Arrive early for Boro clash

by Stuart Vose

Cup tie all ticket with no cash turnstiles.

Sunderland AFC is advising supporters to arrive early for Tuesday night’s Wear-Tees Capital One Cup game at the Stadium of Light.

Enhanced security measures to ensure the safety of all supporters will be in place for the game, and supporters are advised to allow additional time for both their journey to and from the stadium and entry to the stadium itself.

Turnstiles will open at 6.15pm and kick off is 7.45pm. The game is an all-ticket fixture and there will be no sales of tickets on the day beyond 5pm and cash turnstiles will not be operating. Only those supporters already registered on the SAFC database are permitted to purchase tickets.

Access to the Strongbow North Stand will be limited for SAFC supporters, with safety segregation in place as police escort Middlesbrough supporters from their buses to turnstiles in the Strongbow Upper North Stand. Sunderland supporters seated in the lower Strongbow North Stand are advised to use alternative turnstiles around the stadium to negate the potential for queues and delayed entry.

Police segregations will be in operation both before and after kick-off, resulting in no vehicle access via the north road parallel to the Aquatic Centre. All car park users in the West Stand car parks will therefore be required to enter and exit car parks from the south roads, by the Bob Stokoe statue. This will naturally lead to some additional congestion and supporters are asked to show patience during this time.

At final whistle, Sunderland supporters in the Strongbow North Stand can leave the ground via the exit points in the stand for a five minute period, after this time a diversion will be in place to exits in both the East and West Stands, as a sterile area is created outside the Strongbow North Stand.

Sunderland fans will be required to turn left upon exiting the West Stand and right when exiting the East Stand to avoid away supporters, who will be held back in the stadium for a period of time.

After the game, guests in the stadium’s hospitality areas may face restrictions on exiting via the main stadium entrance as police escort Middlesbrough fans from the Strongbow North Stand.

SAFC head of safety and security, Paul Weir said: “We will be operating the same safety operation that was in place for the visit of Newcastle and once again we advise Sunderland fans to arrive at the stadium as early as possible and listen to the instructions of stewards and police. We would also remind supporters with seats in the main bowl that they can access the stadium via any turnstile, not just the one designated on their ticket.”