Going for the first time at IWS

I am hoping to take my 10 year old son to his first CFL game and have picked IWS Saturday. It will be my first time for IWS too. I would appreciate some tips from you Ticat fan's. I hope this will be a memorable experience for my son (except that the Argos are playing)since he just started to get into football. We are on vacation heading from Lennoxville Québec and heading to Niagara Falls (yeh I'm an AL's fan). I will be in Dundas/Hamilton game day.
How much is parking generally, is stadium parking accessible , how early should I arrive, do I get tickets from IWS game day or go the ticket master route before. What seats are good? Is there a tail-gate party in the parking lot before the game. Would appreciate sincere answers as i will be reading the answers with my son. thanks

There is no stadium parking, it’s usually around $10 within 2 blocks of the stadium, there is a great tailgate party in a parking lot near the stadium, and i believe the gates open one hour before kickoff.

Go with the Ticket Master route in order to get tickets. Its going to be a good tight game, and IWS is only so big…there’ll be Argo fans coming down, and trying to buy tickets on sire may be a recipe for mayhem…

Likewise, there aren’t terribly many “bad seats” at IWS, even in the end zone, as there’s the big screen to see the action on; on the other hand, bring padding, or cushions, as your butt can get sore otherwise.

The Stadium is ultra strict on bringing in any kind of consumable (ie water, pop, juice etc, with the cover story of being “Booze Nazi’s”, and the concessions aren’t cheap. Such being said, they aren’t bad.

Please do not expect to be able to smoke in our open air, civic owned stadium. The politically incorrect social misfits that smoke are banished to a far off and distant point, where they have a bad angle view of the giant TV screen, and just about zero of the field.

The noise level tends to be pretty high (reportedly, more so if we are losing) from the music and loudspeakers. You might want to look at bringing “Walkmans” to tune into the CHML (AM 900) sportscasts, these are generally “greatly prejudiced towards the Cats”, as you might well expect, on the other hand, as an Als fan, you might be interested in a non-parochial sense, to see what goes on in other stadiums.

You will never get closer to the field and the players than in IWS, so if you and your young guy can snag some seats right up front, at mid field, the view will never be better, over the benches is fabulous…

Hope I’m helping, and hope you enjoy!

With a bit of luck, we’ll treat you to a winning performance!

Make sure you get there early and enjoy the West endzone experience,you can walk right up to the dead ball line and touch the field turf within touching distance of the visting team,that’s cool and a special feature of Ivor Wynn stadium,don’t miss it!

Face painting available near the balsam ave entrance at the SE corner of the stadium,free.

Get tics ahead of time for sure ,it’s alot less hassle .

I think the gates open two hrs early at 5PM or 5:30…enjoy!

Three ways to go on parking.

Grab one of the $10 slots right near the stadium. Hope you get a slot near an exit.

Arrive an hour early and snag one of the $5 spots 3+ blocks from the stadium. Usually these are in private commercial lots (stores) or in people's drives. These CAN take forever to get out of.

Arrive anywhere from an hour ahead to game time. Start looking at 4-5 blocks away. For every 5 minutes later you arrive add 1-1 1/2 blocks walking. I usually find a spot on the street about 15 minutes before game time and then spend that 15 minutes walking.

Park at Centre Mall, free, and you just can't beat the gorgeous walk down beautiful Barton Street on the way to IWS, out of this world all the way.


Seriously though, hope you get to the game and have a good time.

Good idea to park at a mall like Center Mall on Barton street between Ottawa and Kenilworth St.

Then take the HSR bus for free when you show the driver your Ti-Cat tickets!

You can walk back to the mall if the busses are too full ....

That's what me and the wife do Beam and it works out quite nicely though we do walk, doesn't take too long, about 15-20 minutes.

The Festival of Friends is on this weekend (starting Friday night) so parking south and south-east of the stadium will be scarce.

Centre Mall (if they allow it) may be the best choice for parking unless you get there really early (and are able to park close to the stadium).

I'm coming to my 1st Ivor Whine experience this Saturday too so your info is really helpful to me as well.

An Argo fan

BF,remember the face painting for free in the SE endzone.....black and gold only :stuck_out_tongue:

Be sure to stop by the first few rows of Section 25. Ask the creepy guys drinking beer there for a free Forbidden Website button.

If you are visiting IWS for the first time, be aware that no confections are allowed to be taken into the stadium. Your bags will be searched and items like bottled water and peanuts etc. (may) be confiscated. You would be better off leaving these items in your vehicle and avoid any problems at the gates.

Make a day of it...

I previously referenced Festival of Friends, re tight parking for game, but for those from out of town, Festival of Friends is a 3 day FREE (admission) music "festival" taking place at Gage Park (Main St E and Gage Ave).

Come to town early, enjoy the Festival (if you like a variety of music, crafts and food) and go to the game at 7pm.

Get to Hamilton extra early Saturday (say... 11 am) and enjoy the downtown "mini" Caribana parade that is supposed to leave Hamilton City Hall around 11 am (though from past experience, organizers must be on Jamaican time, meaning it's loosy goosy and may not start until 12 noon or so). Goes from behind City Hall to Bayfront Park (first few years it was down Bay St, last year down James St). Lively music, dancing and colourful "costumes/floats".

You can also go to the Caribana picnic (I believe there's an admission charge... $10?) at Bayfront Park instead of or besides the Festival of Friends and football game.

A busy day in Hamilton Saturday and the weather is forecast as excellent (sunny, clear and mid-20s) :slight_smile:


Great tips guys. I don't know where in Hamilton you'll be, but you might want to take advantage of the free Ticat shuttle. It takes off from downtown and lets you off right beside the stadium. You avoid the parking dilemma entirely. You should also definately stop by the tailgate. I'll be there harrassing Smite, ArgoDave and Tucky. BF you should stop by too. You'll want to party pre-game since you won't be in the mood after we beat you :smiley:

Believe it or not, I'm one of many Torontonians who love Hamilton. It's a city of regular folks.

Still, I'm hoping like h*ll that the Argos kick some major ass on Saturday.

An Argo fan

Thanks for all the wonderful tips, all of you were just great. I really hope to catch the tail gate party and may check out the mall parking and the bus or walk down barton street, may also check out the festival of friends. My son may get his face painted like a tiger, heh BF you could too, change over to the winning side, lol. We'll be routing for the Ticats (at least Saturday).
Thanks everybody.

Please accept 2 front row tickets in the Family section! (I've sent you a PM...but no reply)!

Sandy and I would be happy to meet with you in Scott Park and have you as "our guests" to Ivor Wynne this week!

Get back to me if that will work for you!

take qew..take the burlington st exit,until you hit Ottawa st or Gage..then turn RIGHT..KEEP GOING..GO ON..FURTHER...JUST A BIT MORE...hope you know how to swim..! :lol: ..Kidding..(do turn left tho)
have a good time!..go cats go!

Woody...what a wonderful gesture! I hope he gets back to you and you meet up before the game. Well Done!