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Crews prep for biggest game in Carrier Dome history

A record setting crowd of 35,466 will pack into the Carrier Dome on Saturday to see the undefeated Orange take on Duke. Preparations have been well underway all week to make sure the arena is set for the game.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - A record setting crowd of 35,466 will pack into the Carrier Dome on Saturday to see the undefeated Orange take on Duke. Preparations have been well underway all week to make sure the arena is set for the game.

While the Dome has hosted plenty of big games, this Saturday’s game may be the biggest.

Factor in things like Vanessa Williams singing the National Anthem and ESPN's GameDay program broadcast live from Jim Boeheim Court the morning of the game, this weekend is keeping crews in the Dome very busy.

“It does make the hair on the back of your neck stand up a little bit, but its kind of cool," said Pete Sala, the Managing Director of the Carrier Dome.

ESPN will have 14 cameras for the game, which is much more than usual, that will provide new angles and roaming cameras in the crowd.

Fans will actually be part of something special, likely at a timeout in the first half, when a 360-degree picture will be taken of the dome.

"We want everybody to stand up, cheer really loud, get this place rocking so the whole country can see,” Sala said. “We'll have captured the image, 360 from the center of the court so there is a time when we're going to set that up on the 'S'."

One of the trickiest things for crews may not actually be the game itself, but the fact that on Friday they have to get the Duke men’s basketball team, the SU men’s basketball team, the SU women’s basketball team and the Maryland women’s basketball team, who have a game in the Dome on Sunday, on the court for shoot arounds.

Crews will also have to construct and put the GameDay set at center court for the broadcast which starts Saturday morning.

"We've put a green room together for Vanessa Williams, so she's got an area, actually the GameDay talent has a green room so to me this is, we're in concert mode, we're in the back of the house doing those kinds of things for the talent, it's pretty neat,” Sala said. “We have to have a green room for Dick Vitale and his crew, it is a different level."

The crews will do it all over again as the Orange will battle Notre Dame on a nationally televised game at the Dome on Monday.

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