Capacity: 49,000 (all seated)
Address: Stadium Of Light, Sunderland, SR5 1SU
Telephone: 0871 911 1200
Fax: 0191 551 5123
Ticket Office: 0871 911 1973
Stadium Tours: 0871 911 1224
Pitch Size: 105 x 68 metres
Club Nickname: The Black Cats
Year Ground Opened: 1997
Shirt Sponsors: Bidvest
Kit Manufacturer: Adidas
Home Kit: Red & White
Away Kit: Sky Blue
The Club moved to the stadium in 1997, after leaving their former home of Roker Park where they had played for 99 years. The stadium is of a good size, is totally enclosed and on the whole is quite impressive. It is composed of two three tiered stands (at the North end and the West side of the pitch), whilst the others are two tiered. The West (Main) Stand on one side also has a row of executive boxes (which you can sit outside if you wish), that are situated just below the top tier. Currently, with half the stadium being larger than the other, it looks a little imbalanced, when looking from the South Stand. However, if at some point the Club were to add an additional tier to the two remaining sides, then an even more remarkable stadium would emerge. There is also a large video screens perched upon the roof at either end.
Outside the stadium there is a statue of former FA Cup winning manager Bob Stokoe, as well as some reminders of the former Wearmouth Colliery, on the site of which the stadium was built. Behind the West Stand there is a large red wheel, an emblem of the lifts that used to take the miners down to the mines. Also outside one corner of the stadium is a large miners lamp. If you feel a little mischievous, then ask the nearest Sunderland fan whether it is a Geordie Lamp. Don't worry you won't get any physical abuse, just a long lecture that the lamp is in fact a Davy lamp!
Away fans are now housed in the Upper Tier of the North Stand at one end of the stadium, where around 3,000 fans can be housed for league games. For cup games then up to 9,000 visiting supporters can be accommodated in this tier, if demand requires it). Although the facilities are fine in this area, you do have to climb a large number of flights of stairs to reach this top tier. It almost feels if this area has been 'tucked in' under the stadium roof, as it comes down over this section. It means that if you are sitting towards the back of the tier, then although you can see the pitch, you get a limited view of the majority of the rest of the stadium, giving the feeling of being a bit cut off from it all. On the food front, then the club offer; Fish & Chips (£5.50), Various Pies (£3) including the Chicken Balti Pie, Pizza Pods (£3), Cornish Pasties (£2.50) and Jumbo Sausage Rolls (£2.50).
When people ask me which grounds are 'the best' to visit, then Sunderland inevitably comes out as one of my top five recommendations. On its day the place can be rocking, the PA system deafening (especially when the classical piece 'Dance Of The Knights' from Prokofiev's 'Romeo & Juliet' is played before the players come on to the pitch at the start of the game and the Futurehead's 'Beginning of the Twist', as the teams come out of the tunnel) and the Sunderland supporters exceptionally friendly (I was even given a Sunderland shirt by one supporter!). But bear in mind you are not allowed to swear inside the stadium, so if you persist you may find yourself being ejected from the ground!
Stephen Lundell informs me; ‘There are two social clubs; the Sunderland Companions club, and the New Democratic Club, both on North Bridge Street (the road approaching the Wearmouth Bridge), which are about a five minute walk away form the stadium. Although they get very busy they do welcome away supporters, and serve reasonably priced beer'. Whilst Jason Adderley a visiting West Brom fan adds; ''The Albion pub, on Victor Street, off Roker Avenue, is a five minute walk from the ground, with some parking nearby. I've used this pub the last three times I've visited Sunderland with West Brom. Always friendly and the landlord even puts on complimentary snacks after the game. Otherwise there is a chippy a couple of doors away. An all round top boozer'.
Marcus Bowen a visiting Swansea City fan informs me; 'Just across the road from the stadium (near to the entrance where the Davy Lamp is situated) is the Colliery Tavern. Although predominantly a home fans pub, it does allow in away fans and we had an enjoyable time on our visit. It shows live football on a number of tv's and to cope with the large number of fans it has a marquee outside, also serving beer as well as a burger van.
If you have a bit of time of your hands, then you may like to try the Harbour View on the sea front, which is around a 15-20 minute walk away. Simply go along Roker Avenue (opposite the main entrance to the stadium) until you reach the seafront. Turn left along the front and you will see the pub up on the left. The pub which is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, serves good beer (up to six ales), reasonably priced food (with its own matchday menu) and has a large screen television. As the name of the pub suggests you get some good views along the coast from its location. Marcus Ford a visiting Southampton fan adds; 'We tried the Wolsey just down from the Harbour View. It had some real ales and a large eating area and outside decking with glass windbreaks. But by far the best pub was the the William Jameson on Fawcett Street in the city centre. It is a Wetherspoons pub that does get busy before and after the game, but they put on plenty of bar staff, so you don't have to wait long to get served. We spent much of the time talking to locals and having a good time!' Otherwise alcohol is also available inside the stadium, in the form of Fosters (£3.60), Strongbow (£3.60) and John Smiths (£3.40). The Club also offer 2 Pies & 2 Pints for £11 (well that's me sorted, where's yours?).
Kevin Davis informs me; 'The club have secured planning permission to add another 7,200 seats to the Metro FM (South) Stand, which would take the capacity to 55,000. The club have not yet confirmed when (if ever) they will go ahead with this. If the club then proceed after this to add another tier to the McEwans Stand the the final capacity would be around 64,000'
Exit the A1 at Junction 62, the Durham/Sunderland exit and take the A690 towards Sunderland. After about eight miles, you will reach a roundabout, at which turn left onto the A19, signposted for the Tyne Tunnel. Stay in the left hand lane and take the second slip road towards Sunderland (signposted Stadium Of Light, A1231 Sunderland). This takes you onto a bridge crossing over the River Wear. Turn right onto the A1231 following the signs for Sunderland. Go straight over four roundabouts into Sunderland.
Then go through two sets of traffic lights (keeping in the left hand lane at the second set, going straight on towards Roker rather than the city centre) and you will see the Stadium car park on your right, about a mile after the traffic lights. However there is only limited parking at the ground itself and there is a residents only parking scheme in operation on streets close to the stadium (especially on the estate behind the North Stand). So please check for any warning signs on lamp posts before parking, or you may end up with a hefty parking ticket for your trouble.
Instead you can park at the Stadium of Light Metro Station (cost £4) or alternatively, you can park in the city centre and walk to the ground (about 10-15 minutes). The traffic for a couple of miles around the ground was solid when I went so allow plenty of time for your journey.
There is also a 'Park & Ride' scheme in operation on matchdays, free for both home and away supporters. This is situated at Sunderland Enterprise Park, which is well signposted just off the A1231. Buses run every five minutes, for 90 minutes before kick off and continue after the game until everyone has gone.
Post Code for SAT NAV: SR5 1SU
Sunderland railway station in the city centre is walkable from the stadium (around 15 minutes). Paul Duck informs me; 'You will exit the station opposite Greggs. Turn right out of the station heading up towards a JJB Sports store and walk through the gap between JJB and a nail bar to the right of JJB. Keep walking straight ahead and within 100m you will see the Stadium Of Light rising up in front of you over the Wearmouth Bridge'. Simply cross the bridge, and turn left into Millennium Way, opposite the now closed Wheatsheaf pub. The away turnstiles are located on the side of the ground which is straight ahead.
Ashley Smith adds; "The Metro stations called the 'Stadium of Light' and 'St. Peters' both serve the stadium. The metro provides regular and rapid transport from both Newcastle and the South of Sunderland. Both stations are only a few minutes walk from the stadium, although away supporters should alight at St Peters Station as that is closer to their entrance. This provides an alternative to the regular rail services. Please note though that after the game the Stadium of Light metro station only operates Northbound (i.e. towards Newcastle) and St Peters metro station only operates Southbound (i.e. towards Sunderland centre). Michael Freanch a visiting Birmingham City fan informs me; 'If you are going into Newcastle after the match then then it may be an idea to walk walk into the centre of Sunderland (10-15 minutes walk) and get metro from there. You will get a seat and also avoid the large crowds at the Stadium of Light station'.
Remember if travelling by train then you can save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.
Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can normally save.
Click on the trainline logo below:
The nearest airport is Newcastle which is located 24 miles away. However the journey is pretty straightforward as both the Stadium Of Light and Newcastle Airport are both served by the Metro transit system. There are frequent departures to Sunderland and the journey time is just under an hour.
Sunderland operate a two category system of ticket pricing (A, B & C) whereby the most popular matches cost more to watch than the least popular ones.
Category A Games: Adults £32-£40 Category B Games: Adults £27-£35 Category C Games: Adults £25-£30
Concessions are also available to Over 65's, Under 22's & Under 16's.
StubHub is the official ticketing marketplace partner of Everton FC. This allows season ticket holders to sell tickets for individual matches where they are unable to attend. As they are being sold by supporters, prices tend to be normally more reasonable than going through a ticketing agency. Please note these tickets are for Home or Neutral supporters only. Check out their current availability of Sunderland FC Tickets.
Red & White Review Official Programme £3
A Love Supreme Fanzine £2.50
Sex & Chocolate Fanzine £1.50
Newcastle United, Middlesbrough.
At The Stadium Of Light:
48,353 v Liverpool,
Premier League, April 13th, 2002.
At Roker Park;
75,118 v Derby County,
FA Cup 6th Round Replay, March 8th, 1933.
2013-2014: 41,090 (Premier League)
2012-2013: 40,544 (Premier League)
2011-2012: 39,095 (Premier League)
For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the Level Playing Field website.
The Club offer daily tours of the stadium, except on matchdays. These cost £10 for adults and £5 for concessions. A family ticket (2 adults + 2 children) is also available at £25. For tour times and availability ring the tour hotline on 0871 911 1224.
If you require hotel accommodation in the area then first try a hotel booking service provided by Late Rooms. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will go to help with the running costs of keeping the Guide going. The Hotels listing includes details of how far they are away from the Stadium Of Light.
Access their Sunderland Hotels and Guest Houses page.
Remember that you can use the above link or panel below to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, either in the UK or abroad.
Special thanks to:
Owen Pavey for providing the ground layout diagram
Haydn Gleed for providing the YouTube video of the Stadium of Light
Sunderland v West Ham United
Saturday, January 12th, 2013, 3pm
James Weeks (West Ham fan)
1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
Well, being an exiled Iron and living bang on the Cornwall Devon border, completing the grounds like Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Sunderland in the 92 early on was key for me, meaning that I could casually visit them and not have to fret and worry about not doing them. I also quite liked the look of the Stadium of Light, a big, modern ground usually my type but this enticed me to go.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
Leaving from our overnight stay in Derby we arrived in Sunderland at around 12:15pm and found parking quite easily. We parked in a metro-link car park of which parking cost an incredibly and nearly unbelievable £1 for a whole day, this was also a 15 minute stroll to the ground which made it even better. As we turned into Sunderland the ground was easily visible from early stages.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
With neither of us drinking the only place we visited was a McDonalds in which we met a few other hammers but also came across a few rough looking Sunderland fans, apart from those 2 or 3 the fans seemed a friendly bunch and didn't bother or threaten us in anyway. Getting into ground involves a slight walk up a staircase that has two concourses, one for food and one mostly for drink, we went up to the food section.
4. What were your thoughts on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
I wasn't too keen on the away end, it felt as with we were being locked away in the top of the ground which wouldn't help with the atmosphere at all, as for the rest of the ground, I was reasonably impressed. It was very state of the art and would look good if it was full all the time. The ground is like a bowl so there are no individual stands about, if it was me I'd put the away fans back behind the goal.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
Well, the less said the better. We never got going and got completely thrashed (3-0) and deservedly so, an awful performance which made the atmosphere quite poor, although we never really stopped singing (during Sunderlands celebrations for the 3rd we started going mental) it was hard to make a decent atmosphere because of the fact we were were up 'in the Gods'. The stewards were not of my liking either. We always stand at every away game and nothing is ever said, every single fan stands without fail and no problems were caused, until the stewards came round and told us all to sit, which obviously didnt go down to well. I know theyre only doing what they are told, but when there are no problems, and then starting an argument with 2,000 inebrihated and annoyed Cockneys definitely wasnt going to end well as they gave up shortly after.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
Easy walk back to the car amongst thousands of Sunderland fans who surprisingly were not overly cocky or joyous in defeat. Got back in the car and a short wait while the traffic cleared before we set off back to Derby for the second overnight stay.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
The ground was nice but the city wasn't, great, plus and awful game. But would I do it all over again? Of course I would! Come on you Irons!
Sunderland v Chelsea
Sunday, May 24th, 2009, 4pm
Chris Harding (Chelsea fan)
It was my second trip up to Sunderland following the infamous 1985 Milk Cup quater finals and I was really looking forward to it. It was last day of the season and as a thanks for our support, Chelsea laid on a free train from London, the 4hr journey weren't too bad and as you enter Sunderland you get great views of the North Eastern coast.
As we arrived we soon got ushered into the town centre where their are a few pubs and bars to drink in and after a lovely refreshing beer we made our way to the stadium.The stadium is very easy to find, just follow the huge crowds and as you go over the bridge we saw the highly impressive Stadium of Light. We got ourselves a burger outside and headed for the away end that was the nearest stand (if your coming from the bridge). Everything was very reasonable and as there was free travel it was turning into a very cheap day out.
Inside the ground it was really impressive with three large stands and very unique, one of my favourites in the premiership and the away end provides a very good view. We took the full 3,000 allocation and the atmosphere was electric from both teams at the start as Sunderland were looking to survive relegation and their biggest rivals potentially going down they raised the roof. The news from Villa Park that Newcastle were losing, went down a treat from both supports as the loudest cheer of the game was that Newcastle were going down.
The game itself was very good also as Chelsea dominated and as the game came to a close our quality showed when Anelka, looking for his golden boot, smashed a glorious shot into the top corner. As the final whistle went we applauded the Chelsea boys who gave a great effort all season and a few of our fans got taken away for encroaching on the pitch.
Outside the ground on the way back to the station was quality as well, as the sunderland fans revelled in their big rivals going down but were also very friendly with know trouble what so ever. Overall then a great day out capped by a classic Chelsea win and made it one of the best aways of the season and I for one can't wait for Sunderland next year.
Sunderland v Manchester United
Sunday, August 24th, 2014, 4pm
Glynn Sharkey (Neutral)
I went to Gateshead v Grimsby the day before and was stopping overnight at my mate's in the North East which is one of my favourite parts of the country. Sunderland is a lovely town, I've always rated the place and have great memories of when Grimsby used to play at Roker Park. In my opinion The Stadium of Light has more character than most of the new builds, the fans are second to none, and Sunderland is a cracking drinking town. I met Neil at 10pm in the Centurian at Newcastle station. The last Metro to Seaburn saw us pub crawling to his, kebab in hand.
Roker seafront early doors to clear my throbbing head just confirmed my opinion of the beauty of the coast there. I really sometimes think that people don't appreciate what they have on their doorstep. My mobile roused me from my seafront bench slumber and got me back to Neil's where his better half had prepared us a smoked salmon and champagne breakfast. Trust me, the bubbles do go to your head. Then it was a walk into town and first stop the Blue Bell followed by a taxi towards the ground. A few boozers later saw us queuing up to get in.
I remember Roker Park when Roker Park was Roker Park, The Stadium of Light is just as good if not better for atmosphere. It's been open for years but still has a new feeling, clean, tidy and a little bit partisan. Our seats in the the West Stand Premier Concourse, and the views over the city from the windows behind being second to none.
The atmosphere was cracking as to be expected. I saw less than 1800 at a game the day before compared to a more or less sold out game this day which is as far apart as it gets. Everything was premier league.. atmosphere, toilets, the staff. They were all top notch, all brilliant but the quality of the football didn't seem any better from the previous day's non league. A few thousand Manchester fans seemed very quiet and a draw was a fair result
Ten minute walk into Town and Wetherspoons with Yate's across the road gave us a swift pint or two, before my train took me back to Newcastle, less than 4 hours after full time I was home, feet up with a single malt.
This rounded off a brilliant weekend away after watching non league footy the day before, I remember coming here all those years ago to watch Grimsby and you don't realise what you have lost until it's gone.