When exploring the game atmosphere of the Carrier Dome, it’s easy to assume that the difficult factors – like elevated air pressure and high temperatures – provide it with an unprecedented home court advantage.
But is this really the case? Probably not.
When looking at the data, the Orange sports teams have similar, or even smaller, home win percentages than many of their opponents. For example, the Syracuse University men’s basketball team wins an average of 83.63 percent of home games, compared with 73.32 percent of total games per season. In contrast, the Duke University men’s basketball team, which has an infinitely smaller arena, wins an average of 88.3 percent of home games, compared with 78 percent of total season games. The University of Kentucky men’s basketball team has an even greater home win percentage of nearly 90 percent, compared with 77.39 percent of total season wins.
So while students buy into the popular notion that the Dome’s strange environment makes it a secret weapon, the reality is it doesn’t provide a greater home court advantage than other college stadiums, like the Cameron Indoor Stadium at Duke University or the Rupp Arena at the University of Kentucky. Both of the aforementioned arenas fare just as well for their respective basketball teams as the Dome does for SU.
The abnormalities of the Dome still make it a unique playing environment, though, and certainly contribute to SU’s individual home court advantage. It also serves as a powerful recruiting tool for potential athletes and is a welcoming arena to thousands of fans. Regardless of how it stacks up against the competition, the Dome will always hold a sweet spot in the hearts of SU athletes, students and fans.