The Dome is ridiculously hot and humid for early season football games. We've taken advantage of many a poorly conditioned team who came in expecting an air conditioned venue, only to spend 3 hours playing football in a sauna. Ironic that a building named after an AC company has no AC. As the season wears on, it cools down a bit, but it's never exactly cool in there."

Swinney said Clemson will have a plan in place to deal with the heat and humidity.

"We've got good experience on our staff as far as guys who have been up there as players and as coaches," he said. "Listening to them talk about it today, we'll need to have a good plan and preparation on getting our guys ready for that environment."

Swinney said Clemson will make use of its indoor practice facility this week, as the Tigers adjust to playing with a roof over their heads.

"As far as playing inside, we have Field Turf, so that's not a big adjustment for us," Swinney said. "The biggest difference is with your eyes, when you're looking up, catching passes, catching punts and kickoffs, compared to playing outside. The lighting is over the top of you. It's just a different background, and it is an adjustment.

"We're fortunate that we have an indoor facility. I think it helped us last year when we were going to play (LSU) in the (Georgia) Dome."

Temperature and backdrop issues aside, Swinney says he thinks the Tigers are excited about playing in a new venue against a first-time ACC opponent.

"Every game is huge, so it shouldn't matter where we play," he said. "No excuses - we've got a job to do. I think our guys are excited about going up there - I know I am. I've seen Syracuse on TV a million times, but I've never been there.

"We've got to be a good road team, wherever we go. We've got to win on the road, and play well on the road. We've got one win under our belt on the road, and we played OK. Hopefully, we'll go on this road trip and play a little better. That's our objective - to just try to do what we do, and do it at a high level.

"(Syracuse) is a football team that's won two in row, has a little confidence, and now has had some time off. It's their first conference game, so we know we're going get their best effort. We expect that. But it's really more about us and how we prepare."

Swinney said there will be one change in the Tigers' normal travel routine, as they'll stop off for a look at the Carrier Dome after they arrive on Friday.

"We'll load up the plane and have our normal routine," he said. "One thing we may do, since nobody's been there, is to stop off by the stadium, walk through and just let 'em eyeball the facility before we play."

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Comments » 5

TigerFan95 writes:

What kinda morons are running the marketing department for the Carrier company? They can't come off a few $$ to have AC installed in a place with their name on it? That would be like Busch stadium or Coors Field not serving beer. That place should be the most cozy, temperature controlled venue in all of sports.

Xander5000 writes:

After all these years and all the money Syracuse has made its hard to believe that they never got some sort of an AC system installed. This game and road trip is the one I'm really looking closely at. This is like going to a foreign land and it is sort of new to us. I wish it was like another road trip to Auburn or FSU but there is something different about this game.This is going to be real road test for our guys. A win here could be a somewhat of another stepping stone to better things this season. Focus is going to have to be one of the main goals on this trip, plus a win and then get out of there. I believe we can get it done.

TigerNE writes:

For fans and maybe even for players, I wonder how different the Dome will be with outside temps in the 70s (current prediction) from a hot and humid game in DV at the end of August. Although I wasn't there, I still remember the Gameday crew and the booth talking heads constantly commenting on the heat and humidity. I really wonder if the Dome will actually feel worse. To someone in Syracuse it may feel bad. To someone who made it through the UGA game? Maybe not so bad.

Also, if there is much cloud cover or any rain, it could possibly feel much cooler. This time of year in that location air temperatures of wind feel pretty cool especially if coming from the north.

clemvol writes:

Best way to battle the dome is to get on them early and hard and by halftime sixty percent or more of the fans have left and the temp will cool down quickly. That being said don't let up on the heat on the field and let the orangemen feel a different kind of fire. Get it done Tigers.

kellytown writes:

Well they Syracuse, should have a very hard time in a hot enviroment. They have never seen the temps like a southern summer if its hot for us it will be down right brutal for them I have been in Upstate N.Y. in the summer time in syracuse it is very nice its almost like a late fall day in s.c. The Clemson offense will heat it up and Syracuse will cool off quick.

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