Sunderland sell out allocation for Tyne-Wear derby
A total of 2,664 Sunderland fans will be inside St James's Park when the two sides meet on Sunday, March 20 (1.30pm kick-off).
Officials at Sunderland AFC say supporters with a valid match ticket, who wish to use the complimentary coaches provided by the club, are advised that they should request their pass in advance from the Stadium of Light ticket office, or by calling (0191) 551 5004 between 10am and 4pm, Monday-Friday.
Coach passes will be posted out in advance of the game.
The free bus service, which affords the quickest and safest method of travel to and from St James’s Park for Sunderland fans, will depart from the Green Car Park at the Stadium of Light, located next to the ticket office/Black Cat House. Buses will start boarding at 10.30am and leave no later than 11.15am.
The stadium’s Fan Zone will be open from 9am on the morning of the game for supporters wishing to soak up the pre-derby atmosphere before boarding the free coaches.
The Fan Zone’s bar and food outlets will be open, along with a range of activities including inflatable football games, table football, computer games consoles, music and a museum display featuring derby memorabilia.
Last orders at the bars will be 10.45am and supporters are advised that they will not be permitted to take drinks onto the coaches.
Sunderland AFC’s head of safety, Paul Weir, said: "Without doubt the club’s complimentary bus service affords both the safest and quickest way for our fans to make the journey to and from St James’ Park and we would therefore urge fans to take advantage of this free service wherever possible.
"By opening the Fan Zone in the morning we are aiming to make the whole derby day experience more enjoyable for our supporters so they can have a drink and a bite to eat and soak up the unique matchday atmosphere before boarding the coaches for the journey to St James’s Park."
Fans unable to make the trip to St James’s Park can still enjoy the game with their fellow Sunderland supporters, with a range of informal hospitality packages on offer at the Stadium of Light.