Brighton & Hove Albion
By Paul Donegan
Groundhopper Paul spent the afternoon at The People's Prension Stadium, home to Brighton and Hove Albion. Here's how he got on and his guide for visitors wishing to see the Seagulls in action.
The People's Pension Stadium, Crawley, RH11 9RX
Location and Ground History
Brighton & Hove Albion play most of their matches at the Broadfield Stadium, currently known as The People’s Pension Stadium, in Crawley. The ground opened in 1997 as the new home for Crawley Town and Brighton have played there since 2018. It has a capacity of 6,134. Crawley is just south of Gatwick Airport and is about 18 miles north of Brighton itself. The ground is on the south side of the town, just up the road from the end of the M23/A23 junction.
Crawley has a station which is about a 20/25 minute walk along Brighton Road from the ground. There are direct trains to London and these take about 45 minutes, passing through Three Bridges and Gatwick Airport, whilst in the other direction, trains head down to Horsham, Bognor Regis and Southampton. The town centre is the other side of the railway to the ground so add a few more minutes on if walking from there plus there is a level crossing. One word of warning is that there are a few parts of the walk where the lighting for the pavement isn’t that good if there for a match after it gets dark. The roundabout next to the ground has a big red and white football in the middle of it and if walking from the town then take the football themed subway at the roundabout. There is some parking on site if driving. There are some buses that go from the town centre to near the ground including the 10 and 20 fastway buses.
Tickets vary in price depending on the category of match. For the match I went to it cost £4 for standing and £5 for sitting. I bought the tickets online a few days before the match and received them as an attachment which I printed off at home. There is a ticket office at the ground (far end of main stand) that was open so I think you could buy tickets on the day if you wish but worth checking this and if prices increase.
The turnstiles in use for Brighton games are at the far end of the main stand, by the ticket office. They opened about 45 minutes before kick off but I went to an evening game so might be different for afternoon ones. There was a quick bag search before going in. There are toilets and a food kiosk just inside the entrance. The main stand covers about two-thirds of the length of the pitch and is raised above pitch level so there are some stairs to go up which are to the left as you go in. To the right is some covered terracing which extends are the way behind the goal (the other end is identical but not open for Brighton matches). There are more toilets in the far corner at the back of the terrace. On the far side there is a covered seated stand that goes along the whole length of the pitch. There are a few support pillars along the front so these might get in the way.
Food and Drink
At the ground behind the south terrace (beyond the turnstiles), there is a bar but this was closed when I went and not sure if it is open for Brighton matches. Inside the ground there is a food kiosk with a good selection of food and non-alcoholic drinks available but with a bit of a slow moving queue when I was there. Hot drinks (coffee, tea hot chocolate, bovrill) cost £2 whilst cold drinks (cans, fruit shoot and water) cost £1.50. Beef burgers cost £4, cheeseburgers £4.50 and you can add bacon for another £1. Skin on chips (which were really nice and a good portion) cost £3 and a there are a selection of chocolate bars which cost £1. There are also cheese and onion rolls, sausage rolls and pies and slices which all cost £3.50. Away from the ground, I only noticed one pub (The New Moon) on the walk from station to the ground so if you want anything else it might be best to go to the town centre.
Didn’t see much merchandise about. There was a photo booth thing by the entrance and I did see some flags being given out. There was no sign of any programmes and then it was announced it was online only. However a lady then appeared giving out paper programmes for free.