Hundreds of people have signed a Brighton photographer’s petition calling on Brighton and Hove Albion to stop lighting up the night skies around the Amex.
The club has been using lights and heaters to promote grass growth in the winter months so it can meet Premiership pitch standards for the last three years.
But the light spills into the night sky, and the orange glow can be seen as far away as the Long Man of Wilmington – a distance of more than eleven miles.
As well as light pollution, scientists have now made a link between lights such as these and the deaths of insects which are vital to our eco-system.
Artist Steve Geliot complained last year and says he received a courteous reply from the club. But when the nightlights were switched back on this winter, he decided firmer action was needed.
At the time of publication, 779 people have signed his petition asking the club to put the lights out.
Mr Geliot, who lives near Preston Park, said: “I have been becoming increasingly aware and upset by it over three years but last year I particularly noticed it and I did contact the club.
“I got a courteous response but I can see that it’s as bright as ever this year.
“What has changed this year is the science. And people like me are saying this isn’t right, and I’m not putting up with it.
“I completely get that there’s a lot of loyalty to football and to the club and I’m not not anti the club or football.
“But the glow shows up in photos I took at the Long Man of Wilmington. The Amex is even brighter than Newhaven Harbour. It’s just unbelievably visible.
“I don’t think it’s that difficult to fix it, it just needs reflective panels so it’s lighting up the pitch and not the sky.
“If Albion is a progressive club, and I think it is, how wonderful would it be if they were the first to fix it?”
A spokesman for Brighton and Hove Albion said: “Like most businesses, the football club must balance its concern for, and responsibility to help protect, the environment with our need to practically run our business as a Premier League football club watched by tens of millions of people across the world.
“You will appreciate that, with millions of pounds worth of athletic and footballing talent on display each home match day, we must not only meet and maintain league regulations for the quality of our playing surface, but we also have a duty of care to our players and those of visiting teams.
“Beyond our responsibilities to the athletes, and to the fans who pay to expect to watch a high quality football match, the quality of our pitch can significantly influence our performance and therefore our results. Indeed, its quality can create a (legally) competitive advantage – or a disadvantage.
“Our results on the pitch govern the overall health of our business, and with it the thousands of directly and indirectly created jobs (90% of which are local), not to mention the overall local economic impact, independently measured as being worth £212 million in the 2017/18 season alone.
“The success of the football club also supports an important local charity, Albion in the Community, which runs more than 60 different health and educational programmes for over 40,000 local participants – and makes a further local economic contribution of nearly £30 million – each year.
“In the winter months, whilst we may at times experience high rainfall and high winds, with little or no natural sunlight, a grass pitch misses a key element of its natural ability to re-generate and grow after use. We must therefore replicate that loss of light artificially.
“Clearly, we will always limit the use of artificial light – for all the reasons highlighted – but I’m afraid we are unable to further limit or eliminate its use completely. To do so, would be to significantly neglect the other responsibilities.
“Please be assured that we take our responsibilities for the environment very seriously indeed, but like airlines, car manufacturers, supermarkets, consumer goods factories, and other businesses we all use every day, it is impossible for us to eliminate our environmental footprint altogether.”
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