I headed to the independence bowl with my wife to see the Texas A&M vs. Louisiana Tech game here in October 2012.
The game was exciting (with way too many penalties, most of which had to be reviewed like three times by each referee) and as a result, a game that should have taken like three hours ended up more like taking 5. That’s not the Independence bowl’s fault. But my frustration with the game was probably amplified with the lack of planning at the Independence bowl.
Going to the game was the poorest planned event I think I’ve ever been to. If you’re stuck with it, ARRIVE EARLY. Here’s how my experience reflected that it was in fact the most poorly planned event ever.:
–Getting to the game. I waited on the off-ramp of the interstate to GET to the area where I couldn’t park for literally half an hour.
–Parking. The line to park was insane as well. Eventually I gave up on this, gave some guy 10 bucks to park in some ghetto stone lot (and miraculously, my car wasn’t towed upon my return.)
–Will Call. There were two lines (though it wasn’t clear where the two lines were), and waiting in each of them was probably an hour wait. I never made it to the front of my line… instead my wife said she was going to go look for another line, which she miraculously got through. (The will call lines weren’t well labeled either… make sure you’re standing in the right line, if there are multiple will calls.) But then…
–Absolute lack of cell towers for the fans at the game. After we split up to wait in different will call lines, I damn near lost my wife. This was because we were supposed to call each other to say where we were so we could reunite. The cell coverage in the stadium is so poor, I couldn’t get a text message, facebook post, any data, and of course a telephone call to go through, after trying multiple times. Yikes. (Note that I have Verizon Wireless.)
–Stadium Staff. No one seemed to be helping us find our seats upon our arrival.
–Seats. This doesn’t have anything to do with planning, but the lower plastic seats (which at least provided arm rests and a back) were in such disrepair that I could have probably pulled an entire row off of the ground without much effort.
Other than that, it’s kind of an old stadium, but somehow isn’t incredibly dirty. As I’ve said in my tip, the “diamond vision” seems to me like it should be more accurately named “cubic zirconia” vision. Seriously, I’ve seen some high schools that have better screens than this.
Either way, I’m going to reluctantly give it two stars, as I did get in to watch the game in time (though, barely–we managed to make it to our seats during the national anthem.)
If you’re going to go, ARRIVE VERY EARLY. Like, 3 hours early. No, I’m not exaggerating. Keep in mind that this was a very large crowd for the stadium (the 5th largest crowd the stadium has ever seen), yet I had all of these problems and the STADIUM WAS NOT EVEN FULL. Incredible.
Either way, if you take the precautions I outlined above, you should be fine.