Impressions of Empire Field during game conditions?

For those who made it to the game~

What was the attendance? Was the stadium everything you hoped for? More? Less? How about the washroom facilities, concession stands? Any problems? I hear the posts were a problem with some seeing the game. Without the track [old Empire Stadium] was it a lot better? Were you really close up? What kind of turf are they using? Same as at B.C. Place? Was sunlight glare a problem if you were sitting on the east side of the stadium?

I would have loved to have been there. Hopefully I'll get in a game or two during the season. Would love to hear your impressions.

I think they announced the attendance at just over 24,700

For me, it wasn't quite everything i had hoped for, but close.

Pros:
-Looks nice inside.
-Field looked great.
-Sight lines are decent... although if you're along the sidelines you may have a post block a small portion of the field.
-They gave us filthy smokers a small corner of the lot to have a puff, unlike BC place where there are no smoking sections anymore.
-Built in noise maker under your feet.
-Short wait for the porta-potty.

Cons:
-Space between rows is tight... for people with long legs like myself it's hard to stay comfortable for long periods of time, it's hard to let people get past to get to their seat... and i felt bad for the guy in front of me who got a knee in the back a couple of times.
-The outside could use a few more banners to cover up some of the white.
-Getting out of the stadium grounds and on to the street took forever. I think there were only 4 or 5 gates total. Took about 10 minutes to get on to the street (maybe 200 yards), but only 5 to walk about 8 blocks to my car.
-The bank of lights attached to the south end of the west side cover need to be redirected as people in my area in the north end on the east side were getting them right in the eyes. Why they even had the lights on i have no clue, but they did and we noticed them.

Overall i give it a 7.5/10

When you consider what it is (a temporary stadium) my complaints have nothing to do with the stadium itself.

It has to do with the PNE staff. They really make me appreciate the old BC Place staff. I can't believe I'm saying that. I had 3 security a__holes bug me about my flagpole (I've carried a BC Lions flag with a pole to every game with me for 9 years) saying that it was a security issue. So I went to a different gate and walked right in. Also the people running the conession stands fail badly. I didn't order anything there but my fiance and about 3 others around me complained of cold hotdogs and burgers. It isn't too hard to make a hotdog HOT. If it is, time to get somebody else in there!

Well it was pretty good for a temporary stadium.. close to the action for sure, however when the play is far from you it is hard to see not like at BC Place because you are at a higher elevation. Can't complain about much more because they really tried to make it a "retro" feel and I think they have done a good job. Concessions .. well they sucked just like at BC Place so I never use them except to by something to drink. Only thing is at BC Place they make sure the vendors, 5050 people plus people coming in from the concourse don't stand in the isle during play, which I found annoying today.

One thing I hope the Lions bring to BC Place is the Bike Valet... my wife and I rode our bikes to the game left them with the free valet service and it was worth it... no hassle getting in our out of the game.. just hop on your bike and way you go. Of course we did tip the valet. I would use it a BC Place if it was there.... hmm think I will write to the Lions Org. and tell them to keep it.

Everybody relax they will work out these kinks with the concessions and other things i heard George Chulka talking in a interview that is going to have to meet the PNE and improve some things for opening night, from what i heard everything was unbelivale atmosphere.

Great atmosphere in the inside of the stadium. The sight lines are incredible (almost as good as Ivor Wynne in Hamilton). But much like Ivor Wynne, sight lines are about where the good stuff ends. The seats are small, the legroom is poor, the concessions are an absolute joke. The port-a-potties are a whole new subject all of their own.

This is a temporary facility and the kinks will be worked out. Isn't that what preseason is for. BUT PNE staff and food will really have to be worked on. For those wanting tailgate parties, our arkaic laws have surfaced the ugly head again. No fun Vancouver earns its reputation. $30 for parking !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! come on.

Heres how I saw it:

THE GOOD:

If you are in front of the posts holding up the roof, you get excellent sightlines, very compareable to McMahon & Taylor Field. You are right on top of the action. On The BC Lion side of the field (Which we were not) you are even closer, almost reaching out to touch the Home Team if you are in the first few rows.

Temporary TV board was actually pretty good for it's smaller size. Not as big as the one at BC Place, but it does the trick.

Better sound system...Yahoo, I can actually hear what the announcers are saying.

Seats on the side line were good, low back, but better than the end zone seats which were aluminium benches. Walked around at half time to try out and view the field from various locations.

Beer delivered to your seats.....If you like paying outrageous prices (I don't buy them) beer vendors do walk around, saving you concession line up.

Pop, popcorn, candy, ice cream vendors were a regular visit to our sections, so we never had to get in line.

Field looked great!

The Okay

Washrooms were better than I expected, (Although I kinda timed things to avoid the "rushes"...LOL) there were porta potties to handle the half time rushes, but I got their early and the trailers with washrooms in them were okay.

Got early enough that we got a parking space close to the gates.

Lots of places to buy food before the game as there were many choices around the out.

Thought security was okay, they didn't bother us, they searched our bag (Which had rain gear and blankets...LOL) but not a big deal. Security stopped a "Streaker" three sections over before he jumped on the field.

The Bad:

Welcome back to the PNE! Thirty Dollars for parking...not a misprint...Thirty dollars for parking. Talk about ripping the public off. No Sky train (Which we normally take to BC Place), only fifty year old trolley busses for transit. Felt sorry for the people going to Hasting Park (Horse Racing) or Play land, they got stuck paying $30.00, instead of the $8.50 they normally pay.

Welcome back to the PNE part 2. No tailgating. If you can go to Global BC, check out the late news. People were pretty miffed about that. It wasn't just the beer they were not allowing, but they were shutting down people Bar-B-Quing.....are you ready for the reason....Propane is a dangerous substance. So, the No fun police shut down the tailgate parties because of booze and Bar-B-Ques, yet 5 miles down the road in the Vancouver East side, Junkies are openly shooting up in alleys, and the No Fun Police turn a blind eye. ?

If you were unfortunate to be sitting behind a post...........(We were lucky and did not have a post infront of us).

Your summaries of your impressions have been great guys! I really appreciate the time and effort many of you took to write thorough and detailed accounts of your impressions. Thanks very much.

I've a few more questions. One poster commented that because of the structure there is an instant 'noise maker' right under the fans' feet. I'm assuming he's meaning the aluminum composite decking that the seats are bolted to where fans can stomp their feet like crazy when exhorted to "make noise". Was there much of that going on? Was it really loud and going on for a long time? I've often wondered that given this is a temporary structure of mainly 'scaffolding' whether or not it can withstand 20 000+ ravenous fans continuously stomping their feet all at the same time. I can just imagine if part of the stands suddenly caved in crushing who knows how many because of structural fatigue. I'm probably being overly concerned.

You are a bit right to be concerned. Yes the structure will vibrate and move slightly but thats just it. Slightly. You really dont have anything to be worried about.
Also, Russell doesn`t seem to have a deal with the Lions anymore so Bud is the beer. $7 for a CUP of Bud, they can f right off!

i like how theres pyro coming out of the scoreboard after tds and field goals, and i like how they have Norm Fieldgate raising the leos flag pregame

Only trouble is, we still have to educate some of the fans NOT to make noise when the Lions have the ball. One Bozo asked me why I wasn't stomping when Printers was under the ball ! :roll: :roll:

"Only trouble is, we still have to educate some of the fans NOT to make noise when the Lions have the ball. One Bozo asked me why I wasn't stomping when Printers was under the ball "

Hillarious Sportsmen. Thanks for the laugh! :lol:

Hey guys,

Can anyone tell me how the row lettering works? I've got tickets for the opener in row AA, would that be up near the top of the stadium? Thanks.

Yeah. It starts A, B, C etc... then goes AA, BB, CC and so on.

I thought the Stadium was great, for a temporary facility;

No issues with the washrooms or the concessions (although the vendors need to get up to speed, but hey, it's the first game).
I was in the end zone, row 1. Very close to the field but all the action was in the other end :frowning: Anywhere on either side would be great. None of the seats are very far from the field.

As for the parking, I parked up at Slocan, 1 block west of Renfrew, on Hastings under the Pharmasave. It was a 10 minute walk. It was only $1.50 an hour. I paid $4.50 for the whole game. I think anyone who paid more for their parking than their football ticket is crazy!

Can't wait to see what people think of the Stadium when it rains!!

Interesting that no netting is used behind the goalposts to keep converts & field goal kicks out of the end zones. Wonder how many footballs they bring to the games and what they'll do if they run out? I guess the exhorbidant parking fees go towards the costs of replacing the balls exiting the field into awaiting end zone spectators.

From what I heard from my Bro, who is a season ticket holder, and other posters on this site, the porta potties and bathroom trailers were adequate but a big step down from the newly-renovated biffys in the dome. Brother Alan says there isn't much legroom and it is hard to get to your seat if you have to climb over 15 people to get to it. I heard the hotdogs were cold; that is ridiculous! That needs to get fixed before the first home game on July 10th. And after the usual PNE parking ripoff ($30.00!) some people feel like they should light up a smoke, a common behaviour after you've been screwed. The security weenies ne to,lighten up a bit; some of them were power tripping a bit, so I hear.

And VCP didn't allow tailgating, again. When will the No Fun City Police stop overstepping their authority and allow the well-behaved people some latitude. There is no reason to punish the overwhelming majority of tailgaters for the acts of a small minority that can't control their liquor, especially over some trumped up reason like propane being dangerous. There is probably at least 100 propane powered cabs in Vancouver but I don't hear the coppers saying they are unsafe.

But the thing is, little will change between now and when we can go back into the dome next year. So suck it up, kiddies, and make the best of it.

-Dooger in Surrey :cowboy:

I know this will fall on deaf ears, but this is what watching football is supposed to be like - Being less than 1/2 mile away from the field.

They're upgrading the dome, big deal. We'll still be miles back. Go to a Seahawks game and tell me that proximity to the play doesnt improve the experience. We hit a couple games each year just for the atmosphere (the football is secondary).
This could be the most enjoyable viewing we've had in years - even as we're sitting in the end zone this season for nostalgia sake. We might even go home with a ball.

In regards to washrooms/concessions/security/tight rows/cold hot dogs, they're not that big of a deal. We're here to see football and this will be a great summer rain or shine. B+ (ok, I do sympathize a bit with those that think the rows are a little tight).

Great comments i totally agree fans here are going to be so use to being right on top of the players that when you go back to bc place indoors or out will not compare, we have to remember that we are going to be use to being outside all season and having the roof open at bc place is not going to be a big deal, yes i am sure the new bc place is going to look unreal but not being on top of the play is what people are going to complain about, i have bought season tickets this year, (i had season tickets 2 years ago when we had a stellar team) and i am not going to renew going back to bc place as we will be in the same boat were we will get 30.000 a game again and there will be lots of tickets available. i wish somehow the lions could at least stay at empire for a couple of more seasons build up the desperation to buy tickets to a game and then move back into bc place. The only way the lions would ever get a permanent stadium like this again is if the lions were owned by a group of billion airs and decided to by the property and build a stadium. BC Place is going to come back sooner than we think, and when it does be prepared that the intimacy is not going to be there, and fans will complain about it.