Had my first visit to the new stadium today. Several reactions.
First, the bad:
1) I'd forgotten how much I dislike being in a large crowd that walks slowly and randomly stops/changes direction in front of me. But, that's any stadium.
2) overall lack of disabled parking. I took my mom to the game today and there was nothing. They 'expanded' the disabled parking to 300 spots recently. Not nearly enough, and many of them were further than ordinary parking.
3) Indy police can't control the streets. The crowd before and after the game was walking through the middle of the streets, not paying attention to stoplights or anything. It was like Mardi Gras. But, that's not the stadium, that's the town.
4) The televised coverage of the stadium is better than the reality (no surprise there).
5) high costs for stadium food/beer/seats/etc.
6) paying $30 for parking.
1) WAY more open feeling than the Hoosier Dome ever had.
2) The building is HUGE. Launching fireworks inside the venue with room to spare = awesome.
3) The huge screens. We were in end zone seats in the Southwest corner. Anything on the far side of the 50, I watched the screens more than the field. The screens looked like they were about 50' ones.
4) Lots of hot women in Manning jerseys and tight jeans
5) Much cleaner and more service facilities/concessions than the Dome had. Only had to wait to use the restroom once, and that was a very brief wait.
6) The North entrance has all the goodies from Lucas Oil, and had a live concert going for pregame. I walked up there before the game to check it all out, was able to spot my mom in section 231 from the far end of the field it's all so open.
7) Security was pretty efficient. When we were going through, their ticket scanners rebooted or something, but it was a very brief delay. If not for the 30 degree temps and 50mph winds whiping around the stadium it's not even worth mentioning.
Overall, the TV coverage of the stadium is the A+ version of it. In real life, I give it a B+. That might have been different (better) had I been drinking the overpriced beer, but since I had my nearly-70 year old mom with me, I was abstaining. Plus the Colts didn't exactly light the world on fire today, but they won, so it's all good.
There was also a higher-end crowd than I'm used to from the Dome. Perhaps the prices are keeping the riffraff out? (no slight intended toward our Cafe member of same name.) I only witnessed one instance of negativity between fans and that was just two drunk guys gesturing at each other which quickly ended.
So aside from parking and difficulties getting to/away from the stadium it was pretty sweet. The folks working there were all efficient and polite. Not at all a bad NFL experience. We left just at the 2 minute warning when the Colts intercepted and sealed the game. I'll be happy to go back and hopefully pound the beers like Addai pounds the rock.