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Carrier Dome becomes premiere location for local events, to hold first hockey game on Saturday

first_img Published on November 20, 2014 at 12:01 am Contact Brett: [email protected] | @Brett_Samuels27 Facebook Twitter Google+ Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones swaggered into Syracuse just as they were hitting their peak as one of the world’s most celebrated rock bands. It was 1966 when the group packed the War Memorial in downtown Syracuse.The Oncenter War Memorial Arena opened in 1961, and quickly drew legendary musical acts to central New York. The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Elvis Presley were just a few artists who took the stage downtown. But in 1980, just over a mile down the road, a newer, larger venue opened that dwarfed the War Memorial in size and threatened to siphon business.In 1989, when The Rolling Stones returned to Syracuse, they played right on the Syracuse University campus.“The Carrier Dome is a different type of venue than anything at the Oncenter,” said Kelly Carr, general manager at the Oncenter. “There are not very many, if any events that we could compete against the Carrier Dome to bring to this community.”Over the past 30 years, the Dome has been the bigger draw in upstate New York. But ice hockey has remained a constant at the Oncenter. The building has been home to the Syracuse Crunch, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning, since 1994.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut on Saturday, the sport will find a new home in Syracuse when, for the first time in its history, a hockey game will be played in the Carrier Dome.The Frozen Dome Classic has been in the works for over a year. Howard Dolgon, owner of the Crunch, said the goal is to set a record for attendance at an indoor professional hockey game in the United States. The current record is 28,183. With a few days left until the puck drops, Dolgon said more than 26,000 tickets have been sold for Saturday’s game.“In the War Memorial there’s a finite number of tickets for hockey,” Dolgon said. “With the Dome you can keep selling tickets.”The War Memorial is loud and made of concrete so sound bounces around and offers the Crunch a home ice advantage, Dolgon said.But the Dome is larger and has the potential to be louder. The War Memorial holds a capacity of about 8,000 people according to its website, while the Dome can hold 49,262 people.Pete Sala, the managing director of the Carrier Dome, said the venue for the Frozen Dome Classic has created a buzz in the community.“I think people in town are really excited about it to come in and see something different in here,” Sala said. “(The Dome) is a great venue, and the fact that we’re able to do so many different events in this venue at all different times of the year, I think it was a natural fit.”Despite all the fanfare leading up to Saturday, Dolgon said there are currently no plans to make hockey at the Dome a regular event.After Saturday, the Crunch will return to the War Memorial. And while it may not be as expansive or have the name recognition of the Carrier Dome, it is a building the Crunch has called home for decades and will continue to do so.“We want to provide special events to the people who live and support this team,” Dolgon said. “And we’ll continue to push ourselves to find other big events to do. This is an event come Nov. 22 that literally and figuratively could be one for the record books.” Commentslast_img read more