American Express Community Stadium

Questions and answers

How the stadium affects the University of Sussex

Q: What does the University gain from the new stadium?
A: In 2003 the University managed to renegotiate the terms of its lease with Brighton & Hove City Council, such that user restrictions were lifted so that the campus can be used for purposes "associated with a modern university". Previously the University had been restricted to using its buildings purely for teaching and research. The creation of a new link road to join the existing road into neighbouring Stanmer Park gives better access all year round to the University campus, helping to reduce evening congestion as cars depart. There will also be new revenue from the use of car parks during matches.

Q: Are discounted tickets for football matches or other stadium events available to members of the University?
A: This is an issue to be discussed with Brighton & Hove Albion.

Car parking for football supporters

Q: Why is the football club using University of Sussex car parks rather than those at the University of Brighton?
A: The football club use a number of car parks including those at Brighton racecourse, Mill Road and Mithras House (one of the University of Brighton sites in Lewes Road). The University of Brighton has only a small number of car parking spaces at its Falmer site.

Q: What percentage of the total car parking for the stadium does the University of Sussex provide?
A: Up to 1,100 cars park on the University of Sussex campus. Spaces are also used at Brighton racecourse, Mill Road and the University of Brighton (Mithras House). In due course, a further 1,000 spaces will be available at Brighton Aldridge Community Academy.

Q: Where on campus do the supporters park?
A: 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.

Q: Given the University’s commitment to the use of sustainable transport (in preference to staff and students driving to campus), why is it prepared to be the car park for a 22,000-seater football stadium?
A: The University was closely involved in the lengthy planning process that preceded the construction of the stadium – and conducted its own transport study on the potential impact to the campus. The government's planning approval was conditional on a travel management plan being in place for any event at the stadium involving more than 500 people. It is in the University's interests that Sussex staff work in partnership with those managing matches and other events at the stadium. To do otherwise would expose the University to much greater disruption and expense through having to cope with illegal and unmanaged parking and use of the campus.

Q: Don't visitors to the stadium try to park on the Sussex campus even when there are no matches?
A: The type of day-time use of the stadium envisaged by the club will 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.

Q: Can football fans buy a parking space from the University for the season or for an individual match?
A: No. The parking arrangements are being managed and controlled by the football club.

Q: Are we really so short of money that we need to sell our parking spaces to football fans?
A: No. The income from the use of the campus car parks is of value, but what is more important is the relationship with the football club and the local community, and the benefit that an extra exit off campus brings – day in, day out - to the University.

Car parking for Sussex staff, students and visitors

Q: How many spaces are left on match days for Sussex staff and students to park?
A: Up to 1,100 cars park on campus on Saturdays (using bumper-to-bumper block parking) and 700 on weekday match days. The 10 car parks on campus provide a total of 1,300 car parking spaces; in addition, 134 spaces are allocated for parking by disabled drivers.

Q: What happens if the University is holding an open day or admissions day when the football club wants to play a home match?
A: The University is working closely with the football club. The club is informed in advance of all key dates in the University’s calendar and these are taken into account when club fixtures are arranged. Under the licence agreement between the University and Brighton & Hove Albion, the University would notify the club if it were unable to provide car parking on any of the proposed dates on the fixture list. The club would then come up with an alternative date.

Q: How can my visitors arriving on a match day get on to campus?
A: Genuine visitors to the University are allowed access to campus and to the student residences: official visitors (e.g. to conferences, the Sportcentre and schools) display a scratchcard issued by the University.

Q: What happens if I don’t move my car from one of the designated car parks by the time football fans start parking there on a weekend match day?
A: Because block parking is being used on Saturdays, your car may well be blocked in by fans’ cars and you won’t be able to move it until after the match!

Q: My colleagues and I sometimes have to work at weekends. When car parks P1-P5 are off limits we will have to park at the other end of campus and then walk half way across it do this work, taking an unnecessary 10 minutes out of our weekends - not to mention the inconvenience if it is raining.
A: We appreciate that the arrangements may add a little extra time to the journeys of a small number of staff, students and visitors. We have, however, worked hard with the football club to minimize any disruption.

Q: I use the Sport Centre on a Saturday. Will my car be blocked in by football supporters’ cars?
A: No. Staff and students who use the Sport Centre at a weekend have designated space in the Sportcentre car park (P5) and are not blocked in by bumper-to-bumper parking.

Q: On a weekday match day, are the designated car parks closed for the whole day? Can I park during the day in one of the five car parks designated for use by football fans?
A: Match parking on weekdays starts from 6pm. Up until this time staff and students can occupy the car parks as normal.

Q: On weekdays, does the University allow staff to go home early to empty the car parks for the football supporters?
A: Drivers are asked to move their cars from affected car parks by the time match or event parking starts; this is not until 6pm on weekdays, so there is no need for staff working normal office hours to leave early.

Q: I see that match parking on weekdays starts from 6pm. Does this mean I have to move my car by that time if it’s in one of the designated car parks?
A: It would be helpful if you could move your car before 6pm on a weekday match day if it is parked in one of the five designated car parks.

Q: What are the arrangements for people working up to and later than 6pm, who may not be able to get out to move their vehicles from car parks being used by football supporters?
A: It would be helpful if drivers who know that they will be working or studying on campus after 6pm on a weekday match day could park their cars in one of the car parks that is not designated for use by football supporters.

Q: But what happens if I can’t move my car by 6pm?
A: Don’t worry: you will still have access to your car and will be able to leave the car park when you need to.

Q: Are the times you have listed at Car park reservations - Amex Community Stadium arrival times for football fans, or are these the times of the game? If it says 18:00, does the game start at 6pm, or later?
A: Football supporters are allowed to park on campus from 6pm. Evening matches usually start at 7.45pm, occasionally at 8pm.

Car parking for Sussex staff and students who are also BHAFC supporters

Q: I am a season ticket holder for Brighton and Hove Albion. As a member of staff/student at Sussex I pay for a permit to park on campus; does this allow me to park on campus on match days?
A: The football club use a number of car parks including those at the University of Sussex, Brighton racecourse, Mill Road and Mithras House, one of the University of Brighton sites in Lewes Road. As a BHAFC season ticket holder, the club will have been in touch with you about car parking on match days – so you might have been allocated a space in one of the designated University of Sussex car parks, or in one of the other car parks elsewhere. However, as a registered car user at the University of Sussex with a valid parking permit or pass to park, you could choose to park on campus on match days, as long as you park in one of the car parks that are not designated for use by the club.

Q: I have bought a ticket to attend a match [or another event] at the stadium. As a member of staff/student at Sussex I pay for a permit to park on campus; does this allow me to park on campus on match days?
A: As a registered car user at the University of Sussex with a valid parking permit or pass to park, you could choose to park on campus on match days, as long as you park in one of the car parks that are not designated for use by the club.

Public transport

Q: Do extra trains run to and from Falmer station on match days?
A: 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.

Q: How can Falmer station cope with all the fans arriving by train?
A: Falmer station has been redeveloped with a number of measures including a new footbridge over the railway line, and waiting areas, so that stewards can control the flow of fans on to the station after the match.

Q: Are bus services to the campus affected?
A: 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.

Security and safety

Q: How does the University and the club ensure the safety of students (particularly young first year students living on campus) and staff on match days?
A: Football fans who park on campus are restricted to set vehicular and pedestrian access routes. They do not have access to any other parts of campus. If it proves necessary, the football club will pay for additional CCTV cameras at the south end of campus.

Q: Do the student bars and the restaurants on campus remain open on match days?
A: They remain open as normal for use by students, staff and legitimate visitors. There is no access to student bars and restaurants for any football fans.

Q: Is there a heavy police presence on campus on match days?
A: No.

Q: Are we really so short of money that we need the club to pay for upgrading of CCTV cameras around campus?
A: No. 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.