“It’s that smaller, British type of stadium.”
While some fans were unhappy with the move away from Suncorp Stadium, McDonald said it was common for fans around the world to travel in support of their team no matter where they played.
“As long as we can do well this year at Dolphin (Stadium), we’ll get good crowds there and bring new people in,” he said.
“A lot of the (people in the) CBD don’t want to come, which is kind of weird for me.
“Culturally, if it’s your team, you come and watch them no matter what.”
While the Roar have won three grand finals in front of sell-out crowds at Suncorp Stadium, McDonald said it was difficult to create an atmosphere when fewer than 10,000 fans turned up.
The Roar attracted crowds of 9387 and 9224 to their two games at Dolphin Stadium last season, with Perth Glory bringing a sizeable contingent of away fans to Redcliffe in February.
“You don’t see that too often in the A-League,” McDonald said.
“It was a proper section and they were singing and whatever else, and there was a good atmosphere between the two sets of fans.
“That felt like a proper English game, for me, being in that atmosphere.”
The addition of a 3170-seat northern grandstand means the stadium is now fully enclosed, with Queensland Cup side Redcliffe Dolphins making it the showpiece of their bid to become the NRL’s 17th team.
Having contributed $2.5 million in funding towards the overall $6.5 million stadium upgrade, Moreton Bay Regional Council subsequently lured the Roar to Redcliffe for the entirety of the club’s A-League campaign.
With the Roar heading north, chief executive David Pourre said he was mindful of trying to reduce costs for members in the midst of a global pandemic.
“The club has been very conscious around the impacts of COVID on everyday families, on employment and peoples’ ability to pay for discretional items such as memberships,” he said.
“Understanding the impacts of COVID on our members last year and looking into the future at next year, we’ve tried to reduce memberships costs where possible – in some cases by up to 40 per cent.”
Brisbane Roar starts its A-League season with a home game against Melbourne City at Dolphin Stadium on Tuesday night, with kick-off at 6.05pm.
The club’s W-League side also play Melbourne City at 3.35pm in game one of a double-header at Redcliffe.