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Written by Abi Radford on

Last night I attended the men’s final of the under 20s Six Nations game between England and France at the Amex Stadium in Brighton. Being a rugby player myself I was excited to go and watch a live game and I was struck at how good the atmosphere was at the stadium and it left me hungry for more! It was my first visit to the stadium and even though I drive past it every day I was very impressed. The Amex had finally finished being constructed in May 2011 after a long struggle for planning permission against Lewes District Council who argued that the stadium would be damaging to the existing appearance of the landscape. It was believed that the stadium would be ugly against the backdrop of the South Downs National Park – a view that is easily contested by anyone that has seen the stadium since it has been built. The stadium has since been the home ground for Brighton and Hove Albion football club and has seen some fantastic games of football held there. The stadium is stunning, both inside and out, and anyone can appreciate this fact. After last night I can also vouch for the fact that the seats are very comfortable and the hotdogs are very good too!

At the rugby game last night there were over 12,000 people of all ages watching – nearly half the full capacity of the stadium – and the atmosphere was fantastic. With every try there were cheers from the crowd and we all seemed to be very engrossed in the game. Our seats were fantastic and we were able to see some great trys being scored! I think that the size of the stadium (although still large) allows for a more intimate setting with the game than somewhere like Twickenham. The sportsmanship was fantastic– despite there not being a very large away crowd there was great support for any French breakthrough and it made me proud to be a part of such a goodhearted sport. The final whistle left the game with England beating France 24 – 11 after a few well-earned trys.

Having such a fantastic sporting ground in Brighton has definitely boosted the value of the city in many people’s hearts and has brought people from far and wide to visit. The Amex is situated in a prime location next to a railway that has links to the main Brighton station. It also has a great park and ride bus system for the people living in and around Brighton. Last night was the first game of rugby that has been played at the stadium and thus sets the stage for the upcoming international rugby world cup games that will be played there later this year. The Amex also holds many conferences and events for non-sporting organisations which also boosts its overall value within the local community. A trip to the Amex is something that I would recommend for anyone – interested in sport or not – and it makes an excellent family day out! I will definitely be returning soon!

For more information about the stadium and its events go to Amex Stadium website.

Abi Radford

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