Though I searched I couldn't find any reviews of the new stadium experience.
My first experience was like looking at a photo of your child - upside down. It was very familiar - but it just didn't feel right.
I'll begin by saying that the actual game experience is satisfying and fine. Though it took a while to get used to the massive difference in the distance from the field (ie the height of my seats) there really was no complaints. It was nice to have an actual seat with a back rest, and a personal space in which to enjoy the game. While I know it won't last - it was a pleasure to not have to listen to the mindless promotions, loud music, and useless announcer over the PA system - as it wasn;t working.
Pretty much everything about the stadium disappointed me. The hike up to my section and seat felt like a minor mountain expedition. I didn't think the stairs would ever end. It's a good thing I didn't bring my 70 year old father - cuz I doubt he would have made it.
The concourse is way too small to handle a capacity crowd, while it is structurally fine ... it is clear the designers never gave one thought to user experience. It is overcrowded, and not conducive to crowd movement. Any thought of meeting friends at the smoking area were squashed half way to the exit when I realized how long it was taking ... so I gathered my donkey and Sherpa and embarked on the mountain hike back to my section.
The weather was a PERFECT example of why I have always been disappointed in the lack of an awning over the stands. While the powers that be announced the game as a sell-out - it was rather sad to see 50% of the fans seeking shelter on the concourse level from the elements ... instead of sitting in their seats cheering on the team. I will NEVER , EVER forgive the designers for not including weather protection of any kind on the east end stands - it's cheap, and bush league, and totally detracts from the game day experience.
The stadium is OK ... it's not conducive to in game movement, has no protection from the elements, and is quite crowded on the concourse level. The seats are much higher than the old IWS ... and the scoreboard - while offering a sharp image - is a bit undersized. By the way what's with ALL stalls in the men's washroom ?? Urinals would make it that much more efficient.
Don't hate it. But I definitely don't like it as much as I should or could have.
What can I say - it's typically Hamilton.