i agree completely. i attend a lot of games, in all codes. the comfort of the fan, their sight-lines, safety and the atmosphere at the game should be the main priorities on the design brief. any design that doesn't meet those basic requirements, no matter how aesthetically pleasing it is on the outside, must be considered as not achieving its goal. although i suppose we have to hold judgement until it opens, the pictures certainly seem to indicate that sightlines are affected from the upper tiers.
no doubt the defence will be that the whole pitch is visible, but this would be a wholly unacceptable logic, particularly for rugby, where so much of the action takes place around the margins of the playing area, and where following the flight of a kicked ball is vital to your enjoyment of the game
to call croke park 75% finished, considering the importance of retaining a terrace for atmosphere and historic reasons, is wrong. Croke park was always intended to have a terrace at the hill 16 end, therefore it is 100% finished as intended. you may dislike the appearance of a terrace, but i think a properly designed terrace is a positive attribute in a stadium.
hill 16 is a clear example of how a terrace should be designed, and shows the british authorities overreacted in banning terraces at larger grounds.
the design of hill 16 from the outside is not pretty, but it doesn't have to be: it is masked by the railway line and rows of terraced houses.
the continuity of the croke park roof is broken when viewed from above, but does that really matter either? who is looking at that? the pilot of the garda helicopter, and a few aerial shots on tv?
from inside, it does appear a bank of concrete, but why look at concrete when the pitch is where the action is?
"amiable day trippers" is unnecessarily dismissive.
i would say that the nature of gaelic games lends itself to constant vocal engagement, and having attended all 4 codes at croke park, the contrast between soccer and gaa atmospheres there attests to this difference in atmosphere, (though in fairness, the smaller soccer pitch is also a big factor).
proving the start of your quote was based on opinion rather than experience?
applying the croke park/hill 16 argument to the aviva stadium, i don't think it will matter once a match is on how small the havelock end is: the noise from the other 3 sides will compensate, and our attention should be focused on the pitch rather than the large looming wall and roof over that end.
When you look at how fantastic the Cusack, Hogan & Davin stands are for spectators I have to disagree - remember TV pictures are being shown across the world and when the Hill 16 end is shown it looks awful ( remember Twickenham before they fisished it ?). It does need to be full "wrapped around" even if it is a terrace of reduced size and capacity.
Remember the Romans managed to fully enclosed stadiums thousands of years ago and the fudge at Landsdown Road and Croke Park is what we will be stuck with for a long long time.