First off... I do like the free roaming concept of THF, but on TV they never ever show people there. They mostly just show all the empty seats - especially near the end zones.
I know, as most on here know, that the stadium is always near sold out, but TV never can show that because so many are literally never in their seats.
My point is that many Americans, and even Canadians, don't know about the concourse culture there, and seeing all those empty seats will never inspire others to try and fill them. It's that old "if no one else cares, then why should I?" mentality that many have.
So to sum up, it's good for the stadium and game day experience, but not at all for TV.
How it looks on TV doesn't really concern me, everyone that counts knows the TiCats are well supported.
The attendance was 23,612, I think a sellout is considered at 23,500 and average for 2016 has been around 24,100.
Yes a couple of hundred hang out on the concourses on each side but that doesn't account for the several thousands of empty seats there Friday night. There were just a ton of no shows again.
At one point from our upper west seats where we can see into the east councourse area we tried counting people that we could see standing on that level at one point early in the 2nd quarter we got about 180 people - and that was even adding a few because some of those were employees. Another 40 or so at that point were standing on the south patio area. So somewhere around 220 people on the east concourse and south patio.
We then we started counting empty seats and in Sections 217 and 218 alone we were well over 300 empty seats just from those two sections alone - and they weren't the emptiest looking sections over there.
They may have announced 23,000+ - but at most there were 20,000 actually there Friday night if I had to guess.
Not only that - but what I don't get as a football fan - a few thousand of those that did show up at the game were long gone by the time of the winning field goal. That stadium was about 1/3 empty when Maher kicked it through. There was a steady stream out of the stadium through much of the last 6 - 7 minutes of that tight football game. We could seeing them pouring out the south gates from our seats. I just don't get that.
This picture was taken with 4 minutes left in the 4th quarter with the Cats up by 3 and the Als threatening to tie or take the lead. Thousands of empty seats over there.
Who cares that there are empty seats showing on TV, as long as you know that they are sold and either the fans are on the concourses or they decided not to show up. The important thing is seats sold.
I see the same thing in Ottawa fans standing on the concourses and lined up across above the end zones at both ends.
To me it is weird so many 'fans' leave a close game early. Yet for some reason thousands tend to do that at Ti-Cats games. They sure did Friday night.
I can sort of get it if it is a rout - like the Saskatchewan game was. But a couple thousand had already left by the 3 minute warning of what by then was a tie football game - and then hundreds more continued to stream out the Pioneer and Scotiabank gates in the south end during the last three minutes during that last winning drive.
To me that would be like walking out of a movie theatre with 15 minutes still to go in the movie 'to beat the rush'.
People who take the shuttles might tend to leave early. I've taken the Lime Ridge shuttle a few times, and I always stay until the very end. With :46 left in the Labour Day game, we left our seats (NE Corner) and walked along the concourse and exited on the south end just as the game ended. That was probably the earliest that we have ever left, but managed to get on the first bus. Had we waited until the very end of the game to leave, we would have waited at least an hour for a bus, and then had to deal with all the traffic getting out of the area.
A lot of people leave their seats and stand in the concourse, or along the stairs and watch from there. Gives them a head start to get out.
My only complaint about the concourse culture, is that it makes it difficult for people who want to sit in their seats get around. The main level on the east side is always packed with people making it hard to get from your seat to the washroom or concessions. I've always liked the concept of the Coors Bar, but it needs to be down in the South End Zone area....
But the idea behind the concourses was for fans to gather, stand and watch the game. It's like the end zone patios, I notice it's a lot of guys like to stand around drinking beer and watch the game, chat, socialize etc. Don't know why you would want stop that are charge extra for it.
It was just 2 seasons ago that the Stadium opened, but only half of it. We couldn't use the upper half!
It was a really long rough road to get it, BUT,
Both Hamilton and the TiCats are so fortunate to have their new Stadium!
Friday night is prime time for CFL football, that's not going to change. Not all teams can schedule their games on Saturday afternoon. All teams in the east face the same problem with traffic, if you don't want to drive you can take a bus or shuttle. Start the games later and people complain that they finish too late.
Even with a 7:00PM start - a couple of thousand at least left a close game before it ended too. Middle of the afternoon - too much sun. Near dinner time - too much sun in the face of those on the east side. Night games - too early to get to or too late to stay to the end of.
Me - I always manage to get to a game (even those in Toronto) on time. And I always stay until the end - unless the game is a rout and then may leave a few minutes early. Some of the most exciting moments of a game as a fan are the start of a game when a crowd is jacked. And then the finish - when there can be a thrilling tense exciting finish. TV ratings always peak in the last few minutes of a close game - because if there is just one part of a close game you want to see - that is it.
Yet recently around here I'm always amazed how many sports fans (in every sport) always arrive late - wandering in gradually throughout the first quarter, period or half. Then the same number almost always leave early - regardless of the score. Game winning drive for a field goal - with a nice catch by Fantuz to set it up - yet thousands who paid to see that game didn't see that finish - because they had left THF already.
The TFC soccer game Sunday - a wide open game by soccer standards with lots of scoring chances. New York up 3-2 - and TFC tie it in the last 5 minutes - but just like the football game Friday night - by the time of that most key and exciting moment in the game - several thousand were already out in the parking lot. (Never mind a couple of very tense moments after that).
Never have and never will understand that. Even as a kid with my Dad - unless a rout - we stayed to the very end of games and were rewarded with a few thrilling last minute plays because of that. it just has never made sense to leave early and potentially miss the most critical and exciting part of the game.