More information for supporters going to Brighton game

8th November, 2017

BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION v CRYSTAL PALACE – 28 NOVEMBER 2017

On 2 November 2017 a meeting was held at the Amex Stadium to discuss arrangements for the Brighton v Palace match on 28 November, kick off 7.45pm.   Representatives were from the Sussex and Metropolitan Police, Brighton and Crystal Palace clubs, and supporters groups from both clubs.  Although the match is viewed as a challenge and a risk due to the rivalry between the clubs and their fans, the goodwill links, as with the charitable activities, were also recognised.

Ticket Allocation – The ticket allocation for the match is 2,000 tickets for away supporters.  The Chief Inspector from Sussex police, responsible for pre-match planning and match commander for the Brighton v Palace match, explained that the arrangements for the Brighton v Palace play-off semi-final were considered to have gone well overall, including crowd control measures both within the stadium and outside.  Consequently, they wished to replicate the arrangements – involving the provision of a special train, the movement around the stadium footprint, and restricting the ticket away allocation to 2000.  This was discussed with officials from both clubs and it was agreed that the away allocation for the match and the Palace v Brighton match should both be 2000.  The Premier League also consented.

Pre-Match Travel –  As a mid-week evening match, travelling to the Amex will co-incide with rush hours from both the London and Brighton directions, which should be borne in mind when planning to leave for the match.  The Brighton official website has a number of supporters’ guides https://www.brightonandhovealbion.com/club-info/supporters-guides/     This includes a specific away supporters’ guide:- https://www.brightonandhovealbion.com/siteassets/pdfs/away-fan-guide-201718-full-july17—final.pdf   The guides provide helpful and overlapping information including reference to travel and car parking provision.

Car Parking – there is no street parking for supporters in the immediate vicinity of the Amex stadium, which is strictly enforced on match days.

  • Park and Ride – there are several park and ride sites, but there are none specifically dedicated for home or away supporters. The Mill Road site fills up very early, so the main advice given was to head for the Brighton Race- course site which has around 700 places and normally has spare space.  Although mainly grass, it has a chalk base, so is unlikely to cause any mud problems if the weather should be inclement.  The queues for public transport also tend to be quicker.  If sites are filling up the Sussex police propose to tweet this information and forward to CPFC to retweet.
  • University of Sussex former car park, mentioned in the guides, has already sold out for the match.

Rail and Buses – Brighton match tickets include provision for limited train and bus travel within the Brighton and Hove surrounding area – valid from 4.15pm.

  • Trains – coming from London, Haywards Heath is the beginning of the match ticket travel area, so those travelling by train would require a return ticket to Haywards Heath. For those supporters near the south coast the area covers from Eastbourne to Worthing.   Supporters should check rail times for the match day, as these may vary slightly from the usual timetable as additional trains may be added.  It was indicated that it was fine to break the journey at Brighton and then travel to Falmer.
  • Buses – the match tickets cover travel within a similar area to the train and the guide shows a bus service reaching as far as Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Pubs – Pubs around Brighton mainline station are for Brighton home fans – away supporters are turned away by licensees.  There are many other pubs further down nearer the coast – including Wetherspoons and others around the bottom of West Street.  Many away fans also choose pubs to the north of the area around Lewes.  If using the trains advice was to allow more than an hour to get to the Amex.

Policing and Stewarding the Match –  Both the match and the wider Brighton area will be policed.  If some supporters display rowdy behaviour the police may find it necessary to escort them to the ground – this will be determined at the time.  There will also be additional stewarding at the match, which will include ticket and security checks.  The turnstiles open 2 hours before kickoff and remain open until the end of half-time.

Ticket Check – There will be a ticket check at a distance from the turnstiles.  Sufficient staff are expected to be on duty to avoid a buildup.  Ticket holders must also have their Palace season ticket or membership card with them.  In the event this is forgotten, ID such as a driving license should be accepted.  The tickets will have the ticketholders name on the ticket, so this will be checked against ID.

Security Check – Supporters will be subject to a pat down and there will be bag searches.  There is no blanket ban on any size of bag, but all will be subject to searching.  It was suggested that an A4 size bag might be used as a guide, for a suitable size – this appeared to be accepted.  Non-alcohol soft drinks in individual size bottles with screw tops are permitted for entry.  There will also be sniffer dogs on duty to help detect prohibited/dangerous substances.

Supporters with Disabilities – The Amex is an accessible stadium. There are 15 wheelchair bays available to away supporters and 80 easy access seats in seating area SIB – reference was made to mentioning YZ and AA when speaking to the ticket office.  There is also a loop radio system for those requiring the service.  For those requiring special car parking provision the club will need to be contacted and provided with blue badge proof in advance.  Full details of provisions and requirements for supporters with disabilities are given in https://www.brightonandhovealbion.com/siteassets/pdfs/access-guide-201718-full-jul17—final.pdf

Banners and Flags – Flags and banners are permitted to a maximum size of 150cm x 150cm – which should have a safety certificate.  If flags are too big they will be held by the turnstiles. No musical instruments are allowed in the stadium.

Serving of Alcohol – Bars are not open during the game, but post match some bars remain open until 10.30pm and others until 11pm.  Supporters are welcome to use the bar services.  However, if there are any issues that arise the club may close the bars.

Behaviour – Similar to other clubs, Brighton looks to fans to have respect for others.  Brighton does not tolerate sexual or racial harassment or any form of discriminatory language or behaviour and will take steps against such unacceptable activity.  Any individual concerned may be subject to a club ban, and liable for arrest and prosecution.  It was suggested that the tickets might hold a reminder about discriminatory behaviour being unacceptable.  This would be for all ongoing matches, and not just aimed at Palace supporters.  It was unclear though whether this would be taken up and implemented.

Return Travel Arrangements –  Post match the police will be keen to clear the area of Brighton fans.  Palace supporters, will be held back in the stadium, but will be free to use all the catering facilties and sit in the stadium.  However, this will mainly be for those travelling by train towards London.  Discussions are taking place with the rail authorities on arranging a special train which will stop at Three Bridges, East Croydon, Clapham Junction and Victoria – details will be advised when known.  The platforms at Falmer Station have been extended so the train is likely to be 10 coaches and take up to 1000 people.  Once the train is available, supporters will be led to the station to board the train.  This should not take too long, so supporters will not be kept in potentially cold or inclement weather for any length of time.

Palace supporters travelling on other rail routes, and by park and ride will not be held back and will be allowed to proceed.  Also fans travelling on Palace coaches will be able to board them after a short while, following other coaches being cleared from the area.  It was suggested that those waiting to board the coaches should be advised to remain near one side of the stadium concourse to prevent missing the boarding time which would be indicated by stewards and police rather than by an audible announcement.  It was requested that CPFC might arrange to provide coach stewards with a notice to advise/remind supporters to stay near the particular side of the concourse, prior to the match.

Beam Back – For Palace supporters unable to attend the match at Brighton, there will be a live beam back to the big screen at Selhurst Park.  The beam back will be open to season ticket holders and current paid members.  It will be a ticket only event costing £5 and £10 on the day, which will include a free first drink. Programmes for the match will also be on sale.

Further Information – Any further information that may arise such as the train details will be advised when available.

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