Otto's Army

Otto’s Army Overview

Throughout the nation, colleges with elite athletics programs seem to share one common feature—an elite student section.  Duke has the Cameron Crazies, Michigan State has the Izzone, Pittsburgh has the Oakland Zoo, and since 2006, Syracuse University has Otto’s Army.

            Like many student organizations, Otto’s Army was born after a small group of students identified a crucial need at the University.  Seats at any given Syracuse basketball game are first come, first serve.  This leads many students to camp out for days outside of the Carrier Dome’s Gate E, an area that has been named “Boeheimburg”, in the harsh Syracuse winter for a chance to lay claim to the prized front row seats of the student section.  In the days leading up to March 5, 2006, what would be Syracuse legend Gerry McNamara’s final game in the Dome, five students devised a list system that would organize the process of students claiming their seats, and help keep the students safe by preventing the normal mad dash that would occur before most games.  For the first time, Syracuse’s student section was beginning to take shape as an organized group, and Otto’s Army was born.

            Since the group’s humble beginnings in 2006, Otto’s Army has been recognized as Syracuse University’s official student section, and is now a student organization that works hand in hand with SU Athletics, the Carrier Dome and the University community to create the best game day attitude possible for all sporting events at Syracuse.  As an organization, Otto’s Army has a seven person executive board, and has open meeting biweekly to discuss goals, events, and ways to improve the student section.  Every SU student is a member of Otto’s Army.

Otto’s Army has seen incredible growth over the past few years.  On November 7, 2009, the group hosted their first road trip, where 56 students traveled to Pittsburgh to watch Doug Marrone and the Orange football team take on the Panthers.  Just a few weeks later, on November 20th, another Otto’s Army bus traveled to New York City and Madison Square Garden and watched the Syracuse basketball team defeat #4 North Carolina 87-71.  The group also took a bus to Cornell during Lacrosse season, where the men’s team defeated the #10 Big Red 8-7 on a buzzer beating goal.

            Otto’s Army looks to promote all of Syracuse’s athletic teams, not just the revenue sports.  During the 2009-2010 school year, the group crafted a points system that rewards students for attending all sporting events in the Dome, and specific Otto’s Army sponsored nonrevenue games.  In the point system’s inaugural year, students received rewards including trips to road games, field passes, and autographed memorabilia.

            Otto’s Army also hosts viewing parties during road games, and other various events.  Many of these benefit the organization’s philanthropic division “Otto Advance”.  Otto’s Army has made significant contributions to Relay for Life in the past few years, and now gives a portion of its profits made from t-shirt sales in the bookstore and other philanthropic efforts to the Jim & Juli Boeheim Foundation. 

            The organization began to receive national attention during the 2009-2010 basketball season.  With Jim Boeheim’s team having such great success on the court, the Orange found themselves on national television multiple times during the season.  In the months leading up to the Carrier Dome showdown with arch-nemesis Georgetown, Otto’s Army worked directly with Nike designers for new track jackets, t-shirts, and even novelty army helmets which were a hit with ESPN.  During this game, Otto’s Army received an incredible amount of airtime, and became a household name.  This was expanded during the record breaking game against Villanova, which saw 34,616 rabid fans pack the Carrier Dome. In the days leading up to the game, hundreds of Syracuse students lined the inside of the Dome waiting for the game.  Otto’s Army had reached new heights, and looks to continue this upward trend in the years to come.  With a record number of basketball student season tickets sold in 2010, and a few of the biggest student turnouts ever for football already in 2011, it looks to be another great year in Boeheimburg.

            Otto’s Army hopes to see all Syracuse students out supporting our teams, and welcomes everyone to become involved with the organization.  Just remember: Be Loud, Wear Orange

Otto’s Army Rules and Regulations

Student Section seating for SU men’s basketball games is based on a first come,
First serve basis. Many students wish to ensure a seat close to the action by arriving at the Carrier Dome prior to the gates opening.
The List System is used to ensure fair selection of seats for the student section (Otto’s Army). The List System is supported and enforced by the Carrier Dome Staff, Security Personnel, and the Otto’s Army Executive Board.
The List Rules apply ONLY to students who want to sit in the floor seating area for men’s basketball games (The blue seats).
Please direct any questions to Otto’s Army Board Members. Contact information can be found by liking the Otto’s Army page on Facebook.

Student entry process

Student enter the Carrier Dome via Gate F and present your valid SU ID card for entry. Ticket-takers will scan your mobile ticket to verify that you are a valid student season ticket holder.

Once verified, you will be issued a colored wristband for either the lower or upper student section, depending when you arrive. We strongly urge season ticket holders to come early to Gate F on game day for the best opportunity to sit in the lower student season area. You must sit in the student season area designated by your colored wristband.

SU students who purchase individual game tickets may be permitted to line up at Gate F behind the student season ticket holders beginning 30 minutes before tip-off.

Student seating area

Football: For four of the five games in the student season ticket ( Family Weekend is reserved seating), all lower level student seating locations will be general admission within the designated SU student area, and your valid Student ID card will be encoded for those games. If that area is filled, additional student seating is located in the third level.

Basketball: The lower level student seating area for basketball is between aisles 104 and 101. The upper student season area is located between aisle 304 and 302. Students must fill the lower area before the upper area will be opened. The colored wristband placed on each student's wrist permits the Dome staff to monitor the number of students sitting in specific general admission areas in order to avoid overcrowding for those sections.

The List

Definition and Purpose

  • The List is a handwritten list of all students in line prior to the gate opening time of a Syracuse University Men’s Basketball game.
  • Gate E is the assigned gate for student entry to games
  • The List is the order in which students select their seats.
  •  The List is used to ensure safe, fair, and organized entry for students.
  • Students must be student season ticket holders to participate.
  • Students are not required to participate in this system. However, students on The List will choose seats before those not on The List.
  • This system will only apply to as many students as fill the floor seating (blue seat, non-bleacher) area of the Student Section.

Basic Process

  • The first group (up to four students) to arrive at Gate E begins The List. These students are the list facilitators.
  • The list facilitators may defer any or all responsibilities to the Events Officer of Otto’s Army.
  • As students arrive, they are responsible for finding The List and adding their group to The List.
  • Before the gates open, each group will receive an Otto’s Army numbered card that corresponds with its group number.
  • When the Carrier Dome staff begins its entry procedures, students will line up in the order they arrived, as defined by The List. Otto’s Army board members will organize this task.
  • Upon entry, students will make their way to the Student Section. There will be NO
  • Only students who are there at the opening of the gates and taking of seats get the seats.
  • Otto’s Army board members are responsible for ensuring that students pick their seats in the order defined by The List.
  • Upon taking their seats, groups will return their official Otto’s Army numbered card to an Otto’s Army Board member.

The following rules apply to every game
Abuses or violations of these rules should be reported to Otto’s Army Board Members
1. Maximum group size: 4
2. All students must be student section season ticket holders to sit in the floor seats and participate in the list process.
3. Group modifications

  1. Groups may subtract members from their groups at any time.
  2. Groups may not add members once another group succeeds them.
  3. Groups may exchange members at any time before the gates open.

4. Presence

  1. One group member must be present at the gates at all times.
  2. If a group does not have any members at the gate, it will be allowed 15 minutes for a member to return.
  3.  If no one from said group returns within the 15-minute grace period, the group will be moved to the end of the list.

5. If another Syracuse university sporting event or, an Otto’s Army sponsored activity on main campus is occurring during the list camping, the following rules will apply

  1. The list will move inside the Carrier Dome.
  2. The list will continue in the Carrier Dome (all rules still apply except that the list is now inside instead of outside at Gate E)
  3. All groups must move inside the Carrier Dome. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  4. Upon completion of the sporting even inside the Carrier Dome the list will go back outside. All groups are expected to have their minimum of one member at Gate E within 15 minutes of game completion.

6. Groups must sit together and are allowed to choose any seats within the blue, floor seat area.
HOWEVER, groups may not leave a space of one seat between themselves and another group. There must be zero, or more than one seat between groups.
7. Students must sit in the part of the student section that their wristband denotes.

  1. If a group or an individual would like to sit in the bleachers instead of the blue seats, they can wait outside the Carrier Dome until all blue seat wristbands have been given out.

8. A student cannot start a list for a men’s basketball home game until all previous men’s basketball home games have been completed. You can only start a list for the new game three hours after the tip off of the previous game.
9. The list will move inside when the Dome Staff and Syracuse University Department of Public
Safety determines that student safety is at risk

  1. If the list moves inside the Carrier Dome, and a situation arises where students must vacate the Carrier Dome, the list will be suspended and will resume at a preset time. A list check will occur 15 minutes after the set time
  2. Campers must respect all activities going on in the Carrier Dome while camping out. Failure to comply will result in removal from the list for that game.
  3. Campers must stay in the designated area reserved for people on the list. Failure to comply will result in removal from the list for that game.

Otto’s Army Traditions

Football Season

  • Team and Marching Band Run out
  • Cheer “S-Y-R-A-C-U-S-E” First Down!
  • “Let’s Go Orange!” Chant
  • Imperial March (opponents 4th down)
  • Touchdown “G-O-S-U”
  • Dancing with the Marching Band
  • “Hey Song”
  • SU Fight Song “ Down the Field”
  • SU’s Alma Mater

Basketball Season

  • Opposing player Intro
    1. Who's He!?
    2. Who Cares!?
    3. So What!?
    4. Big Deal!
    5. Big $h!#
  • Home Team Intro’s (varies season to season)
  • I Believe that WE WILL WIN!
  • Stand and Clap till Syracuse scores first basket at the beginning of each half
  • Tradition Chant “Let’s GO ORANGE!”
  • Court Cheers “Go… ORANGE…” "WE ARE ... SU ...." "LET'S ... GO ... S ... U" "LET'S GO! ... SYRACUSE"
  • Cheers "Go Orange" "Gooo Syracuse"
  • Defense - Get up, bounce and MAKE NOISE!
  • Dances - Wipeout (surfers and waves), Time Warp, Techno, Zombie Nation, CHIPS, Go SU
  • Home Team free throws- Hands Straight up - "Whoosh, Go Orange!"
  • Home Team 3-pt shot - Hands Straight up
  • Running of the Flags (2nd half - 4:00 media TO) Get up and DO THE WAVE as the Flags pass your section
  • Away Team free throws (distraction)
  • Away Team foul out
  • Stay For the Alma Mater! 

Lacrosse Season

  • Away team intro
  • Home Team into (varies season to season)
  • After goal chant opposing teams goalie name 3 times
    Ex. Smith…Smith…Smith… You suck!)
  • Stay for the Alma Mater!

SU Fight Song

Down, down the field goes
old Syracuse,
Just see those backs hit the line
and go thro'
Down, down the field they go
marching, Fighting for the Orange
staunch and true.
Rah! Rah! Rah!
Vict'ry's in sight for old Syracuse,
Each loyal son knows she
ne'er more will lose,
For We'll fight, yes. we'll fight,
and with all our might
For the glory of Syracuse.

SU Alma Mater

Where the vale of Onondaga
meets the eastern sky
proudly stands our Alma Mater
On her hilltop high.
Flag we love! Orange! Float for aye-
Old Syracuse, o'er thee,
Loyal be thy sons and daughters
To thy memory.

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