It has been announced on Wednesday afternoon that the government have given the go ahead for football fans to return to a Premier League stadium, for the first time since March.
As parts of a trial including women’s football, non-league football and other sports, such as rugby, cricket, horse racing and basketball, spectators will be allowed into the Amex Stadium on Saturday.
Brighton play Chelsea in a pre-season friendly and whilst no visiting supporters will be allowed in, 2,500 paying Brighton fans will be.
One small step in terms of the numbers that will be there on Saturday but a massive step forward towards supporters being allowed into all Premier League stadiums.
October is the month when at the earliest, we may see some fans allowed into St James Park and the other 19 PL grounds, depending on how well the trials go.
Newcastle Eagles have been chosen to host a basketball match where supporters will be allowed, that game on the 18 September.
It is only 40 days since Newcastle United visited Brighton (see above) for the final away match of the season, with of course no paying spectators allowed for that dire 0-0 draw.
BBC Sport report:
‘Brighton’s pre-season friendly with Chelsea on Saturday will allow fans in to the Amex Stadium as part of the government’s latest pilot scheme.
Fans will also be allowed at a women’s friendly at Lewes on Sunday, West Ham and Arsenal’s Women’s Super League game and Non-League Finals Day.
The Harlequins-Bath Premiership rugby union match at Twickenham Stoop on 5 September will also permit spectators.
Some Bob Willis Trophy and T20 Blast cricket matches are also included.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) say capacity limits and ticketing processes will vary based on individual venues and events, with further pilots to be announced in due course.’
Brighton Official Announcement:
‘A total of 2,500 tickets will be made available to Brighton & Hove Albion season-ticket holders and 1901 Club members for a pre-season friendly against Chelsea at the American Express Community Stadium this Saturday, 29th August, kick-off 3pm.
The government approved the event on Wednesday afternoon, and the game is the stadium’s first to include fans since lockdown commenced in March. As this is not a league fixture, tickets will be sold to season-ticket holders and 1901 Club members in priority windows, based on loyalty points.
The match is all-ticket and in the unlikely event the game does not sell out, there will be no ticket sales on the day. Please note, tickets will not be made available to Chelsea supporters as we are not permitted to admit visiting supporters.
To conform with the government’s track-and-trace rules, booking a ticket for this match requires you to ensure your personal and contact details are all up to date, and you have provided the club with a current working mobile phone number.’