Last night I went to see the famous Manchester United play against the Airtricity XI in the first football match in the redeveloped Lansdowne Road. It's now known as the Aviva Stadium, but they've not paid me so it's Lansdowne road.
It was my first time seeing Manchester United play so that was a real treat.
The stadium itself is nice but there are some major flaws in both the stadium and access to the stadium.
Walking down Lansdowne Road to get to the entrance for my purple ticket, there are no signs at all. It's only when you get near the ground you are directed away from it by a steward. You are sent all the way to Ballsbridge to then have to cross the bridge and walk back down to the stadium. This added about 20 minutes to the journey. This also meant we had to walk through a small tunnell under the DART Bridge, which was big enough for 3 / 4 people abreast. It was the very definition of a bottleneck.
Access to the stadium from there is fine, I think the automated turnstiles might be troublesome though.
Lots of steps later and we were confronted with lots of bars. Bars that only sold Guinness, wine, Carlsberg and soft drinks. The queue for food was just ridiculous, but the staff are probably new and that will speed up and I suppose it wasn't a typical football crowd at the game, a lot of first timers, and people there for the novelty. The toilets have dryers, that just isn't going to work.
The seats had a good view of the pitch but not of the big screens, so just don't miss anything.
At the end of the match we walked out into a complete bottle neck. The DART gates were down so there were 40000 people just standing there who were then directed back to the small tunnell I spoke about earlier. The lighting wasn't great and again there were no signs. Luckily I know my way around there are walked back to Ballsbridge.
Some of these problems, like access and the queues for food will be ironed out, but not being able to see the big screens or the pitch when people 4 rows down from you stand up are more serious flaws.