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'Kick-off' event for Falmer site

25 November 08 19:03 GMT

Brighton and Hove Albion fans are to be given priority tickets for an event marking the start of construction on the club's football stadium at Falmer.

Chairman Dick Knight said the official "kick-off" ceremony would take place on 17 December, but numbers would have to be limited due to lack of facilities.

The club's appointed contractor the Buckingham Group will take possession of the new site in early December.

Mr Knight added: "This is what we've been waiting for and working for."

But he said: "To guarantee that a number of Albion fans can share this moment with the club, we have decided that a ballot system is the fairest way to choose those present at the event."

Webcam update

Earlier this month, archaeological diggers moved onto the site to check there was nothing of historical importance on the farmland.

Albion chief executive, Martin Perry, said the dig had cleared the way for the start of construction work.

The 22,500-seater stadium is due to open in August 2011, a year later than originally planned.

The club is planning to erect a webcam on the site to enable fans to keep up to date with the progress of the construction work.

"This is a very exciting time for our fans, the club and the city - the beginning of the end of the battle for our new home," Mr Perry said.

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