Brighton update list of Amex prohibited items
Albion have updated the list of items prohibited from being brought into the Amex this season - starting from Saturday's game with Fulham.
The club has added flasks, cartons and larger bottles to the prohibited items list from last season, following a review of the matchday safety policies.
Other items prohibited include alcohol, clear plastic bottles over 500ml, large bags and suitcases, glass bottles, canned drinks and cartons, perfumes and aerosols, DSLR and video cameras, illegal substances, large banners, musical instruments, smoke and gas cannisters, weapons, air horns, tools, fireworks, flares and laser pens.
Brighton will also be reviewing their policy on bags, with a view to further limiting the types of bags permitted to take inside the stadium on matchdays.
On the updated list, Albion chief executive Paul Barber said the safety of everyone is paramount - and that the club have to eliminate all potential risks.
He said: "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."
Many fans have been left frustrated with flasks being added to the list of prohibited items but Barber refuted accusations the club are looking to make more money from selling hot drinks.
He said: "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."