Brighton & Hove Albion

American Express Community Stadium

Capacity: 30,278 (all seated)
Address: Village Way, Falmer, E Sussex, BN1 9BL
Telephone: 0344 324 6282
Fax: 01273 878238
Ticket Office: 0844 327 1901
Pitch Size: 115 x 75 yards
Club Nickname: The Seagulls
Year Ground Opened: 2011
Shirt Sponsors: American Express
Kit Manufacturer: Nike
Home Kit: Blue and White Stripes
Away Kit: Yellow and Black
Third Kit: All Red

West and North Stands
West and North Stands
South and East Stands
South and East Stands
East and South Stands
East and South Stands
West Stand
West Stand
East Stand
East Stand
North Stand
North Stand
South Stand
South Stand

After leaving the the Goldstone Ground 1997, which had been the Club's home since 1902, Brighton have struggled to find a new permanent home, first ground sharing at Gillingham for two seasons, before returning to the South Coast in 1999, to take up temporary residence at the Withdean Athletics Stadium.  After a long drawn out battle, the Club finally prevailed receiving planning permission in July 2007 for a new stadium at Falmer, on the outskirts of Brighton. At a cost of £93m the new American Express Community Stadium as it has been named, has been well worth waiting for; adding a spectacular sight to the Sussex landscape.

From a far the semi circular roofs of the stand and the tubular supporting steelwork above them, are at first glance reminiscent of the Galpharm Stadium in Huddersfield. But on closer inspection the similarity ends as this is a far superior ground, which inside is reminiscent of the KC Stadium in Hull. On one side is the impressive looking West Stand. This three tiered stand, has a large lower tier, a small middle tier and a medium sized upper tier. The seating in the upper tier follows the semi circular design of the stand, giving it an interesting effect. The team dugouts are located on this side, as well as an open press area, which is conveniently situated above the players tunnel on the half way line. Opposite is the smaller East Stand. This two-tiered stand had its upper tier added in the Summer of 2012. The gap in-between the two tiers is occupied by the Clubs' administrative offices. 

Both ends are also small single tiers of seating, and have an electric scoreboard to the rear. One of these ends, the South Stand, has a hospitality area containing a number of executive boxes, which is situated above the seated area. The roofs over both ends slope down from the larger West Stand on one side to the East Stand opposite, giving the ground a different look. Apparently though, this is so the stadium fits in with the rolling South Downs landscape. The stadium is totally enclosed with all the corners now filled with seating (these were added during the 2012/13 season). One nice touch though, is rather than having lettering displayed on the seating, images of seagulls are included instead. What the makes the ground particularly striking is the amount of transparent material used in the roofs of the stadium, apart from the supporting framework there is not a solid panel in sight.

Away fans are housed in the South East corner of the stadium. This area not only includes the corner section but also part of the East & South Stands lower tiers. Around 3,300 fans can be accommodated in this area. It is worth noting that the Club charge away fans more for sitting in the East Stand rather than the South Stand or South East corner. As you would expect from a new stadium, the view of the playing action and leg room are both good. Plus the added bonus of padded seats is a rare 'luxury'. Food available inside the stadium include handmade Pies from Piglets Pantry in Shoreham-on-sea, which are baked on-site. You can choose from Steak & Harveys Ale with mushrooms, Chicken & Ham with leek and Vegetarian butternut squash with spicy tomato. However, it will cost you £4.10 for the privilege making them the most expensive pies in the league.

Peter Llewellyn adds; 'The Amex Stadium is an excellent venue, very nicely set in the countryside. The concourse is extraordinarily wide and spacious for such a small stadium. Comfy cushioned seats, excellent view, plenty of leg room, great pitch and the best acoustics of any stadium I've been to. The home fans singing was deafening, all down to the acoustic effect of the stadium design.'

There is not much in the immediate vicinity around the stadium. There is one pub called the Swan Inn located on Middle Street in Falmer, which is about 15 minute walk away, but for most fixtures this is for home fans only. Alcohol is served within the ground in the form of Kronenburg (£4), Strongbow (£4), Harveys real ale (£3.90), Fosters (£3.90), White, Red or Rose wine (£4). Harveys have also produced a special 'Albion' bottles beer which is only available at the stadium or from the Harveys shop in Lewes. 5p from every bottle sold will be donated to the Macmillan Cancer Support charity.

Outside Brighton Mainline Station there are a number of excellent pubs'. Phil Kramer recommends the Evening Star, on Surrey Street. It is away fan friendly and only two a minute walk away from the station. It is in the CAMRA good beer guide and serves real Sussex ale and cider'. 

If arriving at the Mill Road Park & Ride then a little further on down London Road (A23) on the left is the Black Lion pub which is a Harvester outlet.

Owen Wilkinson informs me; 'After the game the bars at the ground remain open. The North Stand stays open to 8pm on a Saturday. So if you want to avoid the queues at the railway station then stay at the ground for a beer and watch the late kick off game on the television screens. They also display the departing train times on screen too, so you know when to leave'.

John Ellis a visiting Leicester City fan tells me; 'We were directed to the Downs Hotel in Woodingdean, on the Falmer Road (B2123) at the Warren Road junction. The Hotel has a bar and is about two miles away. They offer free parking at the hotel and they do a shuttle run (two minibuses) every 15 minutes between 1.30pm and 2.30pm, the cost is £4 return for adults and £2 for children. We used this with no problems at all and returned after the game by Hotel minibus at 5.15pm'. 

Keith Matthews a visiting West Ham United fan adds; 'We walked up to The Swan from the ground which was a good 15 minute walk from the stadium. However they had security on the door and you had to show home section match tickets to gain access. We were also denied access from the Hikers Rest in Coldean  (home supporters only again and had to show match tickets). We entered the ground and must admit service at the bars within the stadium was very good'.

To stadium is located at Falmer on the outskirts of Brighton, very close to the University of Sussex.

At the end of the M23, continue onto the A23, heading towards Brighton. At the roundabout which is the junction with the A27, take the A27 towards Lewes. After around four miles you will see the stadium on your right hand side. Leave at the A27 and take the slip road sign posted Falmer (B2123). At the top of the slip road turn right crossing back over the A27 and the entrance to the stadium is down on the right.

There is no parking available for away fans at the stadium itself, but coaches and minibuses will be allowed to park there providing that they have been pre-booked with the Club. Please note that there is a large no parking zone in force around the area of the stadium on matchdays. Colin McDermott adds; 'We were directed by stewards to the Bridge Car Park (off the A27, opposite Stanmer Park) where vehicle access/egress is via a small tunnel under the railway line.  From the car park, which seemed to be a part of the University/Community Centre complex, it is a ten minute stroll to the Amex. However, it was anything but a quick getaway after the game and we were charged an ‘eye-watering’ £15 to park there!'

Park & Ride

The Club are encouraging fans to use the Park & Ride services located at three different locations; Mill Road (BN1 8ZF), Brighton Racecourse (BN2 9XZ) and Mithras House at Brighton University (BN2 4AT).   Probably the easiest for away fans to locate is Mill Road, as it is just off the A23/A27 junction. However, this is by far the busiest of the three, so if you have time on your hands consider using one of the other alternatives such as Brighton Racecourse or Mithras House both of which are quieter. The capacity of Mill Road is 500 cars. The road is located next to a BP garage, which (if coming down from London) you will see over on your right at the top of the slip road off the A23.

The Park & Ride is open from 12 noon on Saturdays (with last departure at 2.30pm) and 5.30pm for evening kick offs. The last buses return from the stadium 90 minutes after the end of the game. The cost of the Park & Ride is included in the price of your match ticket. So just show your match ticket or proof of ticket booking (if collecting your match tickets from the ticket office at the stadium). Please note that vehicles must removed no later than two hours after the game has ended. 

Mill Road isn't a car park as such, but a normal road that is closed for this purpose. Tony Hewitt informs me; 'I parked at Mill Road before an England Under 19 match. The Park and Ride was well-organised both ways.  Going in, you park parallel in the next slot and it is easy to drive in.  Buses and cars leave the road at the other end so it is completely one-way and simple. The road is divided into zones (A-E). Coming back after the game, it was well run by the stewards with only a 10 minute wait for a bus. The bus stops at all the zones so you end up close enough to your car'. Martyn Clark a visiting Leeds United adds; 'Before the game the Park and Ride was fine. We got on a coach (which was rather ancient looking) fairly quickly and it seemed well organised. I did note though, that eventhough we had arrived two hours before kick off the Park & Ride was already around three quarters full. After the game it was a completely different story. It took ages to get out of the ground and when we got to the bus pick up area, we found incredibly long queues trying to get up some narrow steps. All in all it took 1 hour 25 minutes from the end of the game to getting on a bus and moving back to Mill Road Park and Ride. Everyone (including Brighton fans) were very frustrated.'

Pam a visiting Leeds United fan tells me; 'We parked at the Park & Ride at Brighton racecourse. This park and ride was also poorly signposted and the actual car park was just a field. Returning after the game we found the area to be unlit and had difficulty in locating our car in the dark. There were also no staff around, which I found alarming. Considering that the Park & Ride is used by both home and away supporters, then this is a potential incident waiting to happen. I also dread to think what the state of the parking will be like in the winter.'

Some Sat-Navs are not recognising the stadium post code of BN1 9BL. You can try instead BN1 9SD which takes you to nearby Falmer Railway Station instead.

The nearest railway station is Falmer, which is situated right by the stadium. Kevin Bartholomew informs me; 'The quickest and easiest way to get to the stadium though is by train. Falmer station is adjacent to the ground. It's three stops from Brighton central station on the line to Lewes and Seaford. Alternatively, you can avoid Brighton completely by getting a train to Lewes and changing there for Falmer. There are four trains an hour in either direction'.

Brighton Central Railway Station is over four miles away from the stadium. So either get a train, taxi or bus up to the stadium. Brighton & Hove Bus No 25 can be caught from Cardinal Square stop G (Route and timetable on the Brighton & Hove Bus Company website, which shows bus stops) operates a regular service (every 12 minutes) up to the stadium from Central Brighton, as do Bus Numbers 28 & 29. Journey time is around 20 minutes. On return the No 25 leaves from the stadium via a stop through the coach park, near to the away fans entrance.

The Club have a scheme whereby travel to the stadium by public transport within a geographical zone is free as it is included within the price of your match ticket. Valid on both buses and trains, just simply show your match ticket or booking form (if collecting your tickets from the Stadium ticket office). The zone extends as far north as Haywards Heath station and east to Lewes. So fans travelling from London for instance only need a train ticket to Haywards Heath.

Rob Haynes a visiting Nottingham Forest Fan also found going by train frustrating; 'We stayed in Brighton so walked to the station and arrived at 13.30 to find a huge queue snaking around the concourse. Whilst it generally quite well organised it didn't add much to the pre-match experience to have to stand and wait for such a long period before getting on a packed train to the ground. Fans that left it later no doubt had an even longer wait. After the game we walked straight from the away end to the train station. At 6pm (the game finished before 5pm) I was finally moving and on my way into Brighton centre. All generally organised okay but again such a frustrating wait and such a waste of time! Trains again jammed back to Brighton. Thankfully no trouble but potential for trouble after needle game is multiplied by the time it takes to get in and out the ground. I feel sorry for any Brighton fans having to experience such long waits, especially in poor weather'. Alternatively you could consider parking/staying in the pleasant town of Lewes and getting a train from there to the stadium, as Alan Holmes a visiting Norwich City fan did; 'After the match I went straight to the railway station and joined the Lewes-bound queue. One train filled and left before I reached the platform, but I was still in Lewes by 5.30pm, leaving time for a quick drink in the pub across the bridge before catching the train to London Victoria.'

Remember if travelling by train then you can save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.

Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can normally save.

Click on the trainline logo below:

Like a number of Clubs Brighton operate a Category System (A, B & C) for matchday tickets, whereby the more popular games cost more to watch. Category A prices are shown below with Category B and C prices shown in brackets. 

Home Fans:
West Stand (Lower Tier Centre): Adults £42 (B £40) (C £35), No concessions
West Stand (Lower Tier Wings): Adults £42 (B £40) (C £35), Over 65's £30 (B £28), (C £26), 
Under 18's £22 (B £20) (C 18), Under 10's £12, (B £10) (C £10)
West Stand (Lower Tier Outer Wings): Adults £38 (B £36) (C £32), Over 65's £28 (B £26), (C £25), 
Under 18's £20 (B £18) (C 15), Under 10's £12, (B £10) (C £10)
West Stand (Upper Tier Centre): Adults £36 (B £34) (C £30), Over 65's £26 (B £24), (C £22), 
Under 18's £20 (B £18) (C 15), Under 10's £10, (B £8) (C £8)
West Stand (Upper Tier Wings): Adults £32 (B £30) (C £25), Over 65's £24 (B £22), (C £20), 
Under 18's £18 (B £15) (C 10), Under 10's £10, (B £8) (C £5)
East Stand (Upper Tier): Adults £42 (B £40) (C £35), Over 65's £30 (B £28), (C £26), 
Under 18's £22 (B £20) (C 18), Under 10's £12, (B £10) (C £10) 
East Stand (Lower Tier Centre): Adults £42 (B £40) (C £35), Over 65's £30 (B £28), (C £26), 
Under 18's £22 (B £20) (C 18), Under 10's £12, (B £10) (C £10)
East (Family) Stand (Lower Tier Wing): Adults £32 (B £30) (C £25), Over 65's £25 (B £22), (C £20), 
Under 18's £15 (B £12) (C £10), Under 10's £5, (B £5) (C £5)
North & South Stands: Adults £32 (B £30) (C £25), Over 65's £24 (B £22), (C £20), 
Under 18's £18 (B £15) (C 10), Under 10's £10, (B £8) (C £5)

Away Fans:
East Stand: Adults £38 (B £36) (C £32), Over 65's £28 (B £26), (C £25), Under 18's £20 (B £18) (C 15), Under 10's £12, (B £10) (C £10)
South Stand & South East Corner: Adults £32 (B £30) (C £25), Over 65's £24 (B £22), (C £20), 
Under 18's £18 (B £15) (C 10), Under 10's £10, (B £8) (C £5)

 

Record Attendance

At the Amex Stadium: 30,278 v Arsenal FA Cup 4th Round, January 25th 2015.

At the Goldstone Ground: 36,747 v Fulham Division Two, December 27th 1958.

Average Attendance
2014-2015: 25,645 (Championship League)
2013-2014: 27,283 (Championship League)
2012-2013: 26,236 (Championship League) 

Official Programme £3.50
Seagull Love Review £1.

Although not local, the club has an historic rivalry with Crystal Palace.

For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the  Level Playing Field website.

The Club offer regular tours of the stadium on Mondays, Thursdays & Sundays. The cost of the tours are; Adults £13 and Aged 65 and over/Under 16's £6.50. Tours should be booked in advance with the Club by calling 0845 8730251.

If you require hotel accommodation in the area then first try a hotel booking service provided by Late Rooms. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will go to help with the running costs of keeping the Guide going. The Hotels listing also includes details of how far away the accommodation is located from the football ground. 

Access their Brighton Hotels and Guest Houses page.

Remember that you can use the above link or panel below to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, either in the UK or abroad.

Brighton and Hove Albion v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Championship League
Saturday 14th March 2015, 3pm
Aimee Henry (Wolves fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the Amex Stadium?

I’ve heard nothing but good things about Brighton’s shiny new stadium. I missed out on our previous trip, a 2-0 defeat which sealed relegation to League One,Mark Lawrenson and also sealed the names of Dean Saunders and Jamie O’Hara into Wolves folklore, for the wrong reasons. I therefore really wanted to make the trip to watch a Wolves team we’re genuinely proud of.

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

We decided to use the club’s official coaches, as although it meant a very early start, it was a cheaper and easier journey than using the train. We left Molineux, bleary eyed, at 8:30am, and arrived at the Amex at around about 1pm, following a 45 minute stop at the services. I have to say, the moment that the stadium emerges into view,  that it does looks fantastic. As the ground seems to be located in the middle of the countryside, to see a football stadium in amongst the hills is an awesome sight. There are plenty of park and ride options, but I didn’t see too many car parks in the vicinity of the stadium.

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

The ground is in the middle of nowhere, so if you are after a pub, your best bet is to use the subsidised travel included with your match ticket to head into Brighton itself. We opted to stay at the Amex. There were several food outlets dotted around the ground, as well as a bandstand with live music. There is also a bar in the North Stand which is open to fans before, and after the game. The home fans were very friendly, meaning both sets of supporters were able to mingle without and trouble.

Main Stand

Main Stand

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

As I say, the sight of the ground leaping out from the shadows of the hills is quite something, and the stadium itself is modern and very impressive. It takes the form of a bowl, but the roofs dip at either end, which does make it look very pleasant.

You can walk all the way around the ground fairly easily, and something I really liked was the murals to former Brighton heroes, printed onto canvas and placed along one side. Being only 24, I wasn’t au fait with a lot of the names, though it was reassuring to see Mark Lawrenson, confirmation that he was actually a footballer, before turning his hand to awful puns and terrible shirts…

View From The Away Section

View From The Away Section

The away fans are located behind the goal, in the South Stand. The seats are padded, which is an increasing feature I’ve noticed at many football grounds. It’s nice, but as the away support tends to remain stadinging throughout the game, it doesn’t make so much of a difference. You’re fairly low to the playing area, which means you feel very close to the pitch, and it’s an excellent view. Situated on our left was the Main Stand, a huge, three-tiered effort, and the opposite side is an equally impressive two tiered stand.

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

After a fairly open start, Wolves had the first real chance of the game, Benik Afobe wriggling away from Lewis Dunk, only to place his shot into the legs of Wolves posterDavid Stockdale. The ball rebounded to Bakary Sako, who thumped a low effort towards goal. Unfortunately (for us), Brighton’s captain Gordon Greer had anticipated well and was able to clear it. Brighton’s striker Craig Mackail-Smith missed a great chance with a header, and at the other end Afobe was again denied by Stockdale. 0-0 at half time was perhaps a fair reflection of the game, but both sides would probably be disappointed not to have scored.

Wolves failed to match their performance levels in the second half, and after Mackail-Smith was denied by the offside flag, the home side took the lead. We failed to clear our lines, and the ball broke to marauding full back Bruno Saltor. His low shot was accurate, but lacked any venom. However, our keeper Tomasz Kuszczak missed the ball completely, he may well have been unsighted, but managed to dive over the top of it, allowing it to nestle in the net.

The good news was, we weren’t behind for long. Rajiv Van La Parra broke free down the right hand side, before firing a low cross which was close to Stockdale. The keeper inexplicably managed to push the ball into the bottom corner, sending the away end wild. It was the Dutchman’s first League goal in Old Gold, and it owed a lot to some fairly average goalkeeping. As the clock ticked towards full time, it was Wolves who came closest to snatching all 3 points. Some excellent work from Nouha Dicko found Sako on the edge of the box. His thunderbolt was heading for the bottom corner, before Stockdale earned some redemption, and a point for his team, with a magnificent push round the post. A spell of pressure followed, with first Danny Batth then Afobe just failing to find the target with efforts, the latter of which with what turned out to be the last touch of the game. The final whistle went, leaving us to reflect on what felt like 2 points dropped, but could turn out to be a useful point in our quest for the Play-Offs.

The atmosphere was pretty good, the away end crackled throughout, and when the home team were on top, their fans responded accordingly. The stewards were very friendly, as were the Police, and always available to help. I had a gorgeous steak and ale pie, it was a pricey £4.10, but I’d argue worth every penny.

East Stand

East Stand

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

The coaches were parked right outside the away end, and it’s a walk up the steps from the away end to get back on the coach. We began our long journey home at 5:15, and got home at 8:30pm.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I really enjoyed my visit to the Amex, it’s immediately obvious why it’s seen as such a popular ground. The facilities were fantastic, undoubtedly of a Premier League standard.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Nottingham Forest
Championship League
February 7th 2015, 3pm
Peter Walker (Nottingham Forest fan)

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

I had always wanted to visit this stadium because it seemed to be a ground where a lot of thought had gone into the design, unlike a fair number of indentikit stadia that were built in the late 90's and early noughties. Also, I always have liked both the fans and city of Brighton so it was not too hard to justify to myself the cost and 400+ mile round journey to attend a game and stay the night. 

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

We were staying in the centre of the city so used the train to get to and from the Amex. It was very easy to get to as it’s right by Falmer station with its own bridge and walkway straight to the stadium.

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

As there is not much around the stadium. we went straight into the ground and took advantage of the wide concourses and above average catering facilities on offer, which had the Forest logos on as well as the staff wearing Forest T-Shirts too. Nice touch, as were the signs thanking us for making the long journey to support our team.

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

Very impressive, no expenses spared either, including padded seats, not that they were ever sat on!  Fantastic views despite it being behind the goal. However the Amex Stadium looks a bit unbalanced as one stand is larger (being three tiered) than the other sides, but it gracefully sweeps down to both ends, where opposite us, the majority of the vocal Brighton support -or lack of it- seem to sit.  As you can expect, the acoustics are great too. 

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

The game was not an exact classic in terms of quality; Brighton have been struggling and Forest were having a dismal run of 3 wins in 24, meaning yet another manager departing.  Brighton can consider themselves unfortunate to lose as they dominated possession but for once, Lady Luck was on our side.   Atmosphere was quite subdued, maybe down to the two teams’ form.  It got progressively better in the second half and I could imagine the stadium rocking in better times.

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

Surprisingly good as this was something I was worried about.  There were big queues as expected but it was very well managed and we were back in Brighton by 1800 so no complaints.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Fantastic weekend in a fantastic city. Great stadium, thoughtful and appreciative home club and both a ground and city I hope to be visiting again many times again in the future.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Brentford
Championship League
Saturday January 17th 2015, 3pm
Ruairi Ward (Brentford fan)

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

It was Brentford's first season in the Championship League, in my living memory as I am just 17. Brighton's ground, the AMEX has also recently been built and it was to be Brentford's first visit. To add to this, the stadium has had many positive reviews, thus a friend and I had singled it out as a possible away day from the start of the season, when the fixtures were announced.

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

Coming from London, the train seemed like the best option, however there were replacement bus services planned and thus I decided to take the Brentford supporters bus. It was very straightforward, leaving at 12 and delivering us at the ground by 1.30pm.

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

Having arrived quite early, I had a quick stroll around the area of the stadium only to find that it was literally in the middle of no-where, no shops, pubs or restaurants nearby. Thus, I headed straight in to see the ground before more fans arrived. I got a burger and drink for a slightly pricy £6 and watched the early kick off on TV's they had spattered around the concourse. Although, I did not speak directly to any Brighton fans enroute or around the stadium, they seemed nice enough and there was no trouble.

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

The AMEX is very modern and well built, standing as a solidarity feature in the countryside. It has three tiers on one side which is a rare sight in the lower leagues, especially for a Brentford fan to see. The away end is situated behind one of the goals, all one tier with a standard behind the goal view of the pitch, the higher up the better I would say. The seating is without doubt the best I have experienced at any ground though; it is padded which is a rare luxury but most importantly it has brilliant leg room. I often find myself squished in to seats at grounds uncomfortable, however at Brighton the seating is brilliant. The rest of the ground seemed nice and similar.

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

The game itself was entertaining. Brighton started well, forcing a number of saves off our goalkeeper, before a fortunate deflected goal gave us a half time lead. Chances came thick and fast in the second half before one of their players got a silly second yellow, allowing us the luxury of playing against ten men for the last 25 minutes. We missed several more chances but hung on for a valuable 1-0 away win. The atmosphere as a whole was pretty flat from the Brighton fans with us Brentford fans making most of the noise. The stewards were helpful and polite, with nice toilets although it did get quite crowded at half time!

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

After the game, it took a while to get out of the stadium due to a large amount of supporters all making their way through the exits. However, once out it was straight on the supporters bus and back to London.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall, it was a good day out, the AMEX is a brilliant stadium, modern and comfortable. And of course to win there was the icing on the cake. I would recommend the Amex stadium, as a good day out.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Fulham
Championship League
Saturday November 29th 2014, 3pm
Dan Alexander (Fulham fan)

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

I was looking forward to this fixture as it was my first away game of the season and it was set to be a great atmosphere with 3,300 away fans travelling down to the South Coast. Also it was a chance to see former Fulham heroes Aaron Hughes and David Stockdale, who now play for Brighton and thank them for their service.

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

Making the short trip to Brighton was fairly simple. The traffic on the motorway was light and you can’t miss the stadium as it’s right next to the main road. We decided to use the free ‘park and ride’ from the racecourse. It was easy to find and we got straight onto a bus having parked in a field – which could get muddy in wetter conditions. The journey to the stadium was around ten minutes from the racecourse and the service drops you off at the stadium car park next to the away end.

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

There isn’t much too do around the ground so we bought a programme before going straight on into the away end where we watched the early kick off on SKY. We didn’t get much of a chance to talk to home fans but they seemed friendly. This was most evident after the game on the bus back when a Brighton fan was very friendly and wished us luck for the rest of the season.

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

The stadium is very new and very impressive. It lies as a solitary feature in the countryside and is most impressive when viewed on the way out of Brighton city centre. The away end was as nice as any with a wide concourse, short queues at the food kiosks and A4 posters welcoming the away fans. The view from the away end is brilliant and the rest of the stadium looks fantastic from this viewpoint. The only downside was that the toilets struggled to cope with the large away following, leading to large queues at half time. Overall very impressive.

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

The game was very enjoyable. The first half was dominated by Brighton with them missing a few good opportunities. The Brighton fans made some noise in parts but the majority of atmosphere came from the away fans abusing Darren Bent. Having spent last season putting in abject performances for us he was one of few players to actually show any sadness at our relegation – he got a warm welcome! However it was Bent who got the first laugh scoring early in the second half. I don’t blame him for his celebration, running half the length of the pitch to cup his ears to the away fans, but it probably wasn’t the wisest thing to do. This led to some unsavoury scenes as a Brighton fan spat onto the Fulham fans from the hospitality boxes above. Unfortunately for him and the rest of his party, as a plastic bottle smacked off their glass box and abuse rained down, they were ushered back inside to watch the remainder of the match.

Fulham scored two goals to cancel out Bent’s opener. Rodallega smashed one in before a fortunate deflection off Christensen saw Bryan Ruiz’s shot find the back of the net. Cue delirious scenes in the away end as ‘Darren what’s the score?’ rang all around. Fulham held on for the win. A point would have been a fair result as in the first half Brighton were much the better side. The stewards were fine, not interfering much, allowing us to stand up for the whole match.

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

After clapping our players off the pitch we made our way back out to the car park to wait for the bus back to the racecourse. The queue was long and there seemed to be too few buses to deal with the number of fans using the service. After a wait of around 25-30 minutes we boarded the bus and returned to the racecourse.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

An absolutely brilliant day out, the result always helps. I would argue that Brighton have the best stadium in the league: excellent facilities, good acoustics and brilliant view. A fantastic away day for any fan.


Brighton & Hove Albion v Ipswich Town
Championship League
Saturday March 22nd 2014, 3pm
Kieran Bleasby (Ipswich Town fan)

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

Since Brighton got promoted with the highly rated Amex Stadium I've always wanted to visit it. Although the previous two seasons had either been a date I couldn't attend or a night game so this season, all be it a Saturday in March seemed perfect. So as soon as the tickets were released, me and my mates didn't hesitate to get them.

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

Although we considered driving, we decided to take the supporters coach from Portman Road. The journey was fine with a half hour stop at Clackett Lane Services on the M25 where 99% of us hit the fast food stops or the toilets before hopping back on the coaches. The journey was smooth right up until we were about 2 miles from the ground where queues halted our journey for a good 45 mins with the ground in clear sight. On getting to the stadium, to my surprise it seemed like organised chaos, the stewards were doing a great job but the vast amount of coaches and what not around the car park made it difficult for transport to park.  Still they were a right outside the away end which was handy.

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

By the time we got into the ground it was only ten minutes to kick off. I would have loved to take a wander around and see the rest of the stadiums outskirts but after finally getting off the coach, our main priority was getting our seats and gearing up for the game. Home fans that we saw seemed friendly  although as we were straight in/out we didn't see many.

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

You can see the Amex Stadium from a fair distance if you come up the A27 and it just looks spectacular! Dominating the countryside skyline it looks quite something. Inside was also brilliant! The away end was spacious and best of all, padded seats! (even though I stood the whole game) The ground has been further expanded since its opening in 2011 and is dominated by the main three tiered stand to the left of where we the away fans were housed. The stand we were in behind the goal and the one opposite were identical but with the big screens/ corporate boxes/ fan-cam/ music, I was stunned! Quality stadium!

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

The atmosphere without being biased came from our end almost the whole game! Brighton occasionally had their moments but it was poor considering it was a packed out stadium but with our end singing, it does make the day better! Stewards were very friendly and hats off to them they did deal with some muppets who had one too many causing aggro. Facilities were clean and very spacious but I didn't even attempt to buy food/drink as I'd already had stuff to snack on, on the coach. The game finished in a 2-0 win to us which was amazing! Coming for one of my first away games in a while with town and Brighton both pushing for the playoffs it was a big, well deserved win! 
                   
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We didn't rush out as we were told the coach would wait till the traffic started to flow before leaving so after applauding the players we headed back to the coach! Once on, everyone was heading in the same direction so the journey back was very quick and smooth and our coach decided a stop wasn't needed so we were back in Ipswich at about 8.30pm. 

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Quality day out and a great stadium. The journey was made 10x better with an away win! Fully recommend going to the AMEX to anybody considering it. Even if the result isn't good I’m sure you'll enjoy yourselves. 10/10. 


Brighton & Hove Albion v Huddersfield Town
Championship League
Saturday December 23rd 2013, 3pm
James Prentice (Doing the 92)

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

I had wanted to get to get to the Amex ever since it was opened but had found tickets rather hard to come by. I earmarked a couple of possible fixtures when the 2013/14 fixtures were announced and, as Brighton put tickets on sale much earlier than many other clubs, I was able to reserve a seat plus book cheap rail tickets well in advance of the match. I have a few friends who had previously visited the ground and had been really impressed with the quality and design of the stadium, especially as the acoustics allow for an excellent atmosphere to be generated.

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

The day started very early, with a train journey from Lincoln to Newark North Gate before a change to a direct service to King’s Cross. After alighting, I made the short walk ‘next door’ to St Pancras before getting the next train for Brighton. As match tickets guarantee return travel within a specified zone (see the club website for details), it meant I was able to go into Brighton before making my way to the stadium for the match. The Amex is situated right next to Falmer station and virtually everybody seemed to make their way there by train.

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

After arriving in Brighton I went for a walk down to the seafront and along the pier before taking a look in a couple of shops. The weather was inhospitable to say the least and it seemed like a good day to stay undercover if possible, so after buying a badge in the club shop in the centre of Brighton and having a quick pint at a local Wetherspoons, I made my way back to the station to get the next train back to Falmer. After arriving, I went for a walk around the Amex before going for a couple of pints in Dick’s Bar, which is a really pleasant and convenient place to have a drink before the game. The bar showed the lunchtime game between Liverpool and Cardiff and was serving pies as well as a good range of lager and ales.

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

As at MK Dons’ ground, fans enter the Amex through a set of barriers rather than individual turnstiles, which seemed to keep the crowds moving well. After grabbing a pie, I made for my seat (in the North Stand) before taking in the inside of the ground for the first time. The design of the Amex is certainly impressive and even though the fans were relatively quiet for much of the game they were able to generate a fair bit of noise when feeling sufficiently stirred to do so. The two stands at the side of the pitch look pretty magnificent and imposing and the only disappointing factor is that the stands behind both goals look as though they could have been made slightly bigger, even two tiered, which would have improved the overall look. As a note of caution, make sure you take waterproof clothing if rain is forecast and you’re situated on the first ten or so rows closest to the pitch; fortunately my seat was at the back of the stand but I noticed that a number of people got soaked throughout the game because the roof does not extend right across to shelter fans sitting on the front rows!

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

The game was a real borefest I’m afraid – 0-0 does seem to be the most likely score whenever I go to a match as a neutral! Both sides on occasions looked as though they might be able to take the initiative but as the second half wore on it looked as though both were content with a point. The Huddersfield fans travelled quite well considering that this weekend – the last before Christmas – is usually quite poorly attended - and were a credit to their club. My pie was quite tasty and the stewards were pretty anonymous, which is usually quite a good thing! The concourse in the North Stand was quite wide, which meant that there was not a great deal of overcrowding before the game and at half time.

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

Given that a late goal seemed highly unlikely I left with a couple of minutes to go and braved the wind and rain that greeted me as I made the short walk back to Falmer station. The crowds seemed to disperse pretty quickly and were well marshalled by stewards and police alike. One interesting point is that a lot of fans apparently stay behind after the game and enjoy a pint or two before going home; indeed the concourses stay open for some time after the final whistle, which allows fans to hang around and chat before leaving. There are even television screens that show the latest train departures from Falmer station so that supporters can get away exactly when they need to. After getting a train back into Brighton, a caught the next service back to London before then getting back into Lincoln for 10.40pm. A long day but one cannot put a price on ticking a new ground off the list!

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I had an enjoyable day out but I couldn’t help but think that it would have been better had the weather not been so awful. The Amex would be a great stadium to go to during the summer months or right at the end of the season and Brighton would be a good place to enjoy a weekend away should time allow. Whilst there are a couple of things about the ground that could be improved upon, it is a million miles away from Brighton’s former home at the Withdean and a lot of fans must still be pinching themselves that they are finally in residence at their new home. I would like to go back to the Amex at some point and was pleased to have made the visit. I would encourage fans to get there while they can, because the club appears to be upwardly mobile and has ambitions to play in the Premier League and tickets will be hard to come back if and when they make the jump into the top flight.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Middlesbrough
Championship League
Saturday October 20th 2012, 3pm
Blain Allinson (Middlesbrough fan)

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

The Amex stadium was now one year old and I had heard from friends who had been to the previous season’s game at the stadium that it was very impressive and was a must to visit. Also at a time where we were getting the very last of the great British summer the Brighton game seemed a great game to go.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?    
                                                                                
The journey wasn’t great at all to be honest and full of incident. It started with the alarm clock set for 5AM in the morning to give me a chance to get ready and have something to eat before we left. We travelled via the Middlesbrough club coach which was due to leave the Riverside Stadium at 6:30am however a group managed to be 40 minutes late meaning we didn’t actually leave Middlesbrough until after seven o'clock. After about three hours of a relatively innocuous journey we finally managed to stop at Leicester Forest service’s however due to the earlier delay where only given 20 minutes for a loo break and in my case grab a coffee from Starbucks. On arriving back on the coach it was discovered that something had been spilt it the toilet of the coach some kind of de-icer and had begun to seep through the overhead lockers this meant yet another unwanted delay. We eventually arrived at the Amex stadium (which isn’t actually in Brighton for the record its located in Falmer about 15 minutes outside Brighton?) at around 1:45pm and parking was very easy as we were on a registered club coach however I felt for anyone making their way to the stadium by their own means as the location and lack of car park space within stadium grounds was virtually none existent 

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

The stadiums location ruled out a trip to a pub or chippy as such however we found home fans to be great one even stopped to change a £10 note for us so we could get a match day programme which was a lifesaver at the time as the programme kiosks where quite unorganised and weren’t prepared for any walk-ups who had anything over a £5 note. We had a walk around the stadium and went into the club shop with all of our colours on display and had some good friendly banter with the home fans and even the club mascot gully the seagull got involved which was quite funny at the time. Even after the game had finished it was very refreshing to have fans coming up to us and commenting on how well we defended one even said that we deserved to win the game which was a nice compliment.  

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

The stadium located in between two hills and is it not at ground level which means that it is not something that you can spot from a mile away in fact we didn’t spot it until we were about one minute away. On first impression the stadium looked like another new build however actually arriving the stadium seemed to have character and charisma about it. The outside of the stadium was built up with trees and green which is a change to some of the concrete wastelands I have visited. Another unusual thing was as I said the stadium was not at ground level and had steps and a lift to actually get down to the stadium level when stood at the top of the stairs you could actually see inside the stadium. Once at stadium level we walked around the outside of the stadium and it was very interesting. They had a brick road similar to Middlesbrough’s, made up of bricks bought by fans with various messages on them and also giant signs as tribute to former players. We then discovered a rather big club shop easily the biggest I have ever been in by some distance however despite this there was still a pretty long queue to get in which we didn’t mind as it eat up some time until kick off. 

On entering the stadium there was a mandatory search which is unfortunately a fixture in every stadium now due to some non-fans. The tickets where scanned by stewards and was straight through into the stadium. By now the concourse was heavily populated with fans watching the live sky game Spurs v Chelsea. The concourse was very spacious with plenty of bars and very hygienic toilet facilities. One feature I did notice was that the concourse was dimmed and lit in a red light this I am told is done in accordance with the visiting teams colours Middlesbrough obviously being red. On entering the stadium I was very, very impressed the stadium was very good however the magnificent two tier Main Stand was magnificent. The opposite East Stand was also a 2 tier stand and in another stadium would have been the stand out however the West Stand was amazing. The opposite home end the North Stand was very disappointing however it just seemed to be a very small square stand that in comparison to the rest of the stadium wasn’t worthy at all. However I am led to believe the corners at the North end are going to be filled just as they are at the South visitors end where we were actually sat and will surely make that end a lot better than it currently is and a lot more atmospheric.  

West Stand

West Stand

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

As the stadium began to fill after 2:30pm the stadiums atmosphere began to crank up. There was an attendance of around 26,000 at the Amex that day and it began to tell with the very loud Albion, Albion and seagull’s chants as kick off approached the 1300 that came the long trip from Middlesbrough contributed and responded with 'You are my Boro..' chants. The stadium PA system was also very loud which contributed and soon before kick-off they showed videos on the stadiums two screens showing the clubs best moments including their FA cup run in the 1980s. When the teams emerged from the tunnel they played Sussex by the sea which again cranked up the noise from the home end but I have to say the PA announcer got very excited when announcing the Albion team screaming and shouting especially when coming to announce the return of top scorer Craig Mckail-Smith. 

View from the away section

View From The Away Section

The game started very cagey with both teams passing the ball around midfield well without really looking to go forward much however Brighton soon got on top winning a series of corner that where well defended by Boro however soon came a great chance for the home team when Dean Hammond headed over a great chance from about 8 yards. It was looking a great game for the neutrals with both sets off full backs bombing on into attack in particular Boro’s George Friend and Brighton’s Wayne Bridge making it an end to end game. However a massive stroke of luck came Boro’s way in the 21st minute when Boro’s Marvin Emnes picked the ball up in an innocuous position out by the near touchline however he was allowed to come inside and work the ball into a shooting position and via a massive deflection from Brighton centre half Gordan Greer wrong footed Thomas Kuschack in the Brighton goal and trickled into the net for 1-0 to the Boro. 

The home team came roaring back looking for a response without really creating a decent chance however that chance came when Wayne Bridge broke beyond and played a ball across the area for top scorer Craig Mckail Smith who’s effort seemed destined for the top corner but for a magnificent flying save from Boro keeper Jason Steele. After that the first half petered out and the Boro went in 1-0 up. In the second half the home team came out flying from the off looking for the equaliser and began to push Boro back and back. The home had another great chance to level when Ashley Barnes got free in the area and brought a great save from Steele and Mckail-Smith somehow headed the rebound over the top Ashley Barnes forced a save from Steele and Buckley curled wide for the home team who had a host of nonsense penalty shouts waved away. Despite the pressure it was Boro who should have made it 2-0 two minutes from time when sub Ishmael Miller broke free and went one on one with Kuschack. Miller beat the keeper but also beat the far post. After four minutes of stoppage time agony for Boro fans the referee blew the whistle on a 1-0 Middlesbrough victory to a massive cheer from the away support              

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

As I said we travelled on the club coach so getting away wasn’t so bad to be fair but looking out of the window you had to feel for what looked hundreds of disappointed Brighton fans stood fighting to get onto a shuttle bus that ran from places around Brighton to the Amex stadium it looked like organised chaos and sorter answered a question that I had earlier in the match that around the 80th minute the home team where 1-0 down and pilling on the pressure and yet the stadium was beginning to empty almost like it was full time this scene explained it to me. Once away we soon got back onto the A27 on our long 7 hours commute back to Middlesbrough  

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

It was a great if very tiring day out to the South Coast that was made all the while by a great win over a team that at the time where above us in the league at the time. It was a very long day that started at 5AM in the morning and finished back at the riverside stadium at 12:30AM but it was worth it to see the Boro get 3 points with a very good defensive display. The Brighton fans and everyone connected with the club such as stewards where very welcoming and where great throughout the game as well. The stadium was very nice and was everything that I was told was and to be honest you couldn’t have asked for much more from the day. We are hoping to push for promotion this season however when and if the chance arises I would have no hesitations in re-visiting the Amex stadium.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Watford
Championship League
Tuesday, April 17th 2012, 7.45pm
Matthew Batchelor (Watford fan)

As we only live fifteen minutes away from the Amex, then it had to be a must see visit for us. Also, as we have some Brighton fans in our family, whilst me and my Dad support Watford, there were some bragging rights at stake too! Adding to the excitement was the fact that the stadium was a new one for and had many good reports.
 
We knew the parking at around the ground was very poor, so we decided to take the train to the Falmer station, which is adjacent to the ground. From there we walked out of the station and up to the away end. Apart from a few programme sellers there was nothing of note outside the stadium, not even a burger van!
 
At Brighton, you have to put your ticket into a barcode scanner (like Watford) to gain entry. As Watford had filled half of the South stand, it was busy on the concourse. We made our way to our seats to get our first look at the inside of the stadium. The opposite end, the North Stand, was almost identical to our stand. It was a single tier of seating running behind the  goal. To our left was the West Stand, an impressive three tiered stand with executive boxes running between the tiers. To our right was the not so impressive East stand. The metal backdrop behind the seating areas of this stand was quite an eyesore, making it look unfinished. The P.A system, at times, was very loud and it was hard to make yourself heard to the person next to you. Also the floodlighting was poor, although there were plenty of lights along the roof of the stand - though they weren't very effective.
 
The game started well for Watford, with Sean Murray scoring from a free - kick into the top corner of the net. This made the 1,200 Watford fans very happy. Just before half time, Watford were awarded a penalty after a tackle from behind in front of goal and it was duly converted to make it 2-0 to the Hornets. 

Though Watford tried to make an atmosphere, the acoustics were not particularly great in the away end. At the break we went to the toilets, which were clean and worked well. We finally got to the front of the refreshment queue, and asked for a steak and kidney pie and a drink, however when I started to eat I found that it was Chicken and Ham! At least, the drink was alright.
 
In the second half, Brighton took control of the game and started to pass the ball nicely down the wings. It was no surprise when they pulled one back and then went onto equalise towards the end. When Brighton had something to cheer about, they really made some noise. The final whistle blew and the game ended 2-2.
 
At the end we clapped the players for around five minutes. We were soon walking back to the station, where we were met by a very long queue, which took along time to get through. We waited around half an hour before getting a train back to Seaford. 

Overall I found the game very entertaining and the ground was very good. I can't wait to go again next season. Come on u'orns!

Brighton & Hove Albion v Reading
Championship League
Tuesday, April 10th 2012, 7.45pm
Luke Rogan (Reading fan)

I booked my tickets for this match way in advance. I aim to visit at least two new grounds per season. The two I had picked this season were Doncaster and Brighton. Unfortunately Doncaster was called off as I was on the M1 passing through Leicestershire, so Brighton was to remain the only new stadium completed this year.

I had the day off so I took a car full of us down the M23 and parked near the City and enjoyed the beach in the sun. However, enroute to the ground – the problems began. In rush hour traffic, we found the “park and ride” (bought tickets from the club shop in the city centre – who didn’t know where the park and rides were, and only knew the names of the sites because they “over heard” someone mentioning them earlier in the day). The “park and ride” was simply a closed off road directly off the main round about where the A23 goes into Brighton. The spaces were limited and despite being hours early I just managed to get one of the last spaces. We then queued (after queuing in the car for a lengthy time for a space) for the shuttle bus to the stadium. After nearly breaking down on the way we finally got there. 

From first glances, the stadium looks great albeit slightly Americanised. As we had food and drink already on the beach (recommended if the weather permits) we didn’t stop off anywhere near the ground (as it’s in the middle of nowhere).

I had heard about the local guest ale’s and the relevant club’s players or hero’s projected in the concourse. However, sadly this is just an empty gimmick. There was a small, hardly noticeable projecting of a photo taken from the home leg against them in the far top left corner and the guest ale was London Pride.

I headed to my seat early to soak some atmosphere and instantly regretted it. Although the stadium was impressive, the music playing had a “family day out” feel to it rather than a football match. The PA system was loud and irritating.

The game itself was a long old struggle for us. We had two shots on target, one of which was the goal we scored (on the 14th minute), the rest of the game was holding off waves of Brighton pressure. The home fans weren’t too loud but when they won the penalty it gave them something to cheer and the ground really does have potential for some cracking atmospheric matches. Fortunately for us, they missed and the ground grew quiet again.

After the game, we joined the seemingly everlasting queue to get on the bus then the inevitable struggle to get away from the park and ride which sadly dented the day slightly. A ground in so much space surely needs better transport resources. The amount of Brighton fans leaving early despite copious amount of late pressure is an indication as to how bad things are. However, despite the transport problems, it was a good day and its certainly one to visit.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Millwall
Championship League
Tuesday, February 14th 2012, 7.45pm
Bob Asprey (Millwall fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground: 

I was looking forward to the trip as it is a new ground, but concerned about getting in and out of the stadium due to the well documented (here and elsewhere) transport issues.  Could it really be as bad as they say? 

2. How easy was your journey:

We took the Mill Road park and ride option and before the match it was quite well organised although the journey to the stadium took 25 minutes due to traffic congestion.

3. What you did before the game:

We went straight to the ground. They have made a big thing of the local pies and real ale, being on sale inside.

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

The ground is impressive on the outside but strangely unfinished looking on the inside. We had sold out the away end and the concourse is too small. At half time it was rammed and everyone was trying to queue for something but it was difficult to know what. The three tier stand to the left looks very good but why are the ends so small?

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

The game was very good from our perspective, we played well but unfortunately allowed them an equaliser 3 minutes from the end. The atmosphere was average despite a good crowd and a decent performance by the Millwall faithful! Stewards were generally fine but the police were antagonistic and unhelpful. The pies were nice but the most expensive I’ve ever seen (£3.50). As well as the Harveys real ale they also had a ‘Millwall special beer’ available – London Pride (a very nice touch, along with the pictures of our players). However, the service was terribly slow so it was hard to buy.  If it had not been an evening game it would have been a very good option to stay a while in the ground afterwards.  

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

Yes, it really is as bad as they say. The queue for the buses was enormous, unbelievably slow moving, the whole operation is chaotic, badly organised and woefully inadequate. There were nowhere near enough buses, and the whole thing moved in slow motion. The locals were suggesting it has actually got worse in the course of the season.  Many queued for over an hour, at least it wasn’t raining. I take my hat off to those with the stamina to endure it every other week.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out: 

The promise of a shiny new state-of-the-art stadium was unfulfilled and the lasting memory is of the chaos inside and out. Building a stadium in a location like this surely requires better thought-out and better delivered travel options.  And they are talking of expanding the stadium by 8,000 seats. Good luck!

Brighton & Hove Albion v Nottingham Forest
Championship League 
Saturday, December 3rd 2011, 3pm
Jason Simpkins (Nottingham Forest fan)

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

Brighton would tick off the 71st ground that I had attended of the current 92. Plus as Forest had sold out of their allocation of 2,400 tickets it promised to be a cracking day out.

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

Thankfully I wasn’t driving as I had been to watch Kasabian at Nottingham Arena the night before. With more than a few beers consumed during the night, I was feeling slightly delicate when I was picked up at Nottingham Train station at 9.30am. My state of mind was made worse when I realised that I had left my mobile and keys at home, however, thanks to my wonderful wife realising and dropping them off to me, we were only delayed by 10 minutes to the relief of all four of us in the car!

Andy ‘Mossman’ Moss was the designated driver on the uneventful 3 ½ hour trip down the M1/M25/M23 with Graham ‘Mossy’ Moss and Vito ‘Serge Pizzorno’ Palmer making up the travelling quartet. After reading the previous reviews on this esteemed guide (which is our bible on away trips), we decided to head for Lewes to park up and enjoy pre match liquid refreshment prior to the game. We actually passed the ground on our approach to Lewes, which is around 5 miles or so away. We parked in the Lewes train station car park for a fiver but please note that you need change as notes are not taken! 

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

We headed into Lewes town centre from the station passing a packed Lansdown pub on the corner before popping into the White Hart Hotel on the High Street. After a swift beer served by the world’s most miserable barmaid we went up the road and settled into Lincolns where we had lunch, a few beers and the whole place to ourselves! Trains depart Lewes for Falmer every 10 minutes so after buying a return ticket for £3.30 we caught the 2.30pm train. The train was fairly full but nothing major and six minutes later we stopped right outside the bottom of the ground. 

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

The ground looked impressive from the outside but is literally in the middle of nowhere with countryside all around. Upon entering the away end via the ticket scanner method, we made a post haste visit to the toilets, which were clean and functional. There was a large TV screen on the concourse with photos of Forest players in action from last season and the refreshment kiosks looked to be doing a roaring trade, however we did not partake at this stage and went up to our seats. 

We were sat on the right of the away end and having a good look around the ground I couldn’t help but agree on previous comments that it looked half finished. The three tiered stand looked impressive, however the rest of the stands were basic one tiered in height. If the corners were filled in then it would certainly add to the overall look of the ground. As the Forest fans stood for the duration of the game, I couldn’t comment on the comfort of the seats for any length of time, however there was plenty of leg room and it was good to see that a club had spent a bit extra and thought about the comfort of the fans for once!

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

The first half was very poor from both sides but Forest totally bossed the second half and as the game wore on it was felt it was only a matter of time when Forest would score. The atmosphere was rather muted I thought overall with any chanting seeming to drift off into the air. The Forest fans did their best to rally the team and this got louder and louder as the game wore on. Brighton were very poor all game, but in the second minute of second half injury time they scored with their only attack to break Forest hearts both on and off the pitch. As the ref blew the final whistle the Forest fans gave the team a standing ovation as they did not deserve to lose but as they say, ‘That’s Football’! 

Again going on the information we had read on previous reviews, we decided to stay for a beer in the ground and let the crowds drift away as with seemingly one way in and out the train station would be rammed for a good hour after the game. Many Forest fans had the same idea and there was a scrum at the bar to get a drink with first one then the other refreshment bar running out of lager! We didn’t fancy the Harvey’s real ale so settled for a Strongbow and there was a few grumbles from Forest fans. I would of thought that they would have plenty of barrels of lager in stock if they are encouraging people to stay after the game or are Forest fans simply big drinkers?! (The cynics would say you need to be drunk watching Forest this season and I would agree that a few beers certainly helps)! I was told by a fellow Red that you could gain entry to other bars in the ground with your match ticket, however I did not attempt this so I am unsure if this is true or not? I didn’t really notice the stewards, which is a good thing as they must have done their jobs without the heavy handedness that we experience where we sit for home games at Forest.

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

We left the ground at 6 o’clock and caught the train back to Lewes with no hassle with vastly reduced crowds, which vindicated the idea to stay for a beer. Upon arriving at Lewes none of us had shown our tickets and we could have potentially saved £3.30, however this would have obviously been illegal and any short term gains financially would have given way to a deep sense of unlawfulness......Back in the car we had no issues getting out of Lewes and passed the ground with no traffic problems at all. Another uneventful journey back apart from some fairly noxious gases being emitted by one of the group throughout the journey until a pit stop on the M1 cured the culprit! After being dropped off in Nottingham City Centre at 9.45pm and catching the bus I was home for half ten.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out: 

Very enjoyable day out despite the heart breaking manor of the result and I would definitely go again. I would recommend going to Lewes beforehand as it is easy to get in and out with no hassle and a good place for a few pre-match beers.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Leeds United
Championship League
Friday, September 23rd 2011, 7.45pm
Paul Dickinson (Leeds United & Doing The 92)

With only six of the current 92 grounds left to do, this weekend provided the perfect opportunity to get 2 more ticked off - watching my team at Brighton on the Friday evening and then staying over for Aldershot v Crawley the following day.
 
Having seen Leeds play many times at the Goldstone (which I loved) and at Withdean (which I didn't), I was looking forward to my 1st visit to the Amex Stadium
 
As I was meeting friends prior to the game, I parked my car at Hove train station and a 5 minute train journey saw me in Brighton. Its a place I know well and is great for an away fan, with loads of bars and eating establishments to suit all tastes.
 
All being real ale drinkers, we went to the Lord Nelson Inn & the Basketmakers Arms - both within 5 minutes walk from the train station and the latter having a particularly good range of different beers on.
 
It was then a quick walk back to the station to catch the train up to Falmer - where a queuing system was put into place in order to avoid congestion on the platform.
 
After chatting with some Brighton fans on the way there, we arrived at the ground 10 minutes later and 1st impressions are impressive, a great building design surrounded by countryside is certainly eye-catching. The away end is at the far side of the stadium from the train station and can be approached around either side stand.
 
Once inside, the concourses were heaving with a sold-out away allocation, so I didn't even both trying to get food or drink.
 
I have to say that my impressions of inside the stadium were less positive - there is one fantastic triple decker stand to the left of the away fans but the other 3 stands are far smaller and with spaces in each corner , where seats can be added in the future if necessary. However, the atmosphere was fantastic from both sets of fans and it was a classic game - with Leeds being 2-0 up at half time, then 3-2 down before scoring an injury time equaliser.
 
Having heard reports of long queues to get back into Brighton afterwards, I walked to the top of the away end just prior to the final whistle and then walked quickly round to the train station. There are 2 separate queues - one for Brighton and one for Lewes - and even though I was there quickly, it still took me 20 minutes to get onto a train and I heard later tales of Leeds fans not getting back into Brighton until 11.15pm. I was surprised by this - if you encourage fans to use public transport then you must have sufficient plans in place to cater for the subsequent demand.
 
That apart though, it was a great night out and all my bad memories of Withdean have now disappeared!

Brighton & Hove Albion v Leeds United
Championship League 
Friday, September 23rd 2011, 7.45pm
Trevor Pickles (Leeds United fan)

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

I had followed the Brighton fans struggle for a new ground for many years and from the pictures I had seen of the new stadium it looked a bit different to the norm.

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

The fixture had been changed by the 'Sky God' to a Friday evening which made the journey from Shropshire slightly longer than was anticipated. We had applied in advance for travel tickets for the Mill Road park and ride and a nice gentleman at the Brighton ticket office duly obliged free of charge! The Mill Road site is very easy to find and extremely well organised. The buses are frequent so we weren't stood around too long, The journey to the ground took about 20-25 minutes mainly due to the sheer volume of traffic.

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

We had planned to grab something to eat outside the ground, however they don't seem to allow vendors anywhere near the stadium so we had little choice but to go inside.

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

From the outside the ground looks very modern and very impressive. Inside the West stand is quite imposing but you can't help but notice the large empty areas in the corners of the North stand, it makes everything look a little disjointed. Talking to Brighton fans after the game I believe they have plans to add another 8,000 seats at some point. The away end is a good layout with plenty of leg room and the added delight of padded seats.

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

We had the usual pat down body search on the way into the ground by the stewards, but once inside it was very relaxed. There is a good selection of food available with the standard pie and pint deal for £6.50 which may seem a tad expensive to some but we do have Ken Bates as a chairman! 

The game itself was a belter. The Brighton fans were noisy until we raced into a 2-0 lead. They needn't have worried, in the second half we did our best to throw it all away by giving away a penalty and two goals from Makail Smith. We did manage to salvage a point in the 2nd minute of added time when McCormack stepped up to grab his second of the night, making it 3-3, much to the relief of the travelling Whites.

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

This is where the problems start. We left the ground and made our way to the park and ride buses. We joined a large queue that snaked its way along the road and up a set of steps. As there are 3 destinations for the buses the stewards were trying to separate us into lines. This was hilarious as the steward involved didn't know his right from his left. Eventually after 35 mins we arrived at the top of the steps. The sight was utter chaos, there were no segregation barriers between buses and fans. The buses were trying to manoeuvre and turn around in between the lines of fans waiting to board, its an accident waiting to happen. We finally made our way onto a bus and left the ground 65 mins after exiting the stadium. I would estimate that there were around 400 fans behind us in the queue at that point. The one saving grace was it wasn't raining.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out: 

Having arrived back in the Midlands in the early hours of Saturday morning we enjoyed our Brighton experience, however the bus situation after the game put a bit of a dampener on the whole day. Tempers were getting a little frayed towards the end and that includes the locals. I have used park and ride many times before at Southampton and Reading and never seen such a degree of organised chaos or had to wait so long for transport. Sort it out Brighton your fans don't deserve this! 

Brighton & Hove Albion v Gillingham
Carling Cup 1st Round
Tuesday, August 9th 2011, 7.45pm
Martin Brock (Neutral fan)

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

I’d seen Plymouth Argyle play at the awful Withdean Athletics Stadium, so I was interested to check out their new ground. With the clubs two divisions apart, visiting as a neutral seemed to be the best way, although I had a vested interest in seeing how Craig Noone and Ashley Barnes were getting on.

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

Easy. I travelled down from London Victoria by train, changed at Lewes and got a connection to Falmer straight away. You can’t miss the ground as it’s right by the station.

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

If you’re going to watch a match here, I recommend going into Brighton first as there is literally nothing at Falmer except the ground and the station. Brighton fans were pleasant, but that’s to be expected if you’ve just been promoted and have a shiny new stadium in which to watch Championship Football!.

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

I have a dislike of new grounds as they seem to follow the same bowl-like shape (e.g. Derby, Coventry, Stoke etc.) So I was pleasantly surprised by this stadium. The away fans are located in the South Stand behind one of the goals with big screens at either end. The roof has an interesting sloping shape and the three tier West Stand is very impressive. Seats are comfortable with plenty of leg room. 

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

With no facilities around the ground, the club seem to be cashing in on food and drink prices. I had a nice steak pie and a pint of Harveys but at £6.50 for the two in the form of a meal deal, that seemed steep. With 16,500 in attendance, toilet facilities were also at a premium (as at the Emirates which is my main gripe with that ground) and most of half time was spent queuing for the loo. There are plenty of TV screens to watch while waiting and the board with train information is useful. 

Inside the stadium, the Brighton fans were in good voice. Many were standing in the North Stand but the stewards didn’t seem too bothered about getting them to sit down. The match itself was a pretty turgid affair. Brighton had more of the play without creating too many chances, a couple of shots from Noone aside and it took a penalty from Barnes to put them through to the next round.

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

No problems at all. Easy walk to the station, short ride into Brighton and a connecting train straight back to London.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out: 

I was pleased to make it to see the new ground so soon after its opening and the stadium itself didn’t disappoint. A Saturday visit would be better though, allowing time for a look around Brighton or Lewes, given the limitations of Falmer. Miles better than the Withdean though so it’s great that Brighton have finally managed to find a decent home of their own.   

Brighton & Hove Albion v Gillingham
Carling Cup 1st Round
Tuesday, August 9th 2011, 7.45pm
Mike Kimberley (Neutral - 92 Club Secretary)

As a member of the Ninety-Two Club, a club for people who have visited each of the ninety-two gounds of the Premiership, Championship, League One and Two,  I was anxious to visit Brighton’s new American Express Community Stadium. 

I travelled from London by train, changing at Lewes. As there is no suitable pub near the ground I used the Royal Oak in Lewes for pre-match refreshment. Many Brighton fans also use the Lansdown Arms. Both of these are situated five minutes walk from the station turning right out of the exit. The Lansdown is at the foot of the hill and The Royal Oak two minutes walk further up the hill.

I had pre-ordered my ticket and collected it two and a half hours before the game. By the time I returned forty minutes before kick off the queue for pre-ordered tickets was two hundred yards long. The general ambiance of the ground is extremely good. I was in the East Stand where there is plenty of room and plenty of food and drink outlets. The seats are padded and comfortable. The leg room again is comfortable. The site lines from the side are straight, meaning that your view at the near side of the far end of the pitch can be easily obscured by people standing or leaning across your line of vision, but this is a minor inconvenience.

After the match had ended , the trains from Lewes and Brighton were full and standing for sometime before the match but these are only short journeys. By train, Falmer station is seven minutes from Lewes and fifteen minutes from Brighton. It should be noted that particularly in the evening it is usually far quicker to return north via Brighton as the north-bound trains are much more plentiful as opposed to Lewes. There is an excellent tea bar outside the main entrance of Falmer station. Tea 70p and bacon baps £2.

Mike Kimberley
Ninety-Two Club, Secretary

Brighton & Hove Albion v Doncaster Rovers
Championship League
Saturday, August 6th 2011, 3pm
Liam Pearce (Neutral fan)

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

After all the hype surrounding Brighton's 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. 

Updated 24th July 2015

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