I am in the highest level Coliseum (Challenger), and this is actually a disadvantage in the contest because in Challenger very few people are lowering their defenses because they don't want to be knocked out of it. So if you are at a lower level of Col you have a huge advantage because more people participate by lowering defenses, and this contest is giving a lot of points for the easy wins.
All around there are opportunities in this contest for most players to be able to get 1 to 3 progress prizes without spending if they are smart about using their resources (look at how the points are distributed and raid and enchant accordingly). And that's much better than previous contests where you could barely get the first prize if at all for doing the main activity of the contest perfectly. Also, although you probably do have to spend to get all of the progress prizes, you should not have to spend more than $20 if you get a stamina package attached to that. That is still something I'd prefer not to do but I recognize that it is much better than previous contests, where you probably had to spend 80 to $100 to hit the top tier which of course most players can't do.