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Syracuse University announces Dome naming rights agreement with CNY-based JMA Wireless

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Syracuse University
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The JMA Wireless Dome taken by a drone.

Syracuse University is ushering in a new era at its iconic domed stadium with a new partnership, and a new name.  The news comes nearly a month after officials confirmed it was severing ties with Carrier and seeking a new naming rights agreement.

SU Chancellor Kent Syverud made it official Thursday morning.

"I have the distinct pleasure of introducing, for the very first time, the JMA Wireless Dome," he said to applause.

Syverud says the 10-year partnership is different from other stadium naming agreements, but didn’t disclose specifics. He acknowledged that the previous agreement in perpetuity with Carrier in 1979 was among the first of its kind, but no one knew then what the future would hold.

"Naming rights to venues became very valuable, and no one did them in perpetuity. Because perpetuity, I discovered, is a long time," Syverud said to laughs from the crowd of assembled dignitaries. "Ten years seems like the right amount of time to establish a genuine partnership between these two organizations."

JMA Wireless is a global 5G wireless technology company headquartered in Liverpool, and is about to open the first US owned 5G manufacturing facility less than a mile west of the dome.

Founder and CEO John Mezzalingua knew as a kid just how bold and innovative the dome was 42 years ago when it opened.

"I first came to this site as a young child at the old Archbold Stadium when it was windy with my father and uncles. When this building opened, it was such a thrill. I remember I was 13, I saw the first game that was here. It was unlike anything in college sports."

And, now, Mezzalingua wants to bring that excitement into the 21ST century.

"This partnership will give the Dome the first and most advanced 5G network of any collegiate stadium in the world, and it will be more powerful than most NFL stadiums. 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 that we all expect."

Mezzalingua says the digital upgrades should be complete by August, barring supply chain disruptions. It’s part of a larger series of improvements, which will also include new seating, and a multi-purpose events center attached to the dome.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at srwillis@syr.edu.