SAFC and NUFC to kick off home games at the same time as planned
Sunderland AFC and Newcastle United will play forthcoming home fixtures at exactly the same time.
Sunderland kick off their League One game against Wycombe Wanderers at the Stadium of Light at 3pm on Saturday, August 28, while Newcastle face Southampton at St James’ Park. There are no plans to move either fixture. The games are expected to have a combined attendance of around 80,000.
Both clubs played home games on the same day, August 7, when Sunderland played Wigan on the opening day of the 2021-22 season. The Magpies meanwhile played a home friendly against Norwich, although they kicked off an hour earlier before 20,139 fans.
The last time the two played competitive home games at exactly the same time was in the League Cup in August 2015. Sunderland faced Exeter City, Newcastle played Northampton.
However, it’s been many years since two played home league fixtures simultaneously, although the highly unusual occurrence is scheduled to happen again on Saturday, November 20 when Sunderland face Ipswich Town while Newcastle entertain Brentford.
Normally the leagues ensure that when one plays at home on any particular day, the other is away. In November 2019 Sunderland kicked an FA Cup home tie with Gillingham early, because Newcastle played Bournemouth at St James’ the same day.
The respective fixtures on Wearside and Tyneside on August 28 are not predicted to prove problematic, with neither Wycombe nor Southampton expected to sell their allocations.
On the same day, also at 3pm, Hartlepool United, Middlesbrough and Darlington all play at home too against Carlisle United, Blackburn Rovers and Alfreton Town respectively.
Sunderland AFC, Newcastle United and Northumbria Police have declined to comment.