Brighton & Hove Albion
American Express Community Stadium
30,666 (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
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Seagulls
Year Ground Opened: 2011
Undersoil Heating: Yes
Shirt Sponsors: American Express
Home Kit: Blue and White Stripes
Away Kit: All Black
Falmer Stadium or The Amex Stadium as it has become known (or American Express Community Stadium to give it its official name), when viewed from afar, is a spectacular sight on the Sussex landscape. Up close, 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 Brighton’s stadium 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 halfway 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, 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 is rather than having lettering displayed on the seating, images of seagulls are included instead. What 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 to be seen.
Away fans visiting Brighton’s ground are housed in the South East corner of the AMEX 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 legroom 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, they do come with a reputation as being one of the more expensive food options about. Also on offer are Cheeseburgers, Burgers and Hot Dogs. 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.’
At the stadium itself outside the North East corner, by the walkway to Falmer Station, there is a small Fan Zone, which away fans can visit. Apart from a small stage for music, the highlight has to be the mobile bars which offer a number of real ales; they are brewed not far away in Lewes. Otherwise, there is not much in the immediate vicinity around the stadium. Alcohol is served within the ground in the form of Harveys real ale, Fosters, White or Red Wine. 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. Historically, the those organising the food and drink at Brighton’s ground have been known to stock a real ale from the area of the visiting club; that’s a very nice touch.
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 gastropub.
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 minibusses) 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. Also just off the A23 around a ten minute drive from Brighton’s stadium is the Plough Inn on London Road, Pyecombe, (BN45 7FN). I noted that there was street parking available close by, which was popular with Brighton fans who then caught a bus to the stadium. The pub is signposted off the A23.’
Brighton’s ground, the Amex 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 Brighton’s 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!’ There is also the option of renting a private driveway near the Amex Stadium via YourParkingSpace.co.uk.
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 Brighton’s 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; ‘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’.
Lewes Railway Station
An alternative may be to park at Lewes Railway Station Car Park (BN7 2UP) and then take the train from there to Falmer. The cost of the car park is £6.35 for the day and there are over 200 spaces. The train take just seven minutes to reach Falmer and the cost of the journey is free, as free public transport to and from Brighton’s stadium on matchdays within the Hove area is included with your match ticket.
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 to Brighton’s ground 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 at Brighton’s stadium.
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 of Brighton’s 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.
If you know much about the UK tourism industry then you’ll be well aware that Brighton is a hot spot for staycations. If you’re planning on taking in a game at the AMEX Stadium then potentially an over night stay might appeal.
The Ruby pub & hotel is a decent bet for both boozing and catching your breath; with rooms from £90 per night along with free cancellation and being under 1 mile from Brighton’s ground it’s hard to grumble. Beyond that, you’ll start to push the boundaries of sensible walking distance but central Brighton is just a 10 minute drive away. There are loads of options for hotel stays here.
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 matches at Brighton’s stadium are the most expensive with the cheapest options being cat C.
For league matches at the AMEX stadium, adult tickets start at around the £30 mark with a top end of £60. Cup matches are often considerably cheaper with lower prices available for under 18s and concessions.
Whether you’re a regular attendee of Brighton’s stadium or are just attending as a one off, there is a good chance you’ll want to pick up a programme to remember the day by; you also have a fanzine option too.
- Official Programme £3.50
- Fanzine: Seagull Love Review £1
When it comes to football, derby matches are one of the things most looked forward to. Brighton’s ground, however, is in a unique spot of not really hosting a bonafide grudge match. There are a few instances of ‘created’ derbies though.
Brighton Crystal Palace rivalry: The Brighton Crystal Palace rivalry is as ugly as derbies come for the Seagulls. Going back several decades, the two clubs came up through the football league together. That and the fact they’re only 40 miles apart has seen their meetings pick up a little bit more heat than standard matches.
Brighton vs Southampton rivalry: Is this match a true rivalry? No. The fact both clubs are based on the South Coast gives it a tad extra though. There is one problem, Southampton don’t consider Brighton a rival; they’re too focussed on hating Portsmouth.
Brighton vs Portsmouth rivalry: Can we just say ‘see above’? Essentially, it’s the same thing. Both teams are located on the South Coast so, officially, Brighton’s stadium hosts a South Coast derby. The two clubs are separated by 60 miles though and, again, Portsmouth hold much greater hatred for someone else – Southampton.
Brighton & Hove Albion FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).
For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the Level Playing Field website.
The Club offers regular tours of the Amex Stadium on Mondays, Fridays and Sundays.
The cost of the tours are:
Tours should be booked in advance with the Club by calling 0845 8730251 or via the Brighton & Hove Albion website.
At the Amex Stadium:
30,682 v Liverpool
Premier League, 12th January 2019
At the Goldstone Ground:
36,747 v Fulham
Division Two, 27th December 1958.
- This season: 30,017
- 2020-2021: N/A
- 2019-2020: 30,358
- 2018-2019: 30,426
In the past 25 years, Brighton have played their home matches at three different stadiums. Their current home is obviously the Amex Stadium; prior to that Brighton’s ground was the Withdean Stadium. They played their matches at the former zoo (yes really) between 1999 and 2011. Prior to that, they’d spent near on a century at the Goldstone Ground, which was located in Hove. For a two year hiatus, Brighton’s stadium for home matches was the Priestfield Stadium that belongs to Gillingham.
In 2011, Falmer Stadium aka the AMEX Stadium – became home with a capacity of 22,374. Within two years, that capacity had increased to 30,750.
We’ve already touched on the rapid increase in capacity from 22k to 31k after Brighton’s stadium opened in 2011. Now, there are plans to boost it further; the capacity will first move to 31,800 before increasing again to 32,500. Pandemic dependant, those works could be finished this year.
Special thanks to Graeme Rolf and Joshua Townend for providing some of the photos for this page of the Amex Stadium Brighton.