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Carrier Dome Visitors Greeted with Metal Detectors, Must Have Clear Tote Bags Under New Policy

Fans of Syracuse University Sports will have to make some changes the next time they go to see a game on campus.  WAER’s Chris Bolt explains how officials are trying to educate the public about new security measures.

Your next visit to the Carrier Dome – maybe for a game in the upcoming football season – will be a bit different.  And you can thank Homeland Security for the changes.

“One is installing 54 new walk-through metal detectors, the trend in the industry we’re in, through the NFL, the NBA, all the different entities, the ACC and different schools,” said Carrier Dome Managing Director Pete Sala. “ It’s just something that will help us get the fans into the building a little bit quicker.”

Sala adds that’s not the only change.

“Along with that, we went to a clear-bag policy this year.  Again, this is something that is throughout the country.  As we’ve talked with some of our peers, and in the ACC, it’s pretty much standard operating.”

Credit Syracuse University
Examples of bags you can - and can't - take into a game, concert, or other event in the Carrier Dome.

Sala says they’ll do a soft-rollout of the new policy but eventually no one can bring in a backpack, camera bag, large purse or other bag.  Small purses and diaper bags are o-k.  Clear bags are considered easier to look into, instead of searching through a pack or tote. 

Athletic Director John Wildhack explains there will be a bit of a grace period as football season begins.

“We’re going to have a soft-launch the first three games.  Then it will go into effect with our fourth home game.  So if someone comes the first three games and they don’t have the appropriate bag, we’ll be able to provide them with one … and again, educate them going forward.  This is what we’re doing.”


Officials displayed a Syracuse Logo clear bag … but people can use their own, measuring no larger than 12” by 12” by 6”, or use a gallon-sized, zip-top clear bag.  They plan to have people in parking lots and on the quad telling fans about the new clear-bag policy … and have the bags for sale. 

“You don’t want to implement this halfway through a season because all you do is create confusion.  So the time to do this is before the start of a season, where we can be able to communicate this to our fan base well in advance where, A: they know it and B: they can plan for it accordingly.”

They worked with homeland security and a consultant on both the bag and metal detector policies – primarily for safety, but also to try and get people into the arena as efficiently as possible. 

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.