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Sunderland announce that Stadium of Light will undergo significant investment

Sunderland have announced that they are committing to a significant investment into the Stadium of Light.

The plans are aimed at improving the fan experience and will begin at the end of this current season.

‘Reinforce the impact of the Roker End – Sunderland to introduce safe standing

Included in the plans unveiled by the club is the installation of 2,000 safe standing seats in the Roker End and 1,000 in the North Stand Upper. Sunderland supporters have consistently asked the club to look into the possibility of safe standing, and now the club have finally obliged. Rail seating is common in the Premier League, with more than half of the 20 clubs installing it in their home stadiums.

In the club statement, Sunderland said: “The improvements will help build atmosphere and reinforce the impact of the Roker End as our iconic home stand, whilst also creating a safer environment for our fans.”

Biggest investment in the stadium ‘for more than 20 years’

Alongside the introduction of safe standing, a new PA system and floodlighting will be installed at the end of the season. The club say that this will help to “enhance the in-stadium experience of supporters of all ages.”

A new playing surface with undersoil heating will also be installed as part of the overall renovation of the 27-year-old stadium. Sunderland said: “The exciting developments represent the greatest level of investment in the Club’s stadium for more than 20 years, and it will result in a transformational impact on the matchday experience.”

Sunderland stadium
Sunderland have played at the Stadium of Light since 1997 – Photo by Icon Sport

Last summer, the club invested significantly in the hospitality spaces in the stadium, with upgrades made to Quinn’s Sports Bar, the Montgomery Suite, and the Business Lounge.

Sunderland chairman comments on investment programme

Chairman Kyril Louis-Dreyfus said: “Today, we're delighted to announce that we are continuing a significant period of investment to develop the Stadium of Light, with the next phase set to complete before the start of the new season. These upgrades signify a dramatic shift in our approach to matchday experience and each development will bring lasting benefits to our loyal supporters. The improvements we are making will enhance matchday now and in the future, and we can’t wait to experience them side by side with our fans when we return to the Stadium of Light for the new season.”

The club have also said that they will allow the Supporters’ Collective to walk around the facility to identify any other potential areas for stadium improvement. Fan groups will be in regular dialogue with the club hierarchy to monitor the short and long-term impact of the stadium improvements.


Will Murray

Freelance football journalist. Experience writing for When Saturday, Comes, Goalkeeper.com, Elite Scholars and Total Football Analysis. Recently finished an MA in Sport Journalism at the University of Brighton. Long-time season ticket holder at the two-time European Champions Nottingham Forest.

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