The Amex

By Football Tripper

Last Updated: September 21, 2017

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Inside the AMEX Stadium

Stadium Overview

Team: Brighton & Hove Albion

Address: Village Way, Brighton, Sussex, BN1 9BL

Capacity: 30,750

Opened: 2008

Falmer Stadium is the 2011 constructed stadium of Brighton & Hove Albion who currently play football in the Championship. Known as the American Express Community Stadium or The Amex for short, the 30,750 state of the art stadium cost approximately £93 million.

Stadium Guide

History

The relocation of Brighton & Hove Albion to Falmer Stadium was hardly the result of meticulously planning. Without having a new stadium planned, the club’s former board decided to sell Brighton’s home in 1995, Goldstone Ground, which saw the club be evicted and transplanted 75 miles away in Kent where they had to groundshare Gillingham’s Priestfield Stadium.

Within two seasons, the club were able to return to the city of Brighton by leasing Withdean Athletics Stadium, however the stadium required renovation in order to bring it up to Football League Requirements. Fans of the club persevered however, when the club announced that they had identified the location of Falmer for a new Stadium during the 1998-1998 season.

Initially the club had hoped to move into the new ground at the turn-of the millennium, however plans were essentially delayed for a decade. Whilst planning permission was provisionally granted in 2002 by the unitary authority, complicated arose due to the site’s status as an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott waded in, however strong protests from the local district council and residents greatly delayed the project.

Construction work finally began on 27th November 2008, and finished just over three years later in May 2011. Built by the Buckingham Group and Designed by famous football architects KSS who redeveloped Stamford Bridge in 2001, and The Etihad in 2003, Falmer Stadium was designed with potential expansion in mind. Within one season of opening 8,000 additional seats were installed, increasing the capacity to 30,750.

The official sponsorship name of Falmer Stadium is The Amex, which is named after American Express Europe who are the largest private employer in the area. The inaugural match was held against Tottenham Hotspsur on 30th July 2011, with the first competitive game held against Doncaster Rovers a week later on 6th August 2011.

Seating Plan

Below is a seating plan of Brighton’s Amex Stadium:

The Amex Seating Plan

Stands

The Amex is comprised of the following four sections: North, East, South and West.

amex-stadium-north-stand

amex-stadium-east-stand

amex-stadium-south-stand

amex-stadium-west-stand

Click the thumbnails above to enlarge an image of each stand and to read a more detailed description of each part of the stadium.

The Matchday Experience

Away Fans

Fans who visit The Amex to watch their team away from home are tucked in the corner, with the standard allocation of around 3,300 fans, distributed amongst the south-east section of the ground between the east and south lower-tiers of seating. As a new stadium the views are on the whole pretty impeccable with no sight-line restrictions, however the away section is still arguably the least desirable spot within the ground.

That’s not to say that The Amex is by any means a bad stadium – it’s far from it, with padded seats as standard, and generous amounts of leg room for every supporter watching the match. The concourse is equally impressive with plenty of space and facilities on offer which reduces the feelings of being in a stampede when trying to use the toilet at half-time.

The pies reportedly rank amongst some of the most expensive in the Championship costing £4.10 a piece, although they are locally sourced from an independent manufacturer in Shoreham-on-Sea, which may appeal to a fan’s sense of social responsibility.

Lastly, whether design or accident, The Amex has fantastic acoustics which makes the atmosphere on matchdays pretty electrifying for a ground “out in the sticks”.

Best Pubs

Located out of town the only pub nearby which is always open on matchdays is the Swan Inn. However this is only usually reserved for the home supporters, which leaves away fans with very little choice, barring inside the ground itself.

On the campus of a large university you would suspect that there might be a few bars but these aren’t usually open for the prime Saturday 3.00 pm kick-off slot.

Within Brighton city centre it is a completely different matter with more pubs nearby than you could ever visit in a weekend. One highly recommended pub for fans of real-ale is The Evening Star which is less than five minutes from the main train station and listed in the CAMRA beer guide.

Food

Similar to the pub situation, besides the ground itself, there really aren’t too many food options on hand once you get to Falmer station. If you are brave, you might try venturing across to the nearby University campus which appears to be abuzz with Cafes and and a co-op, although opening hours may be out of synch with the rest of the real world.

Club Shop

The Seagull’s superstore at the stadium opened in the Summer of 2014 and in addition to the official online store, has everything and more merchandise wise than a fan can dream of. The opening hours are as follows:

  • Monday to Saturday: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
  • Sunday: 11:00am – 5.00 pm
  • Saturday 3.00pm games: Closes during match and reopens for 90 minutes 4.30 pm – 6.00 pm
  • Midweek 7.45 pm games: Closes during match and reopens for 1 hour between 9.30 pm – 10.30 pm
brighton-hove-albion-club-shop

One club. One Ambition. One terrible slogan.

Stadium Tour

As one of the most modern football stadiums in England tours for the Amex are in high demand and the club have put together a tour route which lasts approximately 1 hour 45 minutes making it one of the most comprehensive footballing history lessons in the country.

Taking in the trophy room, the changing rooms and the new Albion museum, the tours cost just £13 for adults and £6.50 for concessions with a family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) coming in at £39 pounds.

Tours routinely run on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays including on matchdays and can be booked by either phoning the ticket line on 0844 327 1901 or visiting the Amex ticket office.

Ticket Prices

Tickets for Brighton & Hove Albion are priced across a three-tiered structure (A, B, C) based on perceived levels of demand and security risk for each match.

As a modern stadium there are quite a few different seating options within each stand so the below figures only give you an approximation of prices.

Ticket prices (A, B, C)

North Stand:

  • Adult (£32.00, £30.00, £25.00)
  • Senior (£24.00, £22.00, £20.00)
  • U18s (£18.00, £15.00, £10.00)
  • U10s (£10.00, £8.00, £5.00)

East Stand:

  • Adult (£42.00, £40.00, £35.00)
  • Senior (£30.00, £28.00, £28.00)
  • U18s (£22.00, £20.00, £18.00)
  • U10s (£12.00, £10.00, £10.00)

South Stand:

  • Adult (£32.00, £30.00, £25.00)
  • Senior (£24.00, £22.00, £20.00)
  • U18s (£18.00, £15.00, £10.00)
  • U10s (£10.00, £8.00, £5.00)

West Stand:

  • Adult (£38.00, £36.00, £32.00)
  • Senior (£28.00, £26.00, £25.00)
  • U18s (£20.00, £18.00, £15.00)
  • U10s (£12.00, £10.00, £10.00)

Matchday Travel

Brighton and Hove Albion’s stadium is located inland from the coast around 4 miles away from Brighton City centre. The ground takes its official name from the nearby village of Falmer, and is situated between campuses belonging to both the University of Brighton and the University of Sussex.

amex-stadium-from-falmer-station

Brighton’s Amex Stadium as seen from the nearby Falmer Railway Station.

Train

Falmer railway station is the closest to The American Express Community Stadium with the distance and resulting walk less than 150 metres and 60 seconds respectively.  It lies on the East Coastway Line with services operated by Southern including 4 trains to and from Brighton city centre per hour.

It should also be noted that free local bus and train travel is included with game tickets meaning if you travel from London you only need to pay to get to Haywards Heath and your ticket should take you the rest of the way.

Bus

The closest bus stops to Falmer Stadium are the two located on Village Way: Falmer, Amex Stadium West and East bound. Buses which run during routine hours are the 23 (Brighton – Falmer), 25 (Falmer – Hove – Brighton) and 84 (University of Sussex – Rottingdean).

There are also numerous services which run from the the University campus north of The Amex as well as special match day services which the club run in association with Seagulls Travel for Championships League matches.

Don’t forget that your ticket will allow you free travel on the buses!

Driving

The Amex Stadium’s address for satnav is:

  • Village Way, Brighton, BN1 9BL.
brighton-fans-amex-stadium

A few green shirts ruining the ambiance. There’s always that one guy.

Car Park

Brighton and Hove Albion boast some of the best parking facilities in the Championship although they require you to book in advance (0844 327 1901) and pretty expensive at a cost of £13.00 in advance, or £15.00 three days prior to the game.

Once you have received your parking voucher make sure you display it in your window and when you arrive stewards will direct you to your space.

Fans are advised to book a space at the Bridge Car Park, and under no circumstances are fans allowed to use the car park unless they have booked in advance. Stern.

Lastly, there are numerous Park and Ride schemes listed on page three of the link you might want to check out to avoid the oppressive on site parking rules.

Hotels

You’d think that between the University of Sussex and The Amex there would be at least one hotel nearby but there isn’t, with the Newmarket inn located 2.3 miles east on the A27 technically the closest option, providing you have a car.

All of your other options involve hopping on the train back to Brighton city centre and booking something on the seafront such as the Holiday Inn, The Mercure or The Sandalwood hotel. If you’re planning on making a weekend out of it this is probably for the best anyway.


By Football Tripper

Last Updated: September 21, 2017

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