Sports in Central New York

Let's go orange! It's just a cheer you'll hear pretty frequently around here. And when you're ready to go off and do your own thing, you can pick your passion.

It gets loud around here

Central New York is blessed with great spectator sports, especially those in the Carrier Dome. As the only domed stadium on a college campus, the dome houses more than 30,000 screaming fans at Syracuse University basketball games and about 50,000 for the SU football team. In lacrosse, SU has won 10 national championships - more than any other team.

SU sports come with heart-stopping competition and traditions steeped in history: SU is one of the elite colleges that has won national championships in both basketball and football. Lacrosse is a centuries-old sport invented here by the Haudenosaunee. Ernie Davis, who wore the legendary number 44, was the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy. With its domed roof, there are few places as exciting as Syracuse's "Loud House."

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When we're not at the dome, we Central New Yorkers take part in outdoor sports all year round. We can ski - down winter slopes or over summer lakes. Nearby, the Finger Lakes, Lake Ontario, the Thousand Islands, Oneida Lake are alive with affordable watersports -- sailboats and motorboats, canoes and kayaks. So are the many smaller lakes and reservoirs. The modern Erie Canal and the Mohawk, Oneida, and Seneca Rivers connect a boater to the rest of the world, whether it's east to the Hudson River, north to the St. Lawrence Seaway, or west to more Great Lakes. Scuba divers explore old wrecks on the bottom of Lake Ontario or marvel at the crystal-clear depths of Skaneateles Lake. Anglers arrive for great sport fishing - trout, salmon, bass and pike. Sailors from around the world compete on Oneida Lake in the Madcatter Hobie Cat Regatta.

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Take a hike? We'd love to. CNY has plenty of trails, great views, mountains, lakes and gorges that makes for some inspirting terrain. Check out waterfalls like Taughannock Falls -- a 215-foot plunge in a 400-foot-deep gorge -- or savor the view from a high peak in the Adirondacks, just a three-hour drive away. Bicyclists go for challenging rides in places like Highland Forest or on flat and peaceful rides on the towpath of the old Erie Canal.

Gotta run? No place else has the Mountain Goat Run, a 10-mile race that goes up and down the steep hills of Syracuse with crowds cheering runners in every neighborhood. If this big race every May doesn't fit your schedule, there's always another one coming up: The 10K Swamp Rat Run goes along Oneida Lake in June. The 15K Boilermaker in Utica has an international following and 19,000 runners taking off on the second Sunday in July. The Empire State Marathon , a Boston Marathon qualifier, runs in October along the shore of Onondaga Lake and displays of fiery foliage. The Syracuse Half Marathon runs in November. Like the Mountain Goat, it starts in downtown Syracuse but covers a less strenuous route. But wait, there's more -- from 5K family fun and fitness runs to the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge. Plenty of running clubs offer camaraderie and support to train for the big run or take a friendly evening jog around places like Green Lakes.

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Hockey fans can head to the War Memorial for The Syracuse Crunch hockey team (AHL). Come spring, the Syracuse Mets baseball team (AAA) knocks it out of the park for baseball fans young and old. For even more excitement, check out the sports teams at Cornell, Colgate, Le Moyne, and Cortland. Few rivalries match the excitement of the Cortaca Jug football game between SUNY Cortland and Ithaca College. Or the men's hockey rivalry between Cornell and Harvard. Or the championship showdowns between high school teams playing in the Carrier Dome.

More of team player? Central New York has clubs and leagues for every season and every sport. You'll find plenty of community fields, rinks and courts to get your game on. Archery? We got that. Fencing? We got that too. You'll also find clubs for ice skating, sailing, yachting, volleyball and roller derby.

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