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My Cardinals Stadium Experience...It SUCKS!!!

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  • My Cardinals Stadium Experience...It SUCKS!!!

    Living in Phoenix, I've heard so much hype about the new Cardinals stadium. I hadn't planned on attending the game, thinking I would instead wait for the real thing when the Broncos come back here in December. But my curiosity got the best of me and I purchased last-minute tickets from Stubhub. Hearing all about the traffic problems from previous games, I left for the stadium 3 hours before kickoff...not a minute too soon, as it turned out. I was looking forward to posting this first thing this morning and was amazed to read that some people actually thought highly of the new Cardinals stadium! It SUCKS!

    Traffic around the stadium wasn't as bad as our local news media said it would be, but parking was interesting. Because I bought last-minute tickets, I didn't have a parking pass so I opted for the Brown Lot (a parking-lot located at a nearby highschool about a mile north of the stadium). Air-conditioned shuttle busses ran quickly & consistently and took me right up to the stadium. Best of all, both the parking and shuttle were free...this would constitute my last positive sentiment of the night (other than the game's outcome). I've seen the stadium being built over the past year, so its outside appearance is nothing new to me. That being said, I think it looks like a giant ashtray in a sandbox. Or maybe a library. Certainly nothing that evokes images of the traditional gridiron battle. Obviously looks are subjective, but there is nothing I like about the stadium's aesthetics and surrounding landscaping (or lack there-of). I don't know exactly how to explain it, but there just isn't any sense of "belonging." This is a feeling I would have again and again throughout the evening. Perhaps I am biased but Invesco Field (which I've only been to once) has an atmosphere around it. This stadium has nothing, at least so far. Pretty sad when a $455 million facility looks cheap. But the Bidwells and the word "cheap" go together like peanut butter and jelly. In fact, "cheap" is another theme that would repeat itself all night.

    The security check was a joke. I read someone else had a much more intimate experience but mine was basically a light tap on the small of my back. Not that I was hoping for more, but it wasn't exactly confidence inspiring with the times being as they are. They do separate men and women into different lines, so I had to plan to meet my fiancee in the crowd afterwards. We found eachother and immediately went inside, having about 30 minutes to explore until kickoff. I will say the air conditioning was fantastic! We walked down to the front row behind the endzone where the Broncos were running warm-up drills. For me, this was the highlight of the entire evening - being mere feet away from these giants. You forget how huge these guys are. We watched for a good 20 minutes, taking pictures and enjoying the pre-game rituals.

    Eventually, a Cardinals fan came and politely mentioned that we were in his seats. This is as good a time as any to talk about the crowd. I've been to every game Denver has played here against the Cardinals, going back 10 years or so. I've also been to a few random Cardinals games vs teams like Green Bay and Kansas City (having friends who are fans of those teams, I went along for the hell of it). It is not uncommon here for the opposing team's fans to vastly outnumber Cardinals fans. Last night, I'd say it was pretty close to 50/50. At first, I thought Bronco fans were the majority, but maybe thats just because I noticed them more. I didn't see any fights this time, but it doesn't surprise me to hear that there were some (Cardinal fan vs. Cardinal fan).

    With only 15 minutes until kickoff, we decided to grab a beer & a bite to eat on our way up to our seats (nosebleeds, due to the last-minute decision to attend and the knowledge that we could easily move down to the lower level later on). This is where things started to go downhill. The concession line was long and slow, but nothing to make me overly upset. But the lack of food options was amazing. At other venues in town, particularly Chase Field (where the Diamondbacks play) and Glendale Arena (home of the Phoenix Coyotes), you can find a huge variety of food options made by national vendors, even a few bars/restaurants - and they're all good. At Cardinals Stadium, your choices are slim. You can get a hotdog, a jumbo hotdog - which was no bigger than the standard hotdog I buy at the grocery store - or a chilidog. I did see a guy with a pizza, but I have no idea where he got it. For $23, I got a beer, 2 "jumbo" dogs and a pretzel that was so stale it literally broke into a thousand dry pieces in my mouth when I took my first (and only) bite. I literally gagged. Thank God for the beer. The hotdog was mushy, as if it was uncooked, yet the bun was hard and stale. Again, one bite and I had had enough. I also noticed the guy with the pizza took his first bite, said an expletive and looked quite disgusted as he put it down. Its as if the Bidwells said "Lets just sell the hotdogs we had left over from SunDevil Stadium." I should have demanded my money back but I didn't want to wait in line and miss the game.

    Not that I could see much of it from my seats in the upper corner (damned last minute tickets!). I've heard people rave that there isn't a bad seat in the house, but I definitely found several. I know...you get what you pay for. But the $455 million pricetag for this place kinda' blows that theory out of the water. The 2 jumbotrons, located behind each endzone, are oddly hard to see from the stands (one being at a bad side-angle and the other being too far away). They went with the "letterbox" format, long and rectangular, which obviously they are still getting used to...lots of close-ups on players from the forehead up. The sound system is obnoxiously loud, and I'm not even old. I enjoy loud music between plays as much as the next guy, but this was overkill. Put your cellphone on vibrate if you want, but don't bother answering it or you'll be the guy screaming "WHAT?!? WHAT!?!" like I was. People should know better than to call me during a Bronco game anyway. The good thing about being up so high is you can see all the empty seats to move down to. With 4:00 left in the first quarter, right after Cutler hit Kircus on that 84-yard bomb, we moved down to the lower level around the 20 yardline. Pretty good seats, one would think. Certainly expensive. I noticed lots of players' families nearby. There were plenty of empty seats to choose from that never did fill up. Still, it felt like the field was too far away. The interior of the stadium is boring and shallow. The entire west end, where the much-hyped "retractable field" rolls out, has no seating. To me, this seams like an incredible waste of space. They could get another 10,000 seats in there. Speaking of the field, does anyone else see this as nothing more than a gimmick? At best, its got more to do with making space for conventions, concerts, tractor-pulls and other various money-making events to feed the Bidwells.

    I'd review the actual game, but this isn't that kind of post. I will say, VanPelt had a wide open receiver (Devoe I think) on a play similar to Cutler's bomb earlier and his pass was underthrown and floated for what seemed like an eternity, allowing the DB to make the play. If the ball had come out of Cutler's hand, it would have been 6 points. By the middle of the 4th quarter, the stadium went from being around 85% full to near-empty, with mostly Bronco fans staying to see the whole game. In fact, the bus ride back to the parking lot (still free, amazingly) was more like a Bronco postgame party. Seems strange, since it wasn't exactly a blowout.

    The entire experience felt like something was missing - and I mean more than the $23 from my wallet I wasted on the terrible food. The building is new, yes, but it has no feeling or energy. The architecture is sterile and desolate, unless you consider the simple coloring (light grey and red) to be significant. It is less of an "experience" than it is an annoyance. I can't imagine any lifelong memories being made here. I've heard people make the same complaints about Invesco Field, but this place makes Invesco look like the old Mile High (in an emotional sense). And to think there is going to be a Superbowl here!?

    The biggest disappointment for me: Supposedly, the Bidwells were going to honor the late Pat Tillman by naming something after him...not the stadium of course, because more profit can be made by selling that (I hear Pink Taco has made a bid). But something like the field, or a grassy area outside...something...but you would have no way of knowing that. I made an effort to look and found absolutely nothing. You're a class act, Bidwell. I'm just happy they sold out all the regular season games so that in December, when the Broncos return, I can watch it live from the comfort of my living room without the usual NFL blackout. At least I'll see more of the game and be able to enjoy decent food!
    Last edited by SunDevil_Jake; 09-01-2006, 01:06 PM.

  • #2
    That was me talking about my experience (with the Cardinal Fan vs. Cardinal Fan, 30% Broncos fans, the near rape at the hands of security).

    The food was crap. I spent $7.50 on a burrito that looked like it came straight out of Mini-Mart. At least Chase Field has Garcias, and their burritos are HUGE and are only $6.50.
    sigpic
    HOPING TO SEE MORE OF THIS IN 2012


    ESPN’s John Clayton reported that McKenzie is expected to review Jackson’s performance for the next week or so. Clayton reports that the odds favor Jackson staying in Oakland, but a decision has not been made. "I still get the feeling Jackson will end up being retained." 3 1/2 HOURS LATER, THE RAIDERS FIRED JACKSON.....GOOD CALL CLAYTON

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    • #3
      A Bidwell Burrito? You're a braver man than I.

      Comment


      • #4
        It's why I was on the "hopper" for an hour earlier this morning.....
        sigpic
        HOPING TO SEE MORE OF THIS IN 2012


        ESPN’s John Clayton reported that McKenzie is expected to review Jackson’s performance for the next week or so. Clayton reports that the odds favor Jackson staying in Oakland, but a decision has not been made. "I still get the feeling Jackson will end up being retained." 3 1/2 HOURS LATER, THE RAIDERS FIRED JACKSON.....GOOD CALL CLAYTON

        Comment


        • #5
          as far as atmosphere goes, I remember hearing the same about Invesco Field when it opened. Now as fans have grown more accustomed to the stadium and its surroundings and gotten to know the regulars that sit with them, they've started to bring that atmosphere back to the stadium.
          I think that might not happen with Arizona though, once the nouvelty of the newness wears off, fans will realise the team still is rather poor and it'll end up being completely empty by the end of next season. (i hope I am wrong)
          "On a given day, a given circumstance, you think you have a limit. And you then go for this limit and you touch this limit, and you think, 'Okay, this is the limit'. And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high."
          Ayrton Senna..

          Comment


          • #6
            Wow!

            Great post! I didnt think it was that bad though. The food lines were to long and ridiculously slow. My seats were very good, 20 rows up from the 25 yard line on the Visitor's side. I was a little disappointed with the season ticket holders commemorative gift though, it was a lousy patch and a pin. I would have much rather received a seat cover like last year. It was very cool in the stadium and beats the heck out of Sun Devil Stadium. On a scale from 1-10, I'd give my overall experience a 7. Let's just hope come December it doesnt get any worse and they work out some of the kinks.
            sigpic

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            • #7
              i think anything with a roof would be better than sun devil stadium. never been there but i have been in 105 degree weather before. one of the endzones looks a little weird though. its like they have high school bleachers and a bunch of empty space behind it. i think its the end where they roll out the field.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by y2cragie
                as far as atmosphere goes, I remember hearing the same about Invesco Field when it opened. Now as fans have grown more accustomed to the stadium and its surroundings and gotten to know the regulars that sit with them, they've started to bring that atmosphere back to the stadium.
                I think that might not happen with Arizona though, once the nouvelty of the newness wears off, fans will realise the team still is rather poor and it'll end up being completely empty by the end of next season. (i hope I am wrong)

                Yeah, I forgot to mention all the other things that bothered me (but it's at every stadium, not just here, but it did add to the 'experience'), such as people in other NFL teams gear at the game. WTF? I never could understand this. Like going to a baseball game (AZ-NY Yankees this past Spring) and having people in Red Sox gear all over the stadium. If my teams not playing, and I someone gives me tickets, I'll pick one or the other (usually the team whose home stadium it is).

                Or the people yelling at their friend whose seats are in section 419 and their sitting in section 134. "Hey Tom!! Hey!! (Whistle) TOM!!! I don't think he hears me...TOOOOMMM!!!!"

                Or the cell phone calls. "Hey! Where are you? Look to your right. Look at the guy in the white shirt. No, not the one with the black hat. Up 4 rows from him. Yeah!! That's me!! HI!!!"

                Or the drunk guy on the aisle seat that wants to hi-five everyone, and when a hot chick walks by, not only does he want to hi-five her, but also wants a hug, and then his hands slide down her back, and he pinches her glutes. I would have popped him, but I didn't have any backup. :brick:

                But like I said, this happens at every stadium. It was just more noticeable because I wasn't drinking, probably.
                sigpic
                HOPING TO SEE MORE OF THIS IN 2012


                ESPN’s John Clayton reported that McKenzie is expected to review Jackson’s performance for the next week or so. Clayton reports that the odds favor Jackson staying in Oakland, but a decision has not been made. "I still get the feeling Jackson will end up being retained." 3 1/2 HOURS LATER, THE RAIDERS FIRED JACKSON.....GOOD CALL CLAYTON

                Comment


                • #9
                  as a side note, I believe the empty endzone can be filled with seats for major events.
                  "On a given day, a given circumstance, you think you have a limit. And you then go for this limit and you touch this limit, and you think, 'Okay, this is the limit'. And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high."
                  Ayrton Senna..

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I had a pretty good experience and I thought the stadium was pretty nice. I do agree the food was bad, and the lines for food were bad right near the beginning of the game. I got there early and bought food about an hour before the game and there was no lines at all. I drank beer through most of the game and didnt wait in lines hardly at all to get them.

                    Didnt have any trouble getting in or out of the stadium either (I got there about 2 hours early though).

                    I wouldnt say it was a real nice stadium, kind of plain looking but I think its decent and that they did a good job of moving people in and out for the second game ever played there.

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                    • #11
                      For my first time and the second time that the stadium was opened up, I think that things went fairly well. My father in law is a Cardinal season ticket holder and out of the kindness in his heart decided to pass along the tickets to me to watch the game. To me it was my pre season warm-up for December’s game, I will get to go again and use his seats.

                      What I found out is it sucks to have game time so close to rush hour, it wasn’t so much the game traffic that sucked, just the regular rush hour traffic especially on the 101 north side of the loop where it merges or crosses two other major freeways, the 17 and 51. Then the city of Phoenix has two of the major surface streets, Camelback and Glendale under construction. Once getting there I did have my father in laws parking pass. It will reduce explanation and waiting to have this out and displayed prior to getting in. The parking attendants won’t let you turn towards the lot without seeing that you have the right section.

                      Once parked, you can see the hardened Cardinal fans, they know what they are getting into! I arrived early enough to still see all of the tailgating festivities going on with some real food being prepared outside the stadium. I am planning on bringing my grill December.
                      You are right at it being a big ashtray, it is out in the middle of nowhere and that is why it looks so stark. There is already a lot of building going on, but it is the firgging desert in Glendale. Yea things would have been better if it could have been built in Tempe, just finding that amount of property without having aircraft on approach in Phoenix is limited.

                      Getting into the stadium was a joke. My father in laws tickets are on the 50 yard line, yet you can only enter the stadium at the endzones. To further the confusion, there is an open entrance in the middle for the box and loft seats that I headed to first to be turned back. Once I went to the correct opening is when I overheard one of the ushers trying to force people from this north entrance all the way to the south entrance since they were getting “slammed”. They had the separate lines for ‘patting” down, two for women, four men. At about 8 feet above the lines there were the male and what should have been female signs to designate what line you were to get in. They were all male, so you had to look at who was going to check you out. Now I wouldn’t mind having what turned out to be a weak run down the middle of your back, under your arms check done by some of the women that were there, unfortunately you had to get in line to get one of the guys to do it. And by the way they didn’t question my blackberry that was in my pant pocket.

                      So you are in the outer defenses, they force you towards ticket windows, well I had my tickets let me in. Nope you got to walk around even more to some selected doors where you wait for a guy with a slow computer to scan you in. Finally you are inside in the cool air! From here pretty straight forward finding the seat, people around to help if you got lost. Looked at the food venue, it is setup like a mall food court, there are different things at different places. But each place has a limited menu, I didn’t expect much more than this. There is a bar named something like Endzone that serves sandwiches. “Centerplate is the exclusive food service provider at Cardinals Stadium. Fans can obtain a concession stand guide at any of the Guest Relations offices.”
                      Game experience:
                      For some reason I always am near the drunk upset Cardinal fan. He tired the ole high five with me when the Cards got luck and scored a touch down, then it was turned over on an offensive holding penalty. After my initial dirty look then high five during the penalty call, he kept out of my face.
                      Someone also pointed out the obnoxious “hey I am sitting over here in a Cardinal jersey” cell phone antics standing up and waving their hands like idiots while the game is going on.
                      The announcer would only say the Denver players last name, so I had to keep an eye on the jersey to see if it was 20 or 26.
                      The speaker system sucks, lots of echo and too loud. I think the seat is too close to the speakers that face the concession stands and they echo the overhead system.
                      The red zone endzone looks pretty weak with high school bleachers where the grass comes in and goes out. Could be a factor if you loose the initial toss to get that to drive towards, it is much quieter than the other side.

                      I agree with the overall 7 from 1 to 10.

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                      • #12
                        The stadium isnt nearly impressive as the hype would lead you to believe, but my overall experence was good, I had to buy a parking pass from a scalper but for 20 bucks i parked infront of gate 3. It was 30 last year at qualcom. the food really did suck, but the air was amazing.

                        I had good seats up in the ring of honor even from the west endzone I could see exalant.

                        If the pink taco stadium is treated as a work in progress it could become a real football field one day.

                        your right on about one thing though, I felt less safe AFTER I got through that semi pat down.
                        2014 adopt a Bronco #63 Ben Garland

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                        • #13
                          You wanna talk about a lack of atmosphere? Go see the Titans play in their stadium. The fans are BY FAR THE ABSOLUTE worst I have ever seen, and there just isn't any excitement or electricity in the air at all. The fans hardly know anyone on the team except for the "big name" players, and they leave if the Titans get down 10 points or even look like they are gonna lose. PATHETIC.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SunDevil_Jake
                            The biggest disappointment for me: Supposedly, the Bidwells were going to honor the late Pat Tillman by naming something after him...not the stadium of course, because more profit can be made by selling that (I hear Pink Taco has made a bid). But something like the field, or a grassy area outside...something...but you would have no way of knowing that. I made an effort to look and found absolutely nothing. You're a class act, Bidwell.
                            Thanks, SunDevil_Jake. Fellow alum?

                            This would be the only reason I'd want to go to a Cardinals game if I ever make it back. I thought it was going to be name Patriot Pavilion or Park or something, and you're saying it wasn't there?

                            I can't believe how much that sucks.
                            Victory and defeat are matters of the temporary force of circumstance.



                            Thanks, Snk16!!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PLUMMERFAN16
                              You wanna talk about a lack of atmosphere? Go see the Titans play in their stadium. The fans are BY FAR THE ABSOLUTE worst I have ever seen, and there just isn't any excitement or electricity in the air at all. The fans hardly know anyone on the team except for the "big name" players, and they leave if the Titans get down 10 points or even look like they are gonna lose. PATHETIC.
                              Yea, i hate to have to agree, but, it's true. My dad has season tix to the Titans and the 'fans' do boo, and hop off the band wagon real fast... amazes me they all don't sprain some ankles the speed they get off the bandwagon. I got a McNair jersey, he's good, but, i was at 1 game and this guy yelled at me " hey kid!!! sit down and shut the hell up, McNair is a useless bum, get over it." I jus looked at him and said " ok buddy, let's see you all hop on the field and win a game then."

                              The energy and fun is for sure at the GEC in Nashville. That's why i so love to go to the couple of games i get to in Denver. New stadiums are generic... pack 'em in, sell 'em crap and make money. I was at Yankee stadium once, it was like hallowed ground, and in Boston... the green monster, i guess it's history that brings us all back. Imma too young to know all of the history in stadiums, but, i live for the moment... and, right now, my moment will come on the 17th, i get to go west to see the Broncs kick some KC butt, then on Oct. 9th, Baltimore gets to feel the Broncs wrath... the only 2 i get to go to out your way this season... Too bad they don't play the Titans.

                              Anyways, yea, i been there next to buddy on his cell, yellin to someone waaaay over there on the other side of the field, apparently... or yelling to his imaginary friend... heh.

                              Lonewolf
                              Always beware of the Lonewolf.

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