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The Big Dady

¡Viva la Kevolución!⭐
Staff member
Jan 20, 2007
Brighton's New Stadium starts on 17th Dec

Dream will become a reality when work starts on Falmer

Some dates are imprinted in the minds of Albion fans.

May 21, 1983, and April 26, 1997, are two obvious examples. Now December 17, 2008, can be added to the list.

A quarter of a century after reaching the FA Cup final, and 11 years since leaving the Goldstone, Albion will begin building their new stadium at Falmer.

The hope is that the £60 million, 22,500-seater arena will change the club’s fortunes as dramatically as the transformation of the Falmer project office at Withdean, which on a matchday turns into the Boardroom.


Work on the £60m stadium at Falmer will start on December 17.

Within the confines of the unobtrusive building, towards the east end of Albion’s so-called temporary home (nine years and counting is some temporary), chief executive Martin Perry heads a five-strong project team beavering away to turn the dream into reality.

A winter Wednesday in the run-up to Christmas is the most signifcant step yet on the exhausting journey.


The club have travelled far and wide in search of the best ideas to make sure fans have a ground of which they can be proud.

“We have gone through all of these battles and to actually be at the point where we are about to put a shovel in the ground is a phenomenal moment,” Perry said.

“I suppose it’s hard for people to get their heads around it. This is it, we are actually going to start building our stadium, something we have talked about for ten years.”

Perry and his team have travelled the length and breadth of the country to borrow ideas from the multitude of stadiums built since the Goldstone became the Gonestone.

Particular attention has been paid to Stadiummk, the home of League One rivals MK Dons, which was constructed by Falmer contractors the Buckingham Group, but Albion’s new abode will also be the Emirates, the Madejski Stadium and Pride Park rolled into one.

Perry said: “I am very excited about it. Our stadium picks out some of the best features I’ve seen in a lot of the others I have been to.

“One of the best ones recently has to be MK Dons. That has got some interesting features, like open concourses at the back of the stands, which we cannot use simply because of the confines of the site.

“But there are ideas we have picked up from there, like the turnstiles, which are almost like train barriers, not full-height turnstiles.

“At Reading and Derby the large, open hospitality suites have wonderful pitch views, which means during the week, as well as a matchday, they are very attractive spaces. We have managed to incorporate that.

“At the Emirates there is a central tier. We have got three tiers as well.

“Hopefully what we have done is to pick up an awful lot of the good ideas. We have also looked at what hasn’t worked and tried to avoid those pitfalls.

“The classic one is the press seats, with their tables, which are often in a long line.

“If the person in the middle wants to get out, everyone has to fold their seat up. It’s a nightmare. The press area has been designed so that doesn't have to happen.”

That is one small example of the meticulous attention to detail occupying Perry and his colleagues.

The Argus can today reveal much of that detail, providing players and supporters alike with a glimpse into their future at Falmer.

STADIUM The arch design is similar to that used for Sydney's Olympic Stadium.

Floodlighting will be under the roof canopy, with scope for the brightest levels required for HD television technology.

The colour scheme for seating is still under discussion, but a wide-fitting design has been chosen for spectator comfort.

Externally, the end walls will be off-white to represent chalk cutting into the Downs, the main cladding silver and the glazing and roof tinted blue.

There are plans for big screens at both ends, incorporating a clock and instant replays.

PITCH 105 metres by 68 metres, which is five metres longer and four metres wider than Withdean.

Albion will rely initially on pitch covers, but ducting and piping for undersoil heating will be built-in, just in case.

Perry said: “We are not putting undersoil heating in at this stage. There are very few clubs in the south of England that ever need it.

"The number of games lost at Withdean has been tiny, even with a micro-climate two or three degrees lower than the rest of Brighton.

“If the weather is so severe then safety issues relating to the external concourses would probably mean the game could not be played anyway.”

PLAYERS The basement of the main (west) stand will include warm-up rooms, gymnasium, a players lounge linked to the dressing room area, facilities for ball boys and boy girls and a laundry, which will make life much easier for kit man Ken Barnard.

The players’tunnel will be in the centre of the stand. The design features meet UEFA regulations for international matches.

HOME FANS West and east stands and the north end, closest to the railway station and bus routes. The access way around the pitch will be narrow.

“Supporters will be as close to the action as we can possibly get them,” Perry said. “Every supporter from every seat will also have a view of the touchline or goal-line closest to them. There are no seats with a restricted view.”

AWAY FANS The 2,500-seater south end, closest to Village Way (the access road into the University) and right next to the coach park. Perry said: “They will be in the same county as the pitch. We affectionately call the away end at Withdean the Worthing end, largely because it is actually in Worthing!”

PRICING Albion refuse to publicise precise details at this stage, but Perry vowed: “There will be no hike in prices just because we are going to a new stadium. That is our promise to the fans.

“Effectively, if you took into account inflation, it isn’t going to be dearer than at Withdean.

“The important thing is there will be a huge range of prices.”


So if they can start, perhaps ours will soon?

Nobby Snide

looks good to me---- wonder what the reality will look like?