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Official Review by Andrew Pregler, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
The SU Soccer Stadium, Lampe Athletics Complex, opened its gates in 1996. With a listed capacity of 1,500, the stadium hosts men’s and women’s soccer matches for Syracuse University. It also hosts many soccer camps and academies hosted by the University. The stadium is located in the Manley Field House area of campus, about a mile away from the Carrier Dome. It sits in the same area as the Field Hockey stadium, football & lacrosse practice fields, and the outdoor track.
The stadium is pretty simple: a single set of bleachers with a press/PA box in the middle. Media uses the opposite side of the stadium during the game. This side of the field is also used as a makeshift locker room for both teams at half. The actual changing rooms are inside of the physical Field House. The playing field is natural grass and kept in pretty good shape considering the weather Syracuse receives every winter.
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With the limited space mostly devoted to bleachers and the field, there isn't a whole lot of space for much else. There is one small concession/souvenir stand tucked away in the corner of the stadium. It was a frigid night during my most recent visit in fall of 2013, so the concession stand was pumping out coffee and hot chocolate more than anything else. Popcorn, candy, and Hoffman hot dogs (affectionately referred to as "Dome Dogs" on campus) are all available as well. The stand also carries a limited amount of Syracuse t-shirts, sweaters, and winter hats. In the warmer weather, the inventory is more t-shirts and shorts. Unfortunately, I didn't spot any specific "Syracuse Soccer" apparel.
Syracuse soccer games are fun for the whole family and that's not even their marketing slogan, just a fact. During the game, staff have a t-shirt or small sized soccer ball to toss to the Syracuse fan section, children play soccer on the field during the half while there are still the cowbells and chants that you'd expect at a soccer game. For most games, the stands are about 75% full and big games (like in 2013 when SU upset old rival and #3 ranked UConn) the stadium is standing room only. This has happened just over the last few seasons and thus there is still an aura of excitement around students and fans that come to the games. For some games, the Pep Band makes an appearance, something not always seen at collegiate soccer matches.
The Syracuse soccer stadium is located right on the Manley Field House grounds. Around the stadium are practice fields, private residences, and Syracuse University owned housing (South Campus). The best part of this is the free parking. Manley has two very spacious lots on either side of the complex, both free for soccer games. Should the lot nearest the stadium fill, there is safe street parking in the neighborhood that borders the stadium.
If you're a Syracuse student, parking in the South Campus Apartment lots is permit free Friday through Sunday. Marshall Street, where most of the restaurants in the University area are located is just a quick 5-minute car ride away. If you're looking for a Syracuse original, hit up Varsity Pizza or Faegan's Cafe & Pub for a bite.
Syracuse soccer games are very well attended. It helps that a good number of the games are Friday and Saturday nights, but with the large presence of High School Football in the area, there are just as many locals as Syracuse students. Even better, there is a solid amount of soccer knowledge as you can hear the cheers for a great run or a great build up. If there is a rowdier student section, some chants will break out and everyone joins in. One of the more unique features is the hill behind the south goal. A common place for student seating, big games feature a "Pack the Hill" promotion run by Otto's Army student section.
Unlike for Carrier Dome parking, the route to the soccer stadium isn't clearly marked. However, just plug Manley Fieldhouse to your GPS and you'll be taken to the right place. The best part is that highway access to I-81 is extremely close to the stadium if that's how you need to get home. You are technically still on Syracuse University property and the main campus is less than a mile away, but it is definitely a driving mile. There, you'll find Marshall Street with campus restaurants and bars. There is also the campus bus system which runs between Manley and Main Campus if you want to keep the car parked.
All Syracuse men's and women's games offer free admission, making this one of the best deals you'll find in Syracuse. With the soccer team on the rise and playing in the premier collegiate soccer conference, you'll see some of the best rising stars in the country for free in a great atmosphere. Couple in the proximity of campus on a Friday or Saturday night and you'll see why it's become a great way for many students to start off their weekends. If you're in Cuse for a weekend or a Carrier Dome event, check to see if you can snag some soccer on the side.
The stadium is pretty cut and dry, however around the stadium it's not rare to see members of the basketball or football teams supporting their fellow athletes or talking with members of the athletic department. Baye Moussa Keita, a key forward for the Syracuse basketball team, is one of the most notable fans of the soccer team.
What the Syracuse soccer field lacks in basic amenities, it makes up for with the atmosphere and fans. If you live in the area, coming up for a big match between Notre Dame, Georgetown, UNC or Maryland is a must, and a match that you can use to introduce your entire family to the game of soccer.
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802 S Crouse Ave
Syracuse, NY 13210
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