Syracuse, N.Y. — Syracuse University announced a 10-year naming rights agreement with JMA Wireless on Thursday morning that will rename the area’s most famous building.
The former Carrier Dome is now officially the JMA Wireless Dome. The school said it expects the name will frequently be shortened to JMA Dome.
The financial details of the new naming rights deal were not included in a press release from the school.
In addition to holding the naming rights to the sports venue, JMA will also perform the work to install new wireless technology as part of newly planned renovations.
University officials, including Chancellor Kent Syverud, and JMA jointly announced the news Thursday morning inside the JMA Dome.
“With JMA Wireless as our new naming partner, our campus community, student-athletes and fans alike can expect a world-class event experience, unlike anything they’ve ever seen before at Syracuse University,” Syverud said in a statement.
The name change was initially reported on by the sports business website Sportico last month. JMA Wireless replaces Carrier, the naming partner that had been affixed to the building when it first opened in 1980.
Carrier initially contributed $2.75 million to the building of the dome, an agreement that was once a cutting edge example of a school pairing with a corporate partner.
The school’s naming rights agreement with Carrier was made ‘in perpetuity’ and was considered the first such agreement for an on-campus stadium. As naming rights became a powerful tool for branding companies, Syracuse found itself stuck in an old-fashioned agreement.
In recent years, a stand-off played out between the school and the air-conditioning company, with the school reducing its use of the name, and, at one point, eliminating the word completely from media guides.
In recent years, sports marketing experts estimated the building’s naming rights would fetch at least $1 million annually and perhaps substantially more, a revenue stream the school was unable to take advantage of.
The air conditioning company and the school announced a settlement had been reached on April 15, allowing the school to move on with a new naming rights partner. The financial terms of that settlement were not disclosed.
The name change comes at a time the school is planning more changes to its sports venue. New seating, an on-site events space connected to the dome and the installation of 5G wireless technology are among the proposed renovations.
Syracuse University will receive $20 million in state aid to help pay for $44.7 million in renovations Documents submitted by the school to the state said that the wireless enhancements would be performed by a “fast-growing CNY firm,” a description that fits JMA.
JMA Wireless recently opened a 5G equipment factory at the former site of Coyne Textile on Syracuse’s South Side. It continues to operate a factory in Clay but has moved its headquarters to the Syracuse location.
JMA’s founder and president is John Mezzalingua, whose father, Dan, is a lifetime member of Syracuse’s Board of Trustees.
“Today marks the beginning of a new era for the Dome, Syracuse University and JMA,” Mezzalingua said in a statement. “Our company’s ties to the city and university run deep. I remember when Syracuse redefined college athletics with the Dome, a unique venue that ushered in a period of unprecedented success for Syracuse sports.
“With this partnership, we have an opportunity to lead once again.”
Contact Chris Carlson anytime: Email | Twitter | 315-412-1639
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