Ottawa stadium report.

Just got back from the Ottawa game and wanted to make a few comments on the experience. First of all the stadium is similar to ours in size and layout. They also have the incredible press of bodys in the concourse at half time! The architectural features on the outside are impressive but the budget would have been better spent on the seats. Very Cheap and unfunctional compared to ours! The site lines are pretty good and the location is great. The fans are great and friendly but a few young thugs did try to start fights with us. Staff we're super friendly and the concessions we're efficient as well. A very odd tradition they have is a rivalry between the north and south stands. To say they hate one another would be an understatement! Having the crowd split in half chanting "sucks" chants at one another was very sureal. They are much quieter and conservative than our fans! 9verall the experience was great and would highly recomend making the trip next year for all you roadtrip fans!

We sat on the north side like I did last year. At half my wife asked if we were going down to the concourse to stretch our legs. Not on your life. Small, confined no room. No thanks. It opens up a bit more out by the rink but not going down is the best option. Did you notice the hill on the end opposite the scoreboard? Season ticket holder beside us said it was a public park and folks go the to watch the game from outside.. Nice place bit in most facets Tim Hortons field is better. All the staff were very nice to us.

This was my first time attending since the renovations and the return of football here. (Circumstances prevented me from going last year.) Over the years, I have sat in both the north side and south side, and never had much of a preference - unless it was raining, in which case, upper north side definitely has its advantages. This game, I sat in the new south side, and the concourse is much better then I remember from the north side, although I didn't go up during the game, only before and after.

It was also my first time sitting right behind the Ticats' bench - third row. I figured the view wasn't going to be the best, especially when the play's in the other end, but I was going more for the experience. I was actually surprised that I was able to follow the play fairly well. But the experience was great. It was fun to see the way some of the players interact with the fans, especially one heckling Redblacks fan in the front row. Davis in particular was hilarious. But I also saw things that often don't get shown on TV - players getting taped up or getting cramps worked on, coaches ripping into players, Dyakowski stretching every five minutes. I think I'd be screaming if I had to go through what the players go through on the massage table - those guys are amazingly flexible.

Definitely enjoyed the experience, the stadium, and parts of the game.

A few pictures I took from my seat yesterday.

Pre-game...

http://i1226.photobucket.com/albums/ee406/CatsFaninOttawa/Limited%20time%20use/DSC03948_zpsanf16zxd.jpg

http://i1226.photobucket.com/albums/ee406/CatsFaninOttawa/Limited%20time%20use/DSC03951_zpse9fd6gn4.jpg

http://i1226.photobucket.com/albums/ee406/CatsFaninOttawa/Limited%20time%20use/DSC03954_zps8scc90v2.jpg

http://i1226.photobucket.com/albums/ee406/CatsFaninOttawa/Limited%20time%20use/DSC03953_zpsmq4ok3i7.jpg

The big boys while the defence was on the field...

http://i1226.photobucket.com/albums/ee406/CatsFaninOttawa/Limited%20time%20use/DSC03956_zpsb0iewpga.jpg

The Southside / Northside rivalry has been going on for years :slight_smile: all in good fun of course.
see a great bunch of video done by the CFL Last year. :thup:

http://www.ottawaredblacks.com/video/index/id/102519

I went to both the RedBlacks and Fury games and got to try both sides. Here are my thoughts on TDP vs THF

Concourses - Just as, if not a little more absurdly packed as ours at halftime. - No Adv

Seats - A little bit cheaper and not as wide as what we have at THF, but comfortable. - +1 THF

Access - Ramps to the second deck and not a lot of stairs in one stretch is a plus - +1 TDP

Washrooms - The Southside stands I was considering going, but at halftime, the cloud around them prevents access. On the Northside, was greeted to port-a-potties, and we were on the 2nd deck no less. - +1 THF

Roof - While it didn't rain the North Side had a roof, and I doubt I would have gotten wet. Would have got just as wet on the South Side - +0.5 TDP

Club Level - Looks like they have one club/private box level vs our two. Didn't get to see either so, meh - No Adv

Endzone "Patios" - Both endzones are fairly open walk ways in a bowl configuration, one via a bridge, one via a walkway. The bridge was a non-starter, much like our raised patio. Not really a lot to do/going on there. The other side, with a walkway was just that, a walkway. Apart from a single merch shop, and a funzone slide on the north side, not a lot going on. Probably because a nearby condo apartment has Windows looking at the field at this location (which good for you if you can afford to live there). That said, the bowl configuration does seem to leave room for easier future seat expansion if desired. - +1 THF

Area - Lots of bars in walking distance, nice area, awesome views. The whole plaza also is kinda attached to various commercial developments. This is a vastly superior item in my eyes to THF, where the closest bars on Barton and King leave much to be desired. - +2 TDP

Traffic/Parking - Dear lord was it bad both pre and post game. Also nowhere to really park easily. Nearly all of the side streets are 1 or 3 hour parking. Really when you get past the main drag, the area is a residential area. I took a bus to the RB game and it's no Ti-Cats Express as far as getting you there fast. The Fury game, also had some bad traffic, but not as bad. Thankfully found a business selling game-day parking as I did not see any labeled team lots. - +1 THF

Concessions - Pretty standard stuff, a bit more selection though. Pretty much the same (somewhat better) selection you find at the Bulldogs game, including Cin City Doughnuts. Also the lemonade stand sold Hot Cider. No major line issues. - +1TDP

Screen - The screen at TD Place is awfully tiny, and frequently seems to display Static. I'm also not sure why the heck they have that awful Red blended with Opposing team colors with yellow numbers to keep score. Looked vomit orange for the Ti-Cats and an Ugli bright purple for the Fury/Minnesota game. Nowhere near as good as the monster at THF. - +1 THF

Merch - Not as much RB stuff as Ti-Cat stuff, but it's more blended with Fury and 67s gear available, so I'd say even. Maybe one day we'll get an NASL team and this will happen to us. - No Adv

So in my eyes THF gets a 5, TDP gets a 4.5. They are very similar facilities, with very similar amenities. THF is generally superior in my eyes (especially if they can get the concessions sorted out) but TD Place's greatest advantage is it's location. It makes me lament us not having a downtown site or having any bars or restaurants of repute near THF.

As a side note, after being at the Fury game with the Bytown Boys, I really hope we can see an NASL team or a similar team with similar support here in Hamilton.

Glad you enjoyed the weekend here in Ottawa. :thup:

One thing to note for transportation to and from the park for next time......... if you parked near the stadium downtown and grabbed a bus it was most likely not a shuttle bus as they usually just go to and from major bus stations in the city. The ONLY true shuttle busses are located at Canada Post Parking lot on Riverside Drive. We ALWAYS Park for FREE at Canada Post and take the FREE shuttle to the park. Only a 12-15 minute drive down the beautiful parkway along the Rideau Canal. :wink:

btw ... do you guys pay for parking and/or shuttle busses in Hamilton? Or is just us because our stadium IS downtown?

I usually park at the Wallmart on Barton ( Centre Mall) for FREE and walk 10 minutes to the stadium or catch the Eastbound Barton bus FREE with your football ticket.

Good review but I would add 2 things. Sight lines and access. Both are better in Hamilton.

The CFL has never been in better shape venue wise
BC - $500M upgrade
EDM - Upgraded turf and Commonwealth is still a great venue
CGY - new Turf and talk of new covered Stadium
WPG - Great New Facility
HAM - THF is fantastic
TOR - upgraded BMO field, will be a huge improvement
OTT - Great new facility
HFX - council in Halifax will be discussing potential 20K Stadium today - http://www.metronews.ca/news/halifax/20 ... uncil.html
SSK - building new Stadium now

I went to the game and had a MUCH different experience.

The free parking/shuttle bus makes getting to-and-from the stadium a cinch.
I was on the North side, in the end-zone near the screen. I was sitting with a team of minor football players around me, so there was some good chirping going on between us. Great kids, they really love the game.

One complete idiot, however, could take a lesson from those kids. There was a large crowd of Ti-Cats fans near me, and after a TD in the first half, I led an impromptu Oskee-wee-wee. After the cheer, the SOB yelled to me "Sit down, you fat (eff)!" - right in front of the kids and their parents. Lots of class, buddy.

Later on in the 3rd, my buddy and I started to get pelted with trash. No, it wasn't from the kids - it came from much higher in the stands. At that time, I reported both the idiot that made the comment and told Security about getting hit by garbage. At first they apologized, and offered me a food voucher.

Really? A food voucher? When I told them EXACTLY what the moron said, they agreed that he should be ejected. A few minutes later, they marched him from his seat. Lo and behold, the same guy was back in his seat in the 4th quarter. When I asked Security what the heck was going on, they said "we gave him a warning". ANY other stadium that I have been to, including THF, the guy would have been tossed out by the Police, and banned from the stadium. You know, kind of like the rules at THF.

So no, I didn't have a very good experience at the game, except for the fact that I was actually able to see my team play. Needless to say, I have put in a formal complaint to OSEG, the owners of the twocolours. I WILL say that I will never step foot in that stadium again for a Ti-Cats game, unless it's for the Grey Cup.

WOW - As an Ottawa RedBlacks season ticket holder and Die-Hard Rough Riders fan I am embarrassed about how some of "our" fans treated you. I know there is a minority of idiots fans in EVERY city like him but do they have to be real a@holes with kids around? I don't mind friendly banter back and forth and all having fun in the end. Oh and de they really need that 12th beer???

I've been going to Ottawa Football games since the 1960's (season tickets since the 80's) and rarely I have heard those comments or being pelted with garbage :x I know the Southside Upper deck does have more "rowdy" people so hearing that from the Northside is rare. As for the non-action by security on the idiot - that is JUST PLAIN WRONG - he should have tossed :roll:

And my apologies for this idiot ruining your day and hopefully you will reconsider coming to game in Ottawa (Southside!!) in the future. We aren't all like that guy - MOST of are just grateful they brought Canadian football back to our city!! 8)

The drag of it is that if he'd have asked where to sit to avoid that kind of stuff, that's probably exactly where I would have sent him. That spot is typically crawling with NCAFA members of all varieties, so families and "football people".

Ironically, DisplacedCatFan would have been better off with the so-called "rowdies" who may be louder but they at least keep it in perspective. Disappointing. :frowning:

wait the fans actually yell to each other that they suck?

Yes, but in a respectful way. :wink:

see the Northside/Southside CFL Video linked above

Back in the RR days, when they built the Southside , it was mainly filled with more blue collar workers and they would cheer and shout much louder than the other side (Northside) would. And so the Southside would call out the Northside for not cheering loud enough :slight_smile: The eassist way to shout Northside Sucks!!!! And when the RedBlacks came to town last year, that rivalry was once again renewed :smiley:

you guys know your suppose to do that to the opposing team not eachother :expressionless:

As a very long time Ottawa fan I really don't like the whole North/South sucks chants, never have. South side is more rowdy than the North side, always has been that way. The aim of management was to attract younger fans, teens to mid twenties, unfortunately it also brings in a lot that show up drunk and get abusive to other fans. I'm on the field for the games so I don't know how security is in the stands, friends have told me that there are games they don't enjoy as much because of the drunks.

I think they did an amazing job re-building Lansdowne Park and the surrounding area, considering what it looked like a few years ago. Parking and traffic is an issue, but we knew that it was going to be a problem, offering free bus rides to and from the park with a game ticket has helped take some of the pressure off. The North side was really just re-painted and new seats put in, they also cut back the roof because of snow loading concerns, so when it rains, unless you are near the top you get wet, South side, you just get wet.

For those Hamilton fans that made the trip, hope you come back next year. If the game is earlier in the season, taking advantage of all the outdoor patios on the grounds is pretty enjoyable.

Yeah, but for almost four decades we sucked more than any other team that visited. At some point, you just redirect the venom. :expressionless:

haha. well if it means anything CR. we think you suck!