We went to all five days of the Adelaide Test, the first time the new southern stand was functional. Magnificent - with only a few quibbles.
Access is brilliant - the plaza outside links to the new (overly expensive) bridge in a way I didn't think possible.
Inside, access to seats is good, save for the ever present need to have your membership card scanned. The seats themselves give a majestic view of the Oval - for cricket, being behind the bowler's arm is brilliant - for footy, I'm sure it'll be just as good, especially, strangely enough, from the top deck, where the view is just awesome. But here's quibble 1 - the gap between the seats is minimal, so that if anyone wants to get past, it's really uncomfortable for everyone in their path. I didn't measure the gap, but we all thought the seats in the Western Grandstand had more room in front of them.
Facilities wise, the new stand just about stood up to its first test. The Bars on Level 3 were packed out, and here we arrive at quibble 2 - entry and exit to the seating area is mainly through this bar area - not ideal if you have kids in tow.
Up on Level 5, the Bar/terrace area is spacious - actually it's huge, and the view back across the city is terrific.
Finally to quibble 3 - and my major problem with the whole design. There is, am told, a wonderful room available for mums and babies, but nowhere outside is there anywhere for parents with strollers. This applies to both the western grandstand as well. The situation leaves parents parking their strollers in the disabled spots - many of which are in full sun, at least in the first part of the day. Here we are, trying to encourage the next generation of kids, but at the same time parents are being discouraged from bringing their kids because there is nowhere for them to sit together. I pointed this out last year to the SACA, but obviously no one's taken any notice,as the situation in the new stand is identical. This is personal, as my daughter and her husband, both members, were reluctant to bring their 4 and 1 year old, and therefore were not going to attend at all, because the facilities for them were non-existent. All that money, all those architects, and no one thinks of parents and kids. Astonishing.