Your experience of the new Stadium

mhead bee

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Rather than trawl through miserable match reports to read about the new stadium how about having a thread to discuss the good, the bad the ugly from your first visit.

I don't think I was excited because after such a long absence it didn't feel real until I got there. I haven't missed the journey, 50MPH the whole way, three separate broken down cars without a lay-by to stop in causing an added 45 minutes of grid lock and delays.

The first sign of emotion was as we entered the M4 flyover and the iconic sight of the floodlights were nowhere to be seen, suddenly it dawned on me, when I told people who I support everybody used to say are they are the ones just next to m4, or is that the one with the pub on each corner. The total darkness was quite sad as I peered across trying to make out if the floodlights were still there but it was pitch black. Anyway, onto the new, only I couldn't see it. I was expecting to see this bright oasis of light but I couldn't see anything.

We parked in Lionel Road North, a 3 minute walk to the ground and I doubt that will be a reoccurrence when the fans are back with parking restrictions. The strangest thing for me was even as we stood on the A4 waiting to cross the road about 50 meters from the ground I still couldn't see it. I asked my son where it was, I have driven past a thousand times but couldn't make it out in the dark.

As we walked up to it it was very unassuming, the behind of the west stand was white plastic and you could make out some flags hanging there, it all looked a bit soulless at first. We did a quick lap and I am amazed how we have built such a fantastic stadium in such a tight spot and you wouldn't even know it was there is you weren't looking for it.

Once you get inside you see it for all its glory and it is magnificent. It is a modern Stadium in all the good ways, getting in and out, toilets, scanning your ticket, plenty of leg room so no cuts on your shins but surprisingly little arm and shoulder room and when it is full it will be tight. The view from the north stand half way line was fantastic and we are right on top of the pitch again, it will be brilliant when full be in no doubt of that.

The pre match entertainment with Stu and Marcus is pretty good and you get a bit of a laugh. The floodlights blinding you or being distracted by the game shown live on the screen was of no issue to me whatsoever although others have mentioned it. The sound system is quite fantastic but completely unnecessary as my ears are still ringing this morning and I was looking forwards to having a chat with my son who only emerged out of his bedroom for this special occasion but with the masks on I couldn't even lip read what he was saying. I never really felt I had to be deafened to create an atmosphere but it seems to be the modern way, I like to chat to people around me that is a thing of the past nowadays.

The only thing that surprised me was after all the hoo ha, even though we did have our temperature taken nobody checked our passport, our ID or checked our tickets, we scanned them and walked in. There was no contact tracing that I could see so if you want to sell your ticket on the black market go ahead.

All in all this is something to really treasure, the future is here, GP the old wreck has sunk and sleeps with the fish.
 

LP_Brentford

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It's no Griffin Park...😔

Upon first walking into the ground, I was delighted and could only see the positives.

The exterior of the stadium is smart. No it is not imposing but how imposing can a 17,000 seater stadium really be, this isn't the Emirates or the new WHL. It's fit for the level we are playing at and comparable to most new stadiums in The Championship/League One etc. The concourse areas in the "North Stand" appeared wide and open, with plenty of room. Albeit it's pretty difficult to gauge with only 2000 fans. The toilets are certainly an improvement on what we have had before.

Once inside - North Stand/Row 22.

Trying not to be blinded by the lights, I was thankful for how far we have come. The view was superb without any obstructions, aside from the overly bright lights. Does not look like there is a bad view in the house. Without sounding too precious, the leg room was not as good as promised. I'm only 5'11 and it was a little tight (Good luck to those London Irish fans sitting comfortably) and the chairs again were not as comfortable as promised, but hey ho we are at the football and it's a significant improvement on what we have had before. The big screen playing the whole game was a bit of a distraction, it was ten seconds behind. Just replays and line ups etc, would be fine IMO.

In reference to COVID; It was great we could chant and shout as usual ensuring we wore a mask. I really don't understand why people wear a mask and then have it hanging under there nose, if you can wear a mask wear it properly. I do think the stewards could check a little more on where peope are sitting, people were a little close in places and it was fairly obvious not everyone was from the same household. Think they could improve here, although this won't be forever.

I think it will take time to feel like home, it has no real identity to Brentford IMO. Could do with more pictures of Brentford history/ex players etc. The stadium did feel quite bland and an all purpose stadium rather than personalised to our club. I do wonder if sharing the ground with London Irish has had any effect on this? Happy enough with the ground, no real complaints but just think it lacked identity and they could of tried to connect it more to our club.

Undecided right now, I expect with time I'll grow to be more fond of it. Difficult to really know right now with only 2000 fans and no food and drink etc.

Now I've got it out my system and been to the stadium, I might think twice about going back till everything has gone back to normal when I can really judge the new stadium.
 

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First impressions overall were very positive. Parked in the usual spot for a night game just off Windmill Road and walked down the A4 to the ground. Not the nicest walk (other options are available) but personally I enjoy a 'gritty' march to a match which is delivered as you trudge under the flyover in the pitch black in some places (nothing worse than Reading or MK Dons where you walk past people going about their shopping in TK Maxx etc whilst you're getting revved up for a match). The lack of pedestrian crossings on that route though is a bit hairy - especially trying to cross Ealing Road whilst cars are flying off the roundabout.

Got the first glimpse of the ground as we turned in to Lionel Road South and stood to have a proper look at it from the bridge over the railway. It really looks the part from the outside and whilst it doesn't have the drama of approaching the GP floodlights, there's enough there to suck you in. The stadium already looks quite established with being nestled in a tight space. I haven't yet ventured to the south side of the stadium but the geometry of the site means it doesn't feel like you're going to get that hub bub of people milling around the ground before the game. Approaching from the north side feels more akin to an 'out of town ground' where you go straight in and come straight out and make your way to wherever you're going.

The ground inside feels kind of big and small at the same time. There's some very clever design been done and it sort of felt familiar already and I think it will become a fantastic home. The brightness in the stands as highlighted elsewhere is a bit of a ball ache but hopefully that will be adjusted going forward as it does seem abnormally bright whilst sat in your seat. You could thread a needle.

The game itself didn't help but I came away thinking I will probably choose not to go back until things are back to 'normal' now. The combination of only having 2,000 in there, wearing a mask, no refreshments and sitting in a random seat amount to quite a poor experience in my opinion. That's no reflection on the ground because I'm very excited by what I've seen but it's not able to exhibit it's full potential yet. Personally I had to go and see it but for anyone that has taken the decision to wait until things are back to normal - I can understand that.

Like the blow dealt by not being able to say a proper farewell to GP, not being able to have the big bash to open LR is a gutter but there will be plenty of memorable days to be had there in the years to come.
 

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The only thing that surprised me was after all the hoo ha, even though we did have our temperature taken nobody checked our passport, our ID or checked our tickets, we scanned them and walked in. There was no contact tracing that I could see so if you want to sell your ticket on the black market go ahead.
Apart from having my ticket checked, that was my experience on Saturday too. I asked the steward at the turnstile about contact tracing but he hadn’t the faintest idea what I was talking about!
 

LP_Brentford

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Apart from having my ticket checked, that was my experience on Saturday too. I asked the steward at the turnstile about contact tracing but he hadn’t the faintest idea what I was talking about!
Yeah, was surprised by how laid back they was regarding it. Without sounding like the COVID police because I was happy to have some sort of normality, being able to go to the game and make some noise. Why bother wearing a mask if you are not going to wear it properly & it was obvious people were not sticking to where they were supposed to be sitting with there household.

I just think it's not difficult to wear a mask properly, why are people so precious about it, just put your mask on properly and get on with it.
 

Paul_T

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Happy that my journey too and from the ground is about 15 minutes shorter now. Felt easy to access but if you had full house, can imagine the road up past East Stand is going to feel quite busy to say the least, given that's potentially for a lot of fans for South, East and North stands. Wondering where the bars and food outlets will be as that's going to take up concourse space. Very nice toilets. Seat was fine, felt like enough leg room in row 3 but wouldn't have wanted to be in row 1 cos I wouldn't have fitted. Good views at pitch level, probably as good as I've seen at that height (I like to stand much further back generally).

Main complaint is the brightness as others have said, get the lights in the stands turned down. Also not a great fan of music playing when teams run out and get ready for kick off, I prefer to hear the fans singing (although if you're going to do it, the Prodigy isn't a bad choice) and also have to mention the strobes - giving a message to says photo-sensitive people need to avoid doesn't feel especially inclusive for any fans who have epilepsy.
 

Banana

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photo-sensitive people need to avoid doesn't feel especially inclusive for any fans who have epilepsy.
We had this only recently. It is only a specific type of epilepsy that might be impacted, those with photo-sensitive epilepsy. That amount to 5% of those with the wider condition. Even that 5% are affected by different stimuli, including flashing lights on emergency vehicles.

So as long as anyone that might be affected knows it's going to happen then that should be sufficient.
 

maddogging

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Loved it, everything about it, the feeling of being so near to the action was a blessing as I was concerned we’d lose that.
As a dugouter, the entrance, break out area and seating was superb and I can’t wait to get back again !
 

Houghton Bee

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Walked down to the ground from Gunnersbury along the A4. The lighting is awful, which of course isn't the club's fault but really needs improving for bigger crowds and the general public. There are no direction signs for home or away fans, nothing to say 'here we are' at all until you stumble upon the ground. I had a quick look down Capital Interchange Way, there was a few parking spaces available at 7pm incidentally, the proposed access to the East Stand/away end looks miles off being completed, not sure what the plan would have been if they were allowed in (from a fair distance so I may be wrong).

I was sat in North Stand block 125. Exiting that area with big crowds will be a nightmare. Didn't think the concourse was particularly spacious, although I assume at half time the area immediately outside can be utilised as well. They've done what they can with the space but I think half time queues may raise some complaints, hopefully having a few more kiosks will help but it felt very New Road. Nothing in there to say whose home it is. It was interesting to check out that stand but I'm happy my normal seat is in the East Stand despite the downgrade in vantage point. The set of toilets I used were ok, cold water only though.

The view of the pitch is of course fantastic compared to any seat at GP, row 15 leg room was just about ok for me at 6ft 3in, as mhead says the seats seem narrow, I bumped arms once or twice with the chap two seats away... Comfort-wise they were adequate enough, nothing special. Those f***ing seat colours are even worse in real life. Utterly horrendous, and again it could be anyone's home or a generic ground on a computer game. The South Stand looks fantastic in every respect other than that, certainly hoping to check that out at some point this season. The lights being on didn't negatively impact on my view of the action, although it would probably be a bit more atmospheric if the stand lights were off during the match. We'll be able to create a cracking atmosphere in the ground when bigger crowds are admitted which is a huge plus, acoustics seem brilliant.

The pre-game light show felt a bit ice hockey/non-football ground to me but the kids will probably love it. PA system was too loud, but the quality of sound was miles away from what we suffered at GP, just needs dropping a few decibels for my liking.

I needed to be back to Gunnersbury for the 2157 train so had to bunk out when the lino was subbed off in injury time. Easy enough as only a handful of us were leaving, but again with bigger crowds you can see how much of a choke point those stairs will be and those crossing the A4 will have 'fun'. Took about 12 minutes to get to Gunnersbury (it helped that I had plenty of green crossing lights when crossing the Chiswick Roundabout!) at a good pace along the A4 route.

It didn't really grab me as 'home' on first visit. Obviously the covid restrictions impacted upon things as did going alone, maybe when a bit of familiarity is built up and crowds are back to normal things will improve from my perspective. Being able to buy a pint would naturally help :D I couldn't help feeling if that was say Luton or Gillingham's new ground and we were visiting as away fans we'd feel it was nice enough, a big improvement on what's gone before but not much to really get moist about. After we've spent 90 minutes ripping the piss out of them for the seat colours, of course!
 

hatfieldbee

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Apart from having my ticket checked, that was my experience on Saturday too. I asked the steward at the turnstile about contact tracing but he hadn’t the faintest idea what I was talking about!
I found a few QR Covid thingies that you could 'register' your presence with the Covid App, in the inner concourse of the North Stand. 'Covid App' knows where I was on Saturday afternoon!
 
OP
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mhead bee

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The pre-game light show felt a bit ice hockey/non-football ground to me but the kids will probably love it. PA system was too loud, but the quality of sound was miles away from what we suffered at GP, just needs dropping a few decibels for my liking.
My son said its like American football, I didn't mind it too much, I was caught between a bit naff and ammo for away fans and actually enjoying it.

Given the fact everyone was in and out of the local shops buying sweets and drinks I really don't see the issue with selling food and drink inside. Also nobody checked what we had on us so i could have taken a crate of budweiser in with me.

Once you got over the peculiar feel of watching a game live It definitely didn't take long to stop looking around and start the "fekk sake ref" and "pass it to onde of our players for gods sake".
 

Banana

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I needed to be back to Gunnersbury for the 2157 train so had to bunk out when the lino was subbed off in injury time. Easy enough as only a handful of us were leaving, but again with bigger crowds you can see how much of a choke point those stairs will be and those crossing the A4 will have 'fun'. Took about 12 minutes to get to Gunnersbury (it helped that I had plenty of green crossing lights when crossing the Chiswick Roundabout!) at a good pace along the A4 route.
Think you are going the wrong way. Up Wellesley Road then the footpath

1607603716067.png
 

longdistancebee

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I was there on Saturday, and at the time i was overwhelmed with finally, after so many years, of being in our new ground. It is everything that a modern sports stadium should be, without the soullessness of the MK Dons Meccano set or the cavernous monstrosity that is the Emirates. But since Saturday and having had time to reflect......

Well, it is the future, I know, and the revenue opportunities and so forth put it light years ahead of GP. But don't ever expect me to say that I prefer it.
 

taxi driver

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The draught lager in the Legends lounge was not good. 😡
 

BEEcool

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I was there on Saturday, and at the time i was overwhelmed with finally, after so many years, of being in our new ground. It is everything that a modern sports stadium should be, without the soullessness of the MK Dons Meccano set or the cavernous monstrosity that is the Emirates. But since Saturday and having had time to reflect......

Well, it is the future, I know, and the revenue opportunities and so forth put it light years ahead of GP. But don't ever expect me to say that I prefer it.
No one would expect you to say that.

It's natural to compare it to GP but it's an impossible comparison. I liken it to moving house which I have done recently. We've moved somewhere bigger, a bit more modern and in a nicer road. Do I 'prefer' it? Not really but I'm happy being here and we're still 'growing in to it'. I miss the old place a bit - it was quite small and rough around the edges but it was a great home for the 8 years that we were there and holds many great memories. I wouldn't go back to it though - we've moved on and are busy making new memories here. That's not to say we don't reminisce but it doesn't pay to dwell on that for too long or you miss out on what's right in front of you.
 

Sultan

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Flashing lights, booming music . . . leads to . . . clappers, cheerleaders, popcorn . . . maybe.
 

wanderer paul

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Flashing lights, booming music . . . leads to . . . clappers, cheerleaders, popcorn . . . maybe.
I hope so. We need something to brighten up the day. :geek:
 

Les Beeavinu

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People have mentioned the sound system - I expected it to be far worse after hearing some early reports. I thought it was ok. Communication wasn't helped of course by masks but I think it will be fine under normal conditions.
 

taxi driver

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People have mentioned the sound system - I expected it to be far worse after hearing some early reports. I thought it was ok. Communication wasn't helped of course by masks but I think it will be fine under normal conditions.
I thought the only problem with the sound was that PG still thinks he's using the system at Griffin Park.

Maybe, just maybe he could take the level down.

More people inside may soften the sound too.

Crystal clear otherwise.
 
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Flashing lights, booming music . . . leads to . . . clappers, cheerleaders, popcorn . . . maybe.
Awful that, what was the music too? it was like some big event was about to happen, a pop concert or american sport.

Just before Hey jude was being played / sung and it sounded really good.
 

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I really don't like the live action being played on the big screen. I can see the point at stadium rock concerts when most of the crowd are too far away to see the detail of action on the stage, but I just found it distracting when I was watching the game yards in front of me. During play, keep the screen as a scoreboard, for sub announcements, and for replays of goals and maybe other significant incidents.
 

Banana

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I really don't like the live action being played on the big screen. I can see the point at stadium rock concerts when most of the crowd are too far away to see the detail of action on the stage, but I just found it distracting when I was watching the game yards in front of me. During play, keep the screen as a scoreboard, for sub announcements, and for replays of goals and maybe other significant incidents.
I agree. At one point (during the sequence of corners at the start of the second half), I wasn't sure if it was showing a replay or "live" 😌
 

taxi driver

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I really don't like the live action being played on the big screen. I can see the point at stadium rock concerts when most of the crowd are too far away to see the detail of action on the stage, but I just found it distracting when I was watching the game yards in front of me. During play, keep the screen as a scoreboard, for sub announcements, and for replays of goals and maybe other significant incidents.
Is this just a simple case of don't look at it? Or am I missing something?

I found it useful to track how long had been played.
 

pompeybee

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Is this just a simple case of don't look at it? Or am I missing something?

I found it useful to track how long had been played.
I'd allow a clock as wel! As on the small scoreboards at GP.

On your first point, maybe I'll learn to ignore it. But I find it difficult not to be distracted by action in the corner of my eye. Might have had something to do with where I was sitting, much lower down than my ST will be.

Time will tell. Just seems a bit unnecessary and 'look at our whizzy new toy'.
 

Les Beeavinu

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I'd allow a clock as wel! As on the small scoreboards at GP.

On your first point, maybe I'll learn to ignore it. But I find it difficult not to be distracted by action in the corner of my eye. Might have had something to do with where I was sitting, much lower down than my ST will be.

Time will tell. Just seems a bit unnecessary and 'look at our whizzy new toy'.
I assume this is a South Stand thing, kept on forgetting it was there in the lower reaches of the North Stand.
 

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Positives: There's a natural buzz and excitement on approach that I didn't know whether to expect. You can't help but feel it as the stadium comes into view when walking up. Maybe that's partly just because it's been ages since seeing live football, but I think it's also the stadium itself. It feels big compared to GP, and the stands are nicec and close the pitch, so that even with just 2,000 in you can sense that some atmosphere will be produced when we can get closer to full capacity.

Negatives: Too bright in the stands, I'm used to be plunged into darkness at kickoff. The light show prior to kick-off was also very annyoing and nearly blinded me, and, errr, the seats aren't all red for some reason.

Not the fault of the stadium/club but also the experience of watching a match on your own, with no concession stands open, in a mostly empty stadium, with no away fans, is far more dull than how I remember from my last live match in March. Hopefully we can ramp up the numbers allowed soon.
 

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Loved it and love it !

Will be great when full and very loud . Although I have a feeling that’s it for a while with the revised tiers coming in .
 

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Is this just a simple case of don't look at it? Or am I missing something?

I found it useful to track how long had been played.
Bloke behind me on Saturday kept moaning during stoppage time that the extra minutes were'nt being counted down on the screen. Had to explain that it was not allowed in view of live spectators as well as the players and coaches.
 

ruislip bee

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Flashing lights, booming music . . . leads to . . . clappers, cheerleaders, popcorn . . . maybe.
Excellent. I wonder what the Brentford Bayonets are doing now (my dad insisted on calling them that).
 

Delbee

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Bloke behind me on Saturday kept moaning during stoppage time that the extra minutes were'nt being counted down on the screen. Had to explain that it was not allowed in view of live spectators as well as the players and coaches.
I heard that I was near and what was said , question as if he didn’t know , What I heard once was Why Aren’t The Stoppage Time On The Screen Not Counting Down ? I didn’t get it as a moan. I think he also said thanks didn’t know that as it’s shown on TV
 

Guildford Bee

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Does anyone have any idea of those in the North Stand will be able to access the west Stand facilities where there’s a bit more space?
 

Delbee

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I did wonder on Saturday why two areas were “Black Meshed Off “
1) West Stand Near To South Stand
2) North Stand Near To East Stand
 

AB

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Flashing lights, booming music . . . leads to . . . clappers, cheerleaders, popcorn . . . maybe.
Whatever happened to the Brentford Babettes?
 

Banana

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I did wonder on Saturday why two areas were “Black Meshed Off “
1) West Stand Near To South Stand
2) North Stand Near To East Stand
To stop you going to an area that had no stewards. Is it that difficult to compute?
 

hobbsy

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Does anyone have any idea of those in the North Stand will be able to access the west Stand facilities where there’s a bit more space?
Nope, even those in the West Stand won't be able to get to all the facilities in the West Stand.
 

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A fantastic experience, cannot wait for bigger crowds to returned. After watching the game on Saturday it has truly rekindled my passion for everything Brentford. There was so much that could have gone wrong that didn't, everyone involved with delivering Lionel Road deserves big credit and a huge thanks.
 

westwing

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Good reading everyone's experiences.
I'm surprised that anyone would risk parking on Lionel Road North.
I've seen car windows being smashed and belongings robbed on that road
on a Sunday morning!!
 

Banana

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Good reading everyone's experiences.
I'm surprised that anyone would risk parking on Lionel Road North.
I've seen car windows being smashed and belongings robbed on that road
on a Sunday morning!!
Yes, and it was a matter a much debate on here at the time

The police were doing extra patrols on matchdays in response. However I do wonder if they have remembered to recommence them
 

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