Fourteen long seasons after leaving the Goldstone Ground, Brighton and Hove Albion were finally installed in their new home, the 30,000 seat AMEX Stadium, on the opposite end of the city.
After over 10 years in the wilderness, fans were delighted that the club finally had a place they were proud to call home. However, how have the Seagulls fared since taking up residence in one of the Championship’s premier grounds?
In 2011 the Albion lifted the League One title, before packing their bags and leaving the makeshift athletics track forever. The sudden change of fortunes must have felt like winning Lottoland’s EuroMillions jackpot.
In their first season at the AMEX the team finished a respectable 10th place, with Ashley Barnes netting 14 goals in total, to become Brighton’s top scorer for the season.
Finishing at their highest position in the football leagues since the nineties, it was the perfect way to christen their new stadium.
The club built on that early success the next season, finishing in the top four under Gus Poyet.
Although it was their first play-off since 1991, a crushing 2-0 defeat at home to bitter rivals Crystal Palace ended the season on a sour note, and proved to be the end of Poyet’s reign at the club, who discovered his sacking while broadcasting on live television.
After a respectable 6th place finish in 2013/14 and the arrival of Oscar Garcia, the club dropped to a dramatic 20th in 2014/15, coming dangerously close to relegation. Centre back Lewis Dunk was the club’s top scorer that season with just 7 goals, a sign of the Albion’s dismal state of affairs.
The pessimism of that season was quickly swept away after a strong campaign last season.
Despite a wobble at the start of January the club regained composure to finish 3rd, but once again fell at the last hurdle, losing to Sheffield Wednesday in the play-offs.
Although it hasn’t always been good times, at the AMEX the Seagulls have enjoyed some of their most prosperous seasons since their heyday at the Goldstone Ground, although it remains to be see whether they’ll break their recent play-off jinx.