I enjoyed watching a couple of games of rugby at NIB stadium, but I was lucky. The curtain raiser, a legitimate game in itself, started very early, before the ticket offices were even open, and the game was over before people could even buy tickets to get in! Only those with pre-purchased tickets, like myself, were able to gain entry and see the game. Result, a very empty stadium – quite a strange experience when there is a real game going on. Also, there were basically no staff in the venue – the stewards and others seemed to turn up around full time of the first game.
Then there was a long wait until the main event. A combination of confusing signs and a lack of staff meant I found my seat quite difficult to find – compared to other grounds at least. As it was, my pre-purchased ticket, costing considerably more than any other rugby ground I have visited in Australia, was right at the top of the eastern stand, and down about level with the 22 line (so not particularly central). The view was decent, but I was about as far away from the action as you can get, so I do not think this really justifies the cost as a ‘top tier’ ticket. The ‘large’ screens at the ground were far from that – they were tiny and when the action got simply too far away to make out what was happening, they were of no added value. Indeed the screen at the northern end (the one closest to me) was obscured by an awning!
Also, I was surprised when a militant attendant told me I was not allowed to use my Digital SLR camera – at all! Every other ground in Australia limits the use of cameras to less than a 200mm zoom lens, and other grounds I have visited around the world do not even have that restriction. Get real NIB stadium – I just want some memories of the game and I’m not going to take away from your precious sponsorship and media deals!
On the positive side, there were really nice lawns around the outside of the ground, so it was possible to sit and enjoy a bite to eat before the game started in picnic style. The atmosphere was great, with the local fans really getting behind their team and cheering them on. And, the selection of food was the best I have seen at a ground.
Overall, the stadium is not bad, but they just need to improve a few little things. If you are in Perth, consider going to a game – it is a short walk from the centre of town and you will enjoy it!