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Carrier Dome protects Pitt/Syracuse from predicted snowfall

I knew something was up when I got in the rental car Friday afternoon at Hancock International Airport in Syracuse and right there on the front seat — taunting me — was an snow and ice scraper.
Yes, Syracuse meteorologists are predicting lack-effect snow for Saturday, perhaps as much as 4 inches. But unless the Carrier Dome roof springs a leak, it won’t affect Pitt’s game against the Orange  (kickoff: 12:30 p.m., Saturday).
Pitt in the dome
Pitt is 6-10-1 at the noisy Carrier Dome since it opened in 1980. Two of those losses were in double overtime. The first in 2000 ruined Pitt’s best start to a season under former coach Walt Harris (4-0); the second (2004) was the Panthers’ only loss in a 6-1 stretch that led to a Fiesta Bowl bid — the school’s first BCS appearance in 22 years.
A loss in 2013 could lead to Pitt’s first season without a bowl since 2007. Pitt needs to win at least one of its final two games to become bowl-eligible. Pitt returns home next Friday to play Miami, only the Hurricanes’ second trip into Pittsburgh since 2003.
Dome trivia
Here are a few facts about the Carrier Dome, the only domed stadium in the Northeast and the largest structure of its kind on a college campus in the U.S., according to Syracuse’s website.
– Syracuse football and men’s and women’s basketball and lacrosse play in the Carrier Dome.
– It has been the host to numerous events, including NCAA tournaments and championships in basketball, lacrosse and track and field, high school football playoff games, NBA preseason games and ice skating shows.
– Concerts?  To name a few: Elton John, Billy Joel, Rod Stewart, U2, Genesis, the Rolling Stones, Garth Brooks, The Who, Neil Diamond and Pink Floyd.  The Billy Graham Crusade stopped by in 1989 and a celebration honoring the life of Martin Luther King Jr. is held annually.
– Four years ago, the school proclaimed that 27 million patrons have attended events at the Carrier Dome. Capacity is 49,262.

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