I attended tonight's Toronto FC game to check out the renovated stadium and thought I might share my impressions with the forum.
This was my fourth visit to BMO Field. My first visit was for the very first TFC home game in 2007. The second and third visits were for regular season games for the now-defunct Toronto Nationals field lacrosse team.
I was never impressed with the stadium. It seemed to be done quickly and cheaply imo. It seems like a 21st century version of Ivor Wynne to be honest, and that isn't good.
Well, definitely a big improvement.
My seat was high up in the upper deck on the east side (Section 209, Row 14, Seat 32 if you want to look it up).
The best part of this seat was that it was free for me. I was standing in line at the box office 10 minutes before the game to buy the cheapest seat I could get when two guys approach and ask those of us in line if we wanted two tickets. I thought they were scalpers, but when they repeated their statement, I turned around. They game me the tickets, saying they weren't going to be using them. Great!
Anyway, the seats in the upper deck on the east side are really no better than those in the Rogers Centre in terms of viewing. They're too far away and too high to feel like you're close to the action. Actually, the best view from these seats is of Lake Ontario and Toronto harbour.
I walked around the rest of the stadium after the first half ended to investigate the views from other parts of the stadium.
South end seats (where those glorious TFC support groups reside) provided a surprisingly impressive view of the field. I would readily buy seats in this area.
West side seats: probably my preferred seating area. The upper deck doesn't seem to go as high as those on the east side. I sat in both the mid area and the upper area on this side and found that the views of the field were excellent at any level.
North side: I didn't actually sit in this area, but it seems to have the same very good view of the field as the south side. Of course, you have to turn around and look up to see the video board since you are sitting right under it.
East side: similar to west side, with the exception of those upper level seats I mentioned earlier. The seats in the first few rows here are just incredible - even better than the corresponding seats on the west side because there are no players' benches in front of you.
I will point out that the only other area beside the upper east side sections that I didn't like were the corners. The perception of the field seems very distorted to me from the view in all four corner sections. I would not choose to sit in those areas.
The video board is a disappointment imo. Maybe I'm spoiled by the size and clarity of the video board at Rogers Centre, but watching replays was unimpressive.
The concessions are equally disappointing. I'm no foodie, but I do appreciate having options beyond hot dogs and pizza. I didn't notice anything that strayed from those options. Maybe there were other options at the north end, but they didn't seem to stand out.
Overall, I do believe that the fan experience will be better at BMO Field versus Rogers Centre for Argonauts games, but that is mostly due to the smaller capacity and seating closer to the action (which are important of course), but the stadium itself is hardly a major leap forward overall.
Btw, I believe it is forum member dcmoses who has pointed out that this stadium is essentially a newer version of old Exhibition Stadium, and is likely to incur the same criticisms which that stadium received. I have to agree. As an example, the temperature tonight near my home was comfortable - not requiring a jacket when I left for the game. At the stadium, the wind from the lake made layers and/or blankets necessary.