The Stadium of Light is home to the north east team Sunderland A.F.C. it first opened in 1997 and has a capacity of 49,000.
2018 Match Venue?
Today the stadium of light is amongst the biggest in the country, however by 2018, there will be many new stadiums that are bigger and have better facilities. the reason that the stadium of light should host games in 2018 is because of the great atmosphere created in the stadium and the north east should be home to world cup football as the fans are some of the most passionate and loud in the country and it is also easily the best sporting stadium in the north east as each seat in the stadium gives a good view of the pitch, unlike its local rival St James’ Park.
In 1995 Sunderland put forward a plan to build a Stadium on the former site of Wearmouth Colliery which had recently closed. The area, on the north bank of the River Wear in the Sheepfolds district of Sunderland, was only a few hundred yards from former ground Roker Park, and in the heart of the city. On November 13, 1995, Sunderland Chairman Bob Murray finally announced that plans had been approved for Sunderland to build a 34,000-seater stadium on the site. Ballast Wiltshier PLC was contracted to build the stadium at an initial cost of £15 million. In June 1996, as the planned capacity rose to 40,000, The capacity was revised again in 1997, and the stadium was completed on time, with a capacity of 42,000. The north stand was extended in 2000 to give a capacity of 49,000 which cost the club a further £7million.
The name ‘Stadium of Light’ was revealed with mixed reactions, the name came from a competition and was inspired from the translation of Benficas ground in Lisbon (Estádio da Luz). The name is also a reference to a miners lamp which recognizes that the stadium was built on a former colliery.
The Stadium is separated into the West Stand, North Stand, East Stand and South Stand. The West Stand includes a number of executive boxes and also houses the main entrance, the changing rooms and tunnel, hospitality and banqueting suites, media facilities, and the sports bar. The pitch is several meters below the level of the ground outside of the stadium. This means that the stadium is larger than it appears from outside. Away fans are usually seated the west side of the South Stand, beside the vocal heart of the Stadium Of Light – the South West Corner which is home to some of the loudest fans in the country, and has been known to out sing almost any away fans which come into the stadium. The North Stand has the ‘slogan’ “Ha’way The Lads” on the seats of the stand – this is to inspire the Sunderland players and create the ‘home end’ effect. It is truly amazing when the North Stand and the South West Corner sing together, and sometimes the South Stand. It is very intimidating to any away fans.
Transportation is a major issue with the stadium as there are no large-scale parking facilities. The St Peter’s and Stadium of Light Metro stations were built to serve the stadium, when the Metro was extended into Sunderland in 2002. A park and ride system is available on match days to allow spectators to park away from the Stadium, and a number of new footbridge proposals have been put forward to link the stadium to the south bank of the river, though to date none has been approved.