Some of you asked that I post this so, here it is. Fore warning you may have already read it depending on what other Steelers boards you participate with...
Cardinals New Stadium
My wife and I were at the game this past Saturday (Steelers vs Cardinals) and here are my the thoughts on the new stadium... We left Tucson at 9 AM and arrived around the stadium somewhere between 11:15 and 11:30. After we finally found some parking and got into the stadium it was 10 minutes to 1 just in time for the Anthem and the coin toss. Before you get into the stadium though make sure you either tailgated and had a HUGE plate of food, or stop somewhere and pick something up and eat it while you wait in line to park because you will either wait in line forever inside or they could run out of food before you make it to the window to order. Yes, this was the first game ever there and they have some kinks to work out and it will take some time.
Around the stadium they have a number of different lots (Red, Blue, Orange, Green, Brown, etc) Unless you have a placard, you can't park in these areas, except for the brown lot. The brown lot is about 3/4 to a mile away from the stadium and offers a free shuttle service to and from. I didn't have to pay for this parking, but I also don't know if I needed the placard they didn't ask to see one they just waived me on in. My wife and I did not see any place that said "Public Parking" or "Parking $20", so if you don't have the placard head to the brown lot. From the 101 exit Glendale Rd and head East to 91st Street, then turn North on 91st Street, you will be parking in the High School parking lot which is huge. My only suggestion if you are parking here is to get there early so you are close to the road and can get out faster, otherwise you will wait about 30-45 minutes to get out of the lot (My wife and I stayed for the entire game and did not exit the stadium until all of the players were off the field).
GETTING INTO THE STADIUM
The gates are not clearly marked so you are basically entering the stadium blindly. Try and figure what area of the stadium your section is in because outside they have a big N, S, W, and E logos to let you know what side you are on. Also, if the line is small to get in more than likely you can't enter that line because it is for club seating only. Yes, we found that out the hard way.
As far as security goes, it was kind of a joke. A couple of pats on the arm down your sides and around your waist. They do have male, female and family lines though and they do go through bags like purses and such but it can't be any bigger than 12x12x12 (inches). I had a small camera bag which I had opened and ask the guy if he wanted to check it, all he did was glance at it. Maybe because I didn't look suspicious, but I wasn't around long enough to see how others were treated. No recording devices (I'm sure this is normal at all stadiums) but again this wasn't checked because there was a dude sitting 3 rows in front of us who had a camcorder, so go figure.
The sections were clearly marked and actually say "Section 127 seat 10-20 this side" then walk a little further and it says "Section 127 seats 1-9 this side". I had never seen this before so I thought it was cool because it really sucks to get down to your row and find out you are on the other end of the row. The seats were comfortable with a back, you have plenty of leg room and even a cup holder. Plus, you don't really need to get out of your seat to let people through. My wife is 32 weeks pregnant and she had no complaints except for when he (the baby) was kicking I think he was excited to be at his first Steelers game!
This was awkward, I had a hard time always finding what down it was and where the ball was located. They had it on the scoreboard but it looked like an afterthought and didn't really stand out. It was always a struggle to find that information, plus once I found where it was I didn't spend a whole lot of time looking for another board with information because I didn't want to miss the play.
HORRIBLE! Like I said above, make sure you eat before hand because the lines are long and they don't move to fast so you could miss a lot of the game. My wife and I hit the food stands 5 minutes before halftime and sat back down with 16 seconds on the clock before the start of the 3rd quarter with only 2 churros and 2 lemonade's in hand ($16). My wife went on mission finding something else to eat while I waited in line. I stood in the food line for about 30 minutes and moved a grand total of 6 feet and that was only because people were getting out of line. While waiting in line others were saying good luck as they walked by, not knowing what this meant I flagged someone down to ask. Supposedly, they had run out of hot dogs and burritos! I don't know how you can possibly run out of hot dogs especially when they were already expecting 64,000 fans. Again, I'll use the common excuse for everything "This was the first game and they are working out the kinks!" plus I don't think the Cardinals are use to feeding 64,000 fans!
From what I saw the beer line seemed to move fast and there was plenty to go around for everyone. The only thing though there was no vendors walking around selling this stuff. If you wanted popcorn, peanuts or something to drink you had to get up out of your seat and go get it yourself. During the game we saw 1 guy selling peanuts and 1 guy selling lemonade... We only saw them that one time though!
IMO, the stadium was awesome! It didn't look like there was a bad seat in the house. The sound system was loud and clear and the refs were so loud they would make you jump if you weren't ready for it. Everything was clearly marked so that wasn't really a problem, the only problem I saw was a lack of TV screens showing the game in the concession area. While I waited in line, to get food that they didn't have, I looked and looked for a TV and finally found one just above the cashiers head. So from where I was standing it was very hard to see.
The stadium is definitely an eye catcher from the outside and inside. With the exception of running out of food and the parking problems it was a good experience. I'm sure by the time the Steelers come around again next season everything will be resolved and should go a lot smoother.