Syracuse content with compact stadium despite increased attendance

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on August 31, 2015 at 7:56 pm Contact Jon: [email protected] | @jmettus The lines to buy tickets into SU Soccer Stadium stretched through the parking lot and nearly to Manley Field House. Any seating available in the bleachers filled up well before kickoff and fans were sent to the hill in front of East Colvin Street to watch the game.The aftermath was a scene of trash, torn up grass and mud on the hill as a record 2,533 fans watched Syracuse beat Duke and advance to the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament semifinals on a chilly 45-degree day in early November. It topped the previous record of 2,442 set just two months earlier against then-No. 4 Notre Dame.“Best atmosphere ever,” senior midfielder Juuso Pasanen said. “I love when the hill gets packed, oh my goodness. It feels good every time.”Five times during the best-ever season for the Orange, the number of fans exceeded the seating capacity of SU Soccer Stadium, turning the trampled hill into a common occurrence.But despite being one of the top teams in the ACC last season and in the top half in average attendance, Syracuse has the third-smallest venue with a maximum seating capacity of 1,500 fans.  With the support of the team growing and new attendance records being set, fans are pushing the venue to its limit.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“As the program grows that crowd keeps coming out,” junior forward Chris Nanco said.  “… We love the support.”During head coach Ian McIntyre’s first season in 2010, SU won only two games and attracted just 839 fans per home contest. Nanco recalls not seeing as much support for the team on his recruiting visit to Syracuse as there is now.Logan Reidsma | Photo EditorLast year, an average of 1,424 fans attended each home game, watching Syracuse reach No. 1 in the country. The Manley South parking lot consistently overflowed with cars and students packed busses heading from Main Campus to the soccer field.The Orange’s average attendance filled 94.9 percent of its stadium capacity — the sixth-highest percentage in all of Division-I soccer. Louisville, the closest ACC school on that list, satisfied just 67.4 percent of its capacity.SU’s five times surpassing the seating capacity of the field accounted for nearly half of its home games. Only two other schools in the ACC — Boston College and Louisville — broke their seating max more than once.“When we’ve played well and had a good atmosphere our stadium has been cooking,” McIntyre said. “It’s not just a soccer match, it’s an event.”Chloe Meister | Presentation DirectorThe only two schools in the ACC with smaller stadiums — Boston College and Pittsburgh — were the worst teams in the conference, combining for just one ACC win. Boston College’s venue fits 1,000 fans while Pittsburgh’s holds 735.On the other end, Clemson’s 28-year-old venue boasts a 6,500-person capacity and recently underwent renovations. Louisville unveiled an $18.5 million soccer complex in 2014 that fits over 5,300 and Pasanen called “amazing.”“Those stadiums are always tough to play in when the other team has that many fans in the crowd,” Nanco said.SU Soccer Stadium, which opened in 1996, pales in comparison to the size of fields of the other top teams around the conference.Nanco and Pasanen said they like SU Soccer Stadium’s compact layout and the ability for fans to stand or sit practically on the field. It creates a feeling of togetherness, Nanco added, while Pasanen said he doesn’t want to see seats go up on the hill.Chloe Meister | Presentation DirectorIf the popularity of the team and attendance continue to climb each year, the stadium will continuously reach its max capacity and may force fans to watch games from beyond the fences around the stadium.McIntyre doesn’t know whether or not fans would fill a 5,000-person stadium and said any changes to the soccer facilities aren’t his decision to make. Though there are nice stadiums around the country, he said, he wouldn’t swap out SU Soccer Stadium for another.“You want a facility where on certain occasions you have it packed to the rafters and we’ve been able to do that the last couple years,” McIntyre said. “… We’ve got to ensure that we keep playing well and keep bringing people back and if there becomes a problem then that becomes a good problem to have.” Commentslast_img read more

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Asante Kotoko beaten 2-0 by ten-man Sundowns in friendly

first_imgGhanaian champions Asante Kotoko lost 2-0 to ten-man Mamelodi Sundowns in their international friendly match played on Sunday.The Porcupine Warriors came out to face the Brazilians at the Baba Yara Stadium despite being troubled by the shocking resignation of their chairman Dr. Desmond Sarpong.Kotoko were also without their coach Mas-Ud Dramani whose future remains uncertain despite leading the side to a successful Premier League defence.The Ghanaian champions however held their own against their South African opponents throughout the first half where the match headed into recess goalless.Sundowns were however quickest off the block in the second half and forced the opening goal through Kotoko defender Smallboy Korbah.The hosts tried as much as possible to get back on level terms but their efforts were thwarted by the numerous substitutions. Sundowns also had their fair share of changes which saw Rashid Sumaila make his debut against the team he just won the Ghanaian Premier League title with.The match looked destined for a slim win for Pitso Mosimane’s side until Zungu popped up with a late strike to double the lead for the Brazilians.The win sees Sundowns win two of their three matches played on pre-season tour of Ghana.Sundowns had beaten Liberty Professionals Academy 5-0 in a training match before drawing 1-1 with Hearts of Oak last Wednesday.last_img read more

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No repercussions for Jamaica – IAAF CEO

first_imgIAAF CEO Olivier Gers said the body holds no hard feelings towards the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) for its decision to abstain from votes towards reforms in the sport. Gers, who is currently in the island as a guest speaker for tonight’s RJR Sports Foundation National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards ceremony, said that the association has nothing to fear regarding sanctions for its decision. “There’s no change (in the relationship), there won’t be any repercussions and there won’t be any impact,” Gers said. “Don’t get me wrong, we were disappointed because of the amazing ranking and amazing weight that Jamaica has in our sport so I think President Coe and all of us on the council were disappointed not to get the full support of Jamaica but it doesn’t mean that there will be any repercussions. We’re working together already, we’ve been talking since then and we’ll be working to hear Dr. (Warren) Blake’s (JAAA’s President) concerns.” Gers’ visit will not just be delivering tonight’s main address at the awards ceremony, but also to assess the growth of Track and Field in Jamaica and this suggests that the working relationship he mentions with Dr. Warren Blake has already started. He said he is also here to have a look at two developmental meets taking place tomorrow – the JAAA/Puma Development meet at the Kirkvine Sports Club, in Manchester, and the Douglas Forrest Invitational Meet at the GC Foster College in St. Catherine. There, he said, he hopes to have a good conversation with Blake regarding the state of affairs in the sport. “One of my objectives is to learn from what you’re doing so that we can figure out what you do so well and hopefully do it in other countries as well,” Gers said. “With Dr. Blake, I hope we can have a general catch up and understand his concerns. I’m sure he has things that he wants to share with me and we want to work together and collaborate. We (the IAAF) want to hear his ideas on improving our constitution and improving our sport.”last_img read more

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