England: Sunderland continues stadium modernization

source: Stadiony.net; author: Paulina Skóra

England: Sunderland continues stadium modernization Sunderland has announced a multimillion investment aimed at improving fan comfort during matches at the Stadium of Light. Following the first phase of modernization, which took place last summer, it's now time for the second phase, set to commence after the current season ends. What will change?


Return to safe-standing sections…

The project involves installing safe-standing sections within the Roker End and North Stand Upper areas. A total of 3,000 such spaces will be created. In recent years, fans have campaigned for the introduction of such a solution at the Stadium of Light, marking a significant step forward in the facility's ongoing development. These enhancements will help build atmosphere and strengthen the impact of the Roker End as an iconic stand, while also creating a safer environment for supporters.

Clubs were permitted to create so-called safe-standing sections starting from the 2022-23 season, following legislative changes. However, obtaining a license requires meeting stringent safety criteria, including advanced monitoring, specialized steward training, and enforcing the strict one seat, one person rule. Previously, following the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, in which 96 Liverpool fans died on such stand clubs in the top two divisions were required to have all-seater stadiums.

Stadium of Light© Chabe01 (cc: by-sa)

...and much more

This summer will also see the installation of a new sound system and lighting system, offering plenty of opportunities to enhance the audience experience. The works will include the pitch as well, with the installation of amodern surface heating system, which will also be replaced with a new one.

For both projects, Sunderland will collaborate with world-renowned partners, combining international brand recognition with local expertise to deliver best-in-class solutions. The contractor for this investment will be announced in the coming weeks. The investment continues the work carried out in 2023, which included changes to Quinn's Sports Bar, the Montgomery Suite, and the Business Lounge spaces.

In collaboration with the Sunderland City Council, efforts are also underway to develop the city's 5G network, with the aim of making the Stadium of Light the first football venue in the UK to support 5G by 2025.

The Club has also announced a partnership with the Supporters' Collective to identify any faults and possible improvements. These suggestions will be incorporated into the summer modernization plan.

Stadium of Light© Roy Richard Llowarch