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Club News

AMEX UPDATE: PROHIBITED ITEMS

29 August 2018

Paul Hazlewood
Brighton & Hove Albion are reminding supporters which items are prohibited from being brought into the American Express Community Stadium, ahead of its upcoming Premier League fixture against Fulham this weekend.
 
The full list is available here, and the club has taken the step to add flasks, cartons and larger bottles – in whatever material they are made from – to the prohibited list from this season, from the Fulham match onward, following a review of the matchday safety policies.
 
And, in common with some other venues, we will also be reviewing our policy on bags with a view to further limiting the types of bags we will permit inside the stadium on matchdays.
 
Albion chief executive Paul Barber explained, "Spectator, visitor, staff and player safety and security is our number one priority, particularly on a matchday when these days we typically welcome 30,000 people into the Amex.
 
"In an ever-changing and more uncertain world, it's absolutely essential we continue to regularly review our safety and security policies and take whatever action we deem necessary to ensure the safest and most secure environment.
 
"When I and many of the club’s older fans first started watching football, stadium entry searches were non-existent, fans could consume alcohol in view of the pitch, smoking in the stadium was commonplace, and many fans brought a flask to the match – but the stadium and wider safety and security environment has changed, and dramatically so in more recent times.
 
"We've had a lot of dialogue and correspondence on our decision to ban flasks, and while we fully accept this is not a popular decision with a relatively small group of supporters, it is not one we have made lightly.
 
"Our job is to anticipate risks to the safety and security of our stadium, and the people within it, and then mitigate or eliminate those risks wherever it is practical to do so – not wait for an incident to occur before we take action.
 
"We are in continued dialogue with various expert safety advisors, including Sussex Police, and we feel this decision is in the best interests of everyone coming into the stadium.
 
"Several clubs and other sporting and entertainment venues have already prohibited flasks within their facilities, and it's quite possible other venues will do so in the future. However, our only concern and focus is Brighton & Hove Albion and the American Express Community Stadium."
 
Any supporters bringing flasks from the Fulham match onward, will need to remove the flask from the stadium area or dispose of it before being allowed access to the Amex. The club will NOT store flasks during the match. Any flasks left outside of the stadium will be disposed of immediately.
 
Meanwhile, Barber has refuted accusations that the club have made the move to ban flasks to make more money from selling more hot drinks in the stadium.
 
"This certainly isn't a money spinner for the club, as one or two people have suggested. In fact, it's the very opposite as, supported by our catering partners, Sodexo, we have taken the decision to reduce prices for our basic hot drinks inside the stadium – making them amongst the cheapest in the Premier League - while also extending the options available.
 
"We are reducing the cost of tea and coffee to £1.80 inside the stadium to make our hot drinks as accessible to as many people as possible and, we hope to introduce a hot soup option in our concessions for the winter months."
 
Finally, Barber addressed concerns that disabled supporters or those with medical conditions would be disadvantaged by the new policy.
 
"The Amex has some of the best facilities for disabled supporters of any stadium in the country. We provide carer/assistant spaces free of charge so that disabled supporters have help to and from the stadium, and also once they are inside.
 
"In addition, the club already provides an 'at seat' refreshment service for those disabled fans without support from a carer/assistant and who are unable to get to our concessions. This service will of course continue.
 
"Where we are able to do so, we will also assist any supporter with a medical condition which requires specific food or drink to be brought into the Amex. Any supporter with concerns in this area should contact supporter services for assistance."
 
Catering Options

The club have also made the move to ensure de-caffeinated drinks and soya milk are made available to those with food intolerances across the stadium.
 
All stadium kiosks also now include at least 12 different hot food options, with 16 choices now available in the North Stand and East Lower kiosks. All kiosks will also include a range of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. 
 
While we currently permit water in uncapped bottles of 500ml or less to be brought in to the stadium, we are also investigating the possibility of free water being made available via self-service fountains in the concourses. Our policy on allowing uncapped bottles (of any size) in to the stadium will be reviewed at this time.
 
Hot Drink Range
 
We serve a Kenco, PG Tips, Bovril and hot chocolate across all our internal kiosks. In addition to this, a premium filter coffee alternative is served in the North Stand pizza kiosk and East Lower sweet shop. Premium coffee is always available outside the stadium between the station and North Stand.
 
Decaffeinated Alternatives
 
De-caffeinated coffee and tea will now be available from the Fulham fixture in our primary kiosks*. Hot chocolate and Bovril is available from all kiosks, and we are also investigating a hot soup option for the winter period.
 
Dairy Free Milks

Soya milk will now be available upon request from our primary kiosks*.
 
Soft Drink Range
 
In addition to our usual range of carbonated soft drinks, orange-flavoured Capri Sun – currently only served in the Family Stand – will be available in all kiosks from the Fulham match onwards.
 
Vegetarian range

Alongside our vegetarian pie, a vegetarian burger will be served in our primary kiosks*.
 
* Primary kiosks are located as follows. West Lower: two central kiosks; West Upper: two central kiosks; South: central kiosk in home end, East Lower family kiosk;, East Upper: south kiosk; North: two central kiosks.
 
New Catering Trials

During the season ahead, and to further assist supporters that are not registered as disabled but who have mobility issues – making it hard for them to reach concourse concessions – the club will be trialling an 'at seat' refreshment service.
 
Subject to pre-ordering and a minimum spend, supporters will be able to receive refreshments delivered to their seat. Initially, the service will focus on delivery in a one-hour window prior to the match (large volumes of spectator movements at half-time make delivery too difficult).
 
The menu, which is at an early design stage, will look to cover vegetarian, gluten free, halal, vegan, dairy free and kosher options and is likely to include a primary food item, hot or cold drink (no alcohol), snack bar and fruit piece. More details on this service to follow.
 
To further support older or less mobile supporters sitting outside of registered disabled supporter areas, the club and its catering partner will also look to extend the service further once trials are successfully completed. Again, more details to follow later in the season.
 
Single Use Plastics
 
As many supporters will have already seen, the club and its catering partner, Sodexo, eliminated the use of plastic straws, stirrers, and cutlery from the start of the current season.
 
We are currently exploring how we may remove other single use plastics – beer cups and plastic bottles being the two most used items in the stadium – but current alternative options present a number of challenges due to the unique football stadium environment. We will keep fans updated.

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