Brighton’s brand-spanking new £93million Amex stadium has been recognised as one of the world’s best new sports arenas.
The Seagulls’ new home has been short-listed in a host of categories at the forthcoming stadium business awards and will go head to head with Italian giants Juventus’ state-of-the-art stadia for the prize of Best New Sporting Venue.
Also up for that award is Poland’s new football ground which has been built for this year’s Euro 2012 championships.
Elsewhere The Amex has been nominated for the Venue of the Year award, but will have to beat off stiff competition from New Zealand’s Forsyth Barr Stadium and the Mercedes-Benz Arena in China.
Brighton are also keeping their fingers crossed the club comes out on top in the world’s best categories of customer experience, sales and marketing, while chief exec Martin Perry – one of the main men behind the club’s long-running hunt for a new home – is up for Executive of the Year.
Brighton have worked hard to improve the experience of supporters at The Amex after years spent slumming it at Withdean. Efforts include an on-site backery which regularly sells more pies than Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium despite being only a third of the size, local brewed beer on sale in both the home and away end, and luxury seats throughout.
The club has also been praised for being the most environmentally friendly in terms of encouraging fans to use public transport.
Fans are also regularly consulted about what sort of things they would – and wouldn’t – like to see at The Amex.
The Albion’s CEO Derek Chapman said, “It is fantastic for the club that the stadium and Martin’s efforts have been recognised on an international level.
“We are all extremely proud of the Amex, but this underlines every-one’s hard work to make the experience one of the best in the world.”
The club will find out on May 15 if they have been successful.