Sunderland AFC launch plans for a fans’ village at the Stadium of Light

Supporters could score a bigger match day experience if a entertainment complex in the shadow of the Stadium of Light gets the go ahead.

Councillors are being recommended to approve a plan for the 1,800 sqm Fan Zone, which would have a capacity of up to 6,000 people, and feature bar and food outlets, a big screen showing highlights and a kids activity zone, including a mini-football pitch.

SAFC Fan Zone graphic

SAFC Fan Zone graphic

SAFC chiefs are hoping to have the site, located at the south east corner of the stadium, ready for the start of the new season. If approved, it will be open three hours before kick-off and for an hour after final whistle, with both home and visiting fans welcome in a bid to create a friendly, family atmosphere.

SAFC’s commercial director, Gary Hutchinson, said: “The Fan Zone is an exciting new venture for the club and something we hope will enhance the whole matchday experience for supporters.”

A planning application will be discussed by Sunderland City Council’s Development Control (North Sunderland) Sub-Committee on Thursday, July 2.

It reads: “It is expected crowds of about 3,500 will use the fan village, although it will have a maximum capacity of 6,000.

Proposed site of new fans' village at the Stadium of Light.

Proposed site of new fans' village at the Stadium of Light.

“The fan village will be staffed by employees of the football club, up to 50 will be present, with up to 20 staffing the kiosks and up to 30 staffing other elements, for example the kids activity zone.

“The facility will also be fully monitored by the football club’s own team of stewards. The fan village is located within the Stadium of Light’s existing licensed area, therefore allowing for alcoholic drinks to be served.”

The Fan Zone will also include seating and covered areas as well as live music featuring local music talent.

Other attractions will include radio roadshows, competitions and appearances from former and current players.