The Stadium of Light will play host to one of the biggest third-tier crowds in history when Sunderland AFC take on Bradford City on Boxing Day.
With just under three weeks to go, over 30,500 home tickets have already been snapped up by the club’s loyal supporters, with a sea of red and white set to follow Jack Ross and his players into battle.
In November, executive director Charlie Methven threw down the gauntlet to Black Cats and Bantams alike, urging both sets of supporters to come together and shatter the League One record set by Leeds United over a decade ago.
Leeds played in front of 38,256 on the final day of the 2007-08 season, as they confirmed their promotion from the division. Beating that record is the primary target, with 40,000 the ultimate goal.
And although the train is gearing up to leave the station, it’s not too late to jump on board.
With the fixture still almost three weeks away, Charlie Methven said: “Our loyal following has once again risen to the occasion and that amazing support has already seen over 30,500 home tickets sold, with three weeks still to go.
“There will be more to come over the weekend as we process the results of the Gift of Football initiative, and we are expecting Bradford City to bring around 2,000 so the real running total is probably more like 33,000 in all areas.
“We can beat Leeds’ record by filling the lower bowl plus the away fans and corporate areas, but to reach 40,000 we would have to open the Premier Concourse. Tony Davison and I will make a decision on that next week.
“Beating Leeds’ record isn’t just a challenge for our supporters, though. I’m sure that the Bradford City fans wouldn’t mind being able to tell their neighbours that they have whipped the League One attendance record away from them!
“We are going to be putting on an extensive Fanzone, with loads of stuff for kids and supporters from both sides taking each other on at five-a-side to blow away the Christmas cobwebs.”
Tickets for the highly-anticipated Boxing Day clash start from £10 for supporters under-16, and £22 for adults.
HOW TO BUY
Online box office (24-hour service)
Telephone: 0371 911 1973 (operating hours replicate the ticket office opening hours listed below.
Calls charged at standard rate, plus your phone company’s access charge. The cost of calls from mobile phones may vary.
In-person: Stadium of Light ticket office, opening hours as listed:
Monday-Friday, 9am - 5pm
Matchday Saturday 10am-kick off
Non-matchday Saturday, CLOSED (home tickets available from the Stadium of Light store, 9am-5pm)
Sunday, CLOSED (home tickets available from the Stadium of Light store, 10am-4pm)