American Express Community Stadium

How the stadium will affect the University of Sussex

University representatives have been closely involved in discussions to make sure that the interests of Sussex students and staff are considered.

Car parking

Car parking for football supporters 

On 30 match days per year the football club use some parking spaces in five designated car parks at the University, in addition to spaces elsewhere in Brighton.

Campus access - for up to 1,100 cars on Saturdays and 700 on weekday match days - is only via the new link road through Stanmer Park.

The parking arrangements are being tightly managed and controlled by the football club in partnership with the University.

Parking on campus is subject to a formal management contract between the club and the University and one condition is that appropriate University representatives are part of the team managing travel to and from stadium events.

The contract also specifies that University of Sussex car parks can be used only by fans displaying a pass to prove that they have pre-booked parking. These are season-ticket holders or corporate guests only.

The car parks designated for use by the football club are the Sportcentre (P5), Sussex House (P4), Biology Road (P3), Science (P1) and Innovation Centre (P2, weekends only) car parks.

Fans follow specific pedestrian routes and they are not allowed to use any other part of campus. Stewards manage the arrival and departure of fans from campus.

The football club pay the University an annual six-figure sum for the use of its car parks during matches and other events.

Car parking for Sussex staff, students and visitors

Campus access for staff, students and legitimate visitors on match days is via Knights Gate Road.  

On Saturdays only, the use of space is maximized with the use of block parking - i.e. bumper to bumper and not in parking bays. Students and staff are therefore asked to move their cars from the designated car parks by the time match parking starts (i.e. 12noon on the relevant Saturdays). If they don't do this, their car risks being blocked in by cars that are block parked and they won't be able to move it until after the match!

A table provides an up-to-date list of the days and times on which specific car parks will be reserved.

Staff, students and visitors can park in other car parks - Mantell (P6), Arts (P7), Park Village (P8), Lewes Court (P9) and East Slope (P10) - as normal and use all those facilities and services on campus that would normally be open.

Car parking by other drivers on match days

Other than season-ticket holders with a pass to park and legitimate campus users, no other cars are allowed access to campus on match days.

Parking on non-match days

Football fans park on the University campus only for strictly specified matches and other events. Season-ticket holders are not allowed to park on campus at any other time.

The type of day-time use of the stadium envisaged by the club does not involve University parking facilities. The stadium itself has parking for 150 cars, which should be enough for whatever activities take place during their normal working day.

Public transport

The use of the stadium has a substantial impact on transport links to Falmer and on access to the Sussex campus. It is vital that there is proper infrastructure, most importantly effective transport links, to support it and to minimise any impact on the Sussex campus.

The University has worked hard to ensure that the bus and train operators maintain access to regular public transport at times when the stadium is in use for those who live on and use the University's campus.

On match days, normal train services to and from Falmer operate before the match. After each match there are extra trains from Falmer to Lewes and to Brighton.

Measures include a new footbridge over the railway line (which opened in July 2011, giving full disability access to both sides of the track), and waiting areas, so that stewards can control the flow of fans on to the station after the match.

The bus company runs its standard service on match days – and these buses come onto campus as normal. Additional buses are laid on for football fans travelling to and from matches; these can also be used by any other passengers and drop passengers off at the entrance to campus.

The development includes a bus and coach drop-off area at the stadium and a number of modifications to road and pedestrian pathways in the area.

Security and safety

It is important to the University that the operation of a football stadium at Falmer does not disturb the study and research culture of the Sussex campus, nor the lives of students who live on campus.

Car parking on campus and the movement of football fans to and from the stadium is being managed to ensure that the campus remains safe and secure for staff, students and visitors.

This is why - in particular – parking is entirely at the south end of campus and is for BHAFC season-ticket holders only, and not for away fans.

It is also the reason that football fans who park on campus are stewarded along set vehicular and pedestrian routes and do not have access to any other parts of campus. The football fans are not permitted to use any campus bars, restaurants, shops or toilets. (So it's best to have your student or staff ID card with you on match days to make it easier for you to gain access to these outlets.)

The University is working closely with the club, which has a great deal of stewarding experience from its previous ground (Withdean).

The University already has an extensive network of CCTV that helps to ensure the security of the thousands of staff, students and visitors who use the campus every day. If it proves necessary, the football club will pay for additional CCTV cameras at the south end of campus.

The campus environment

The football club has appointed a cleaning contractor who do litter picks on campus in the relevant car parks and on pedestrian routes used by football supporters before, during and after each match. 

Any other litter on the rest of campus is dealt with as normal by the University’s own contractor.

Noise pollution

In her ruling in July 2007, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government said that noise from outdoor concerts within the stadium must not exceed prescribed decibel levels "1 metre from the façade of any noise-sensitive premises", including the University of Sussex's academic and residential buildings.

Sports facilities

There is potential for University of Sussex use of or access to the sporting facilities at the stadium.

Employment opportunities

Many job opportunites are available at the stadium and the football club has been working with the University's Careers and Employability Centre to make sure that students at Sussex are able to take full advantages of these opportunities.