The Stadium of Light

Derby advice for fans

by Stuart Vose

More info issued ahead of Newcastle game.

Sunderland AFC is advising supporters to arrive early for Sunday’s Wear-Tyne derby at the Stadium of Light.

The game is a sell-out and with a capacity crowd in attendance fans should allow additional time for their journey to and from the stadium.

Enhanced security measures to ensure the safety of all supporters will be in place for the game, which kicks-off at 1.30pm. Turnstiles for home fans will be open from 12 noon.

Access to the Strongbow North Stand will be limited for SAFC supporters, with safety segregation in place as police escort Newcastle supporters from their buses to turnstiles in the Strongbow Upper North Stand. Sunderland supporters seated in the lower Strongbow North Stand will be able to gain entry to the stadium via the East or West Stand should they wish to, as well as their usual turnstiles.

Police segregation 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.

Fans can utilise the usual scheduled Metros and train service and Sunderland supporters can make their way to the game from the Stadium of Light Metro Station, whilst police will accompany Newcastle fans from St Peters Metro Station and back again following the full-time whistle.

At the 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 hospitality areas of the stadium may face restricted times in exiting via the main stadium entrance as police escort visiting fans from the Strongbow North Stand.

Sunderland AFC’s head of safety and security, Paul Weir, said: “There are some significant changes to the operation at Stadium of Light with the away fans being relocated this season. Supporters are strongly advised to plan their journey, arrive at the stadium in good time and to listen to the advice of stewards and police on the day.

“We want to ensure a safe and enjoyable day for everyone on Sunday and have worked in conjunction with the police to ensure the safe arrival and departure of all supporters. Naturally there may be some delays, particularly in exiting the stadium and we thank supporters in advance for their patience and understanding.”