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Design & Development

Safe standing among planned renovations for Stadium of Light

Featured image credit: Sunderland AFC

English Championship football club Sunderland AFC has announced details of the biggest investment in the Stadium of Light for more than two decades, including the introduction of safe standing at the venue.

Following last summer’s initial phase of substantial investment within the hospitality spaces, Sunderland has said a multi-million-pound second phase will commence following the end of the 2023-24 season.

This includes the installation of safe standing within the Roker End (2,000 seats) and the North Stand Upper (1,000). A new PA system and floodlighting system will also be installed this summer, along with a “brand-new state-of-the-art playing surface and undersoil heating system”. The club said it will be collaborating with world renowned partners on the projects.

This summer’s stadium developments build on last year’s investment across hospitality spaces, with extensive upgrades made to Quinn’s Sports Bar, the Montgomery Suite and the Business Lounge.

In partnership with Sunderland City Council, work is also continuing to develop the city’s 5G network, which will see the Stadium of Light become the UK’s first 5G enabled football stadium in 2025.

The club added that it will also be engaging with supporters to monitor and review the impact of these developments, as it “considers and implements additional long-term stadium improvements”. 

Sunderland AFC chairman, Kyril Louis-Dreyfus, said: “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.”

Earlier this month, Sunderland’s fellow Championship club, Stoke City, also revealed plans to incorporate safe standing at its bet365 Stadium.

Norwich City last month became the latest English football club to announce it will adapt its stadium to incorporate safe standing, while there has been similar news this year from the likes of SouthamptonLuton Town and AFC Bournemouth.