SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR) — The Syracuse Orange will kick off their home opener football game against Rutgers on Saturday at the Carrier Dome. Fans of the game will be welcomed back into the stadium for the first time in two years.

It won’t be the same experience they’re used to, though, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Onondaga County. The University recently announced its plans for letting fans back into the Dome starting with proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for anyone five years or older. 

Patrons can receive a PCR test within 72 hours of the game or a rapid test within six hours to be admitted. SU is also implementing the use of pre-screening tents stationed at parking lots outside of the Dome where they are encouraging people to check-in and show their proof before getting to the gates of the Dome.

Syracuse University Vice President Pete Sala said these tents located in Manley parking lot, Skytop, West lot, and off the Quad will provide people with a faster way to get into the Dome ahead of the game. “What it allows people to do is get pre-screened, get a bracelet. It expedites that process into the building,” he said. “We’ll actually create some fast pass lanes so as people come up to the facility and have those bracelets it will get them into the building quicker.”

These tents will be open four hours prior to kickoff and the University is encouraging people to bring digital copies of their proof as well as a form of ID to match the name on their vaccine card or test results to get in. They are also asking that people have digital copies of their tickets on a smartphone.

If you show up to the game without proof of vaccination or a negative test, Sala said there isn’t anything they can do for you as tests will not be available on site. Once inside the Dome, masks are required for everyone over age 4, unless actively eating or drinking. SU said its students have no problem wearing them, so the community members shouldn’t either.

There’s going to be people that we’re just not going to be able to let in. It’s just a fact, if they don’t come with the documents they need and we can’t just let people in because they may have traveled 100 miles.

Pete Sala

There are other changes to the dome fans should expect beyond coronavirus protocols. That includes an initial plan for ticket purchases and concessions to go cashless. “We may have one or two lines in the concession stand where we will accept cash just because we know it may be challenging for people but that is something the university has asked us to do,” Sala said. 

Sala is asking people to show up early come game day and have all your digital copies ready to go for pre-screening. If you are running late to the game, proof of vaccination or a negative test will be accepted at the Dome gates.