By Brandon Mintz SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — We are less than 24 hours away from a game that Syracuse has had circled on their calendar since they last defeated Clemson four years ago yesterday.
The Tigers coming to town always brings buzz to the Central New York area, but COVID-19 will certainly be a factor on gameday.
Syracuse has partnered with Onondaga County to provide free antigen tests for the game. Appointments are available tomorrow between 1 PM and 4 PM at 421 Montgomery Street.
SU Vice President Pete Sala thinks that COVID-19 related protocols at The Dome have finally sunk in with the fans.
“We’ve seen a drastic change after the first game with our messaging that we’ve been doing, and just all of the different communications that we push out and working with people when they come in the building.”
The pandemic left a huge absence in the Syracuse community with the loss of live sports. SU Deputy Athletics Director Andrew Goodrich says Orange supporters have rallied around the return of athletics on campus.
“It’s a lot of fun and you don’t realize how much you miss it until you go through a year like we did last year with empty stadiums.”
Having the gates back open at The Dome has been especially important for local businesses. According to Manny’s general manager Mike Theiss, fans being away from the stadium last year resulted in customers away from his store.
“Last year even though the students were back on campus because there was no spectators allowed in The Dome business was terrible. We do a good portion of our business on game days or game day weekends.”
It’s going to be an orange out tomorrow night at the Carrier Dome, make sure to show up early with either a proof of vaccination or negative COVID test.
For more information on the Syracuse University football team and their upcoming schedule click here.