Cuomo to propose $300m in public money for new Syracuse college football stadium

I really do try to steer clear of college sports on this site, because I have to draw the line somewhere, but HOLY CRAP NEW YORK STATE IS TALKING ABOUT GIVING SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY $300 MILLION TOWARD A NEW STADIUM!

[Onondaga County Executive Joanie] Mahoney and other county officials this week expressed dismay that [Mayor Stephanie] Miner would not endorse the project in time for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to include it in his upcoming state budget, which he will unveil Jan. 21. Cuomo had signaled his willingness to provide some $200 million in state money for the deal, Mahoney said. The county was prepared to provide $100 million or more.

The bulk of the Syracuse Post-Standard article linked above is about a squabble over a feasibility study that Mahoney got a taxpayer-funded nonprofit to do for the university — which Syracuse then refused to share the result of with lawmakers, because they said they were afraid then the public might get to see it. That’s pretty bad in itself, but seriously, $300 million in public subsidies? For a college football stadium? For a private university? I’m not completely sure that’s a record, but I’ll be surprised if it isn’t.

Syracuse University has been talking about replacing the Carrier Dome, which has an old-fashioned inflated fixed roof, with a new 40,000-seat stadium with a totally modern and shiny and stuff retractable roof, for a few weeks now, because, duh, shiny! I haven’t seen a price tag for the entire project mentioned, so it’s impossible to say how much of a share the state and county’s $300 million would kick in, but given that the most expensive college stadium ever cost only $450 million, even adding a retractable roof couldn’t get you much past $600-700 million. So we’re likely talking about New York state taxpayers being asked to put up around half the cost of a new stadium to benefit a private university’s sports teams. Criminy.


6 comments on “Cuomo to propose $300m in public money for new Syracuse college football stadium

  1. Honestly, the most shocking aspect of this whole situation is that Syracuse has a football team.

  2. Let me guess–all part of an effort to “reinvigorate” the downtown business district of a city in a 60-year pattern of decline? At least SU can’t threaten to move, right?

  3. If the state has an extra $200M and the county a spare $100M sitting around I think the City of Syracuse could utilize that money much more efficiently than dumping it into a combined football/basketball arena.

  4. It’s totally worth it. It would be devastating for the town if Syracuse were to pack up and move to Los Angeles.

  5. You can build a very decent venue for drastically less money by going with a Monolithic Dome. Seriously. They are concrete shells that can last for centuries with any reasonable maintenance, and also can be emergency disaster shelters as they can repel tornadoes and hurricanes. On top of that they are very energy-efficient. (www.monolithic.com)

  6. And yet a privately funded soccer stadium gets most of the objection. Wonder what happens when the mets decide to privatize the rest of that park.