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Central New York officials weigh in on possible new arena for Syracuse

Officials in Onondaga County and the city of Syracuse addressed rumors regarding a new arena that could be slated for the heart of the Salt City on Tuesday.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – Officials in Onondaga County and the city of Syracuse addressed rumors regarding a new arena that could be slated for the heart of the Salt City on Tuesday.

The mayor says she only recently learned about the idea.

The county says it was drawing up a proposal that included Syracuse University and a developer. County Executive Joanie Mahoney says SU commissioned a feasability study to see if the idea could work. They presented the idea to the Governor to try to secure state money for the proposed project.

“The last conversation I had with the mayor about this I wasn't able to convince her to get on board and there really isn’t an interest to do this over her objections so I told her I was going to go back to the state and take this off the drawing board,” said County Executive Joanie Mahoney.

One of the sites being looked at for the arena was off South Crouse Avenue not far from the University, where the Kennedy Square Housing Complex was. Mahoney said the proposal called for more than a just a new stadium. The idea was to build up the neighborhood around the arena with restaurants and other businesses.

But the mayor says that too many of her questions remain unanswered for her to throw support behind the project – including who would own the building, who would pay for it to be built and how it would impact the city’s infrastructure.

She also asked what condition the Carrier Dome was in, and what the future plans were for that building.

“Asking questions is not the same as being a road block and, in the position I'm in, the people of the city expect me to understand issues and decisions. I’m not opposed to a stadium, I’m not in favor of a stadium because I don't know what that means – until I get the answers to those questions I can't say that,” Miner said.

The mayor says she doesn’t want to force a decision that could have a lasting impact on the city.

"This is a 30 year decision. We don't want to rush into and make a bad decision because someone else has set a time table. We need to make the right decision for the people of the city, Onondaga County, and Central New York,” she said.

The Carrier Dome opened in 1980 and is starting to show its age. It needs a new roof, among other upgrades.

The new SU Chancellor says that a decision regarding the facility will need to be made within the next five years.

"I'm going to back whatever is in the best interest of this university and all the people who care about it I don't know what that is yet though," said SU Chancellor Kent Syverud.

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