It was a cold day in 2006 when a group of Syracuse University students decided something had to be done.
They were camped outside of the Carrier Dome, in "Boeheimburg," for days in Syracuse's notoriously brutal winters, huddling inside tents so they could be the first students inside for Gerry McNamara's final game in the Dome. Five students decided then that there would be a safer, more organized way to secure those first-come, first-serve student seats -- and thus, Otto's Army was born.
Otto has been Syracuse's round, robust mascot since 1982, when he was first known as Clyde. He was Woody in 1988, and finally Otto in 1990. In 2016, he was named Best Mascot in the ACC.
From old Big East rivalries to exciting ACC play, fans live and breathe Orange at the Carrier Dome, which seats 49,250 across football, basketball, lacrosse and outside activity. During the 2015-16 college basketball season, the men's team drew an average of 26,253 fans per game -- best across the sport. The NCAA home court single-game attendance record -- 35,446 fans -- was also set at the Carrier Dome on Feb. 1, 2014, when Syracuse defeated Duke 91-89 in overtime.
Syracuse's Orange Nation comes out in full force all season long, and always reminding fans what time of day it is -- and that eternal rival Georgetown "still sucks!"
Syracuse's student section in the Carrier Dome contains two levels: between aisles 104 and 101 for the lower level, and between aisles 304 and 302 in the upper level. The lower level must be full before the upper area is opened.
Syracuse students get colored wristbands in order to monitor overcrowding.
Students can buy student season pass packages for either four years or one year, and can purchase "elite" or "regular" packages.
Students who don't want a season pass package can get tickets for a single game.
Don't even try to save seats for your tardy friends...
Otto's Army doesn't show much love for the opposing players. When the starting lineup is announced, students shout, in succession: "Who's he?!"; "So what?!"; "Who cares?!"; "Big deal!"; and "Go home!"
Syracuse's most famous dances include the wipeout, time warp, techno, zombie nation, CHIPS and "Go SU!"
Students will stand and clap until Syracuse scores the first basket of each half.
Syracuse's fans turn out. Yes, the Carrier Dome is a huge venue, and capable of housing more attendees than many other locations for major programs. But that's not to knock Orange loyalty. Here's a look at some attendance numbers:
35,446 -- fans at the Feb. 1, 2014, Syracuse-Duke game -- which set the home-court single-game Division I attendance record.
537,949 -- total number of attendees at the Carrier Dome in the 1989 season across 19 games, the Division I record.
29,918 -- the home-court average attendance for Syracuse fans in 1990 through 16 games, the Division I record.
Of the five highest-attended single games of the 2018 Division I season, Syracuse claims four of them, including the highest single-game attendance record of 28,670, when the Carrier Dome hosted Clemson on March 3, 2018.