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American Express Community Stadium, Brighton
Championship League
Brighton v Doncaster Rovers
Saturday, August 6th 2011, 3pm
By Liam Pearce

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

After all the hype surrounding Brightons stadium issues I was looking to see the end result first hand and experiencing their very first league game in their new stadium.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I was staying the weekend in the centre of Brighton so we used the train from Brighton central to get to and from the Amex. The train journey is approx eight minutes and was on an extremely crowded train which was very noisy with home fans singing. It was a good atmosphere. The stadium is right next to the station and the whole process was very easy with what I could see trains running up to the stadium at least every 15 minutes.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

We spent a few hours drinking in one of the many pubs located around Brighton central station. The home fans were in great spirits. There were plenty of Doncaster fans drinking in the Evening Star and everyone was getting on. We also had a few drinks in a few pubs on a road that runs underneath the front of the station. Again very busy but friendly.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

The stadium looks fantastic but then for the money they spent this wasn’t a surprise.  Inside the ground I thought it was a shame that the stands behind the goal couldn’t of been bigger but the huge 3 tiered west stand is magnificent.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

Doncaster had the better first half and deservedly led 1 – 0 at half time. The second half was all Brighton and 2 late goals gave them the 3 points.  The atmosphere was tremendous with three sides of the ground seemingly singing non stop throughout. Beer and refreshment queues were long but I’d hope they will improve over time. As you would expect from a new stadium everything has a new feel to it and the padded seats were comfortable and spacious.  I would recommend the home made pies. Certainly the best food I’ve ever had at a ground and a nice touch to move away from the generic pies that get churned out at most grounds.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Afterwards we stayed in the ground for a few drinks for an hour(ish) and when we came out we more or less got straight on a train back to Brighton central and continued celebrating with the Brighton fans. One concern would be that I could see nothing in terms of segregation which while this was fine for Doncaster I could potentially see the short walk to the station being needed to be Policed with care especially when emotions would be running high.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Although the stadium is out of town , with a station being right next to it this means you can enjoy the great atmosphere Brighton has to offer and then just jump on a short train journey for the game. A fantastic day and hard to begrudge anything for the fans that have had many years hardship to contend with. Would love to go back with my team Bournemouth ASAP.
 

 

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