'£600m' – Brighton chairman Tony Bloom 'astonished' by financial report amid new stadium confirmation

Brighton & Hove Albion made a contribution of more than £600m to the local economy during their record-breaking 2022/23 season.
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The club presented their second Economic Impact Report at the Amex on Tuesday attended by more than 100 business leaders and councillors from the city and throughout Sussex.

Last season Roberto De Zerbi led Albion to a record-breaking sixth place in the Premier League and into Europe for the first time in our 122-year history.

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While the footballing progress is clear, an independent assessment revealed the economic impact of the team’s achievements on the city.

Brighton's chairman Tony Bloom takes his seat at the American Express StadiumBrighton's chairman Tony Bloom takes his seat at the American Express Stadium
Brighton's chairman Tony Bloom takes his seat at the American Express Stadium

The £612m contribution – a 289 per cent rise compared to the first report in 2017 - includes £327m of direct income, £26m spent by visitors, £20m spent on goods and services in the city by club employees and a further £239m of brand and media value to the local economy, which has increased the city’s profile around the world.

Last season 54,000 visitors from overseas were among the 600,000 people who watched games at the American Express Stadium.

Chairman Tony Bloom said, “Back in 1997, when the board started planning our new stadium, our vision was that the Amex would deliver £23.5m to the local economy and create 750 jobs for local people.

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“Now, 26 years later, the second Economic Impact Report shows the staggering contribution of over £600m to the local economy during the 2022/23 season."

Bloom added: “Just as importantly, we currently employ 907 full-time and part-time staff, while our main contractor Sodexo employs around 500 people. Then there are over 550 people employed in the wider local economy through employee and visitor spend on goods and services.

“Finally, I would like to pay tribute to our amazing fanbase, many of whom have been with the club every step of the way on the incredible journey we have been on, and who – together with our growing legion of new fans – will hopefully continue to enjoy following the Albion for many years to come.”

Meanwhile, Brighton have grand plans to build a new stadium for the Albion Women’s team, who compete in the Women’s Super League. Melissa Phillips’ team, who last time out drew 2-2 with Manchester United, currently play the majority of their home matches at Crawley Town’s Broadfield Stadium.

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It has long been the club’s aim to bring the women back to Brighton and yesterday Paul Barber, speaking to Sky Sports, confirmed those plans are moving closer.

"We think there is an opportunity to build a stadium specifically for female athletes," Barber said. "With a slightly different bias in terms of the people that come to watch the women's team, where there are more women, more children, more families.

"Stadiums in this country tend to be designed for male athletes and usually for a male audience. If we can find the land and make it viable, we'd love to create a stadium for our women's team specifically designed for female athletes.

"This, we believe, would the first of its kind in the world. If we're able to do that hopefully we can fuel the growth of women's football in this part of the country."

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Barber added: "We think there is a gap between the 3,000 to 5,000 crowds we're attracting at Crawley Town and playing the main stadia (the Amex) which is 32,000.

"Something in between Crawley and the Amex, we think this could work well. We need to build the audience for our women's team. Ideally if we can build it in a modular form, so then at some point in the future when crowds are big enough the women's team can be moved into the main stadium.

"We could adapt the facilities and the concourses, giving more choice to female supporters. We think that we be a good plan. But we've got a lot of work to do first and a we've got to work with a lot of local partners to make it happen."