The Stadium of Light is an all-seater football stadium in Sunderland, England and home to Sunderland A.F.C. With space for 49,000 spectators, the Stadium of Light is the eighth largest stadium in England.
As well as hosting Sunderland games, the stadium has hosted three matches for the England national football team. Its simple design is apparently to allow for redevelopments up to a capacity of 66,000.
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The Stadium of Light is a newish build and as such is typical in its 'bowl' construction. However, it is different from many newly built stadia because of its scale, with a second tier looping round half the stadium contributing to the 49,000 capacity.
Away fans are situated behind the goal in the South Stand and have excellent views as you would get from any area in the stadium. On the exterior you'll find many things to see and take photos of including a statue of 1973 FA Cup Final winning manager Bob Stokoe.
Approximately 3,000 visiting supporters can be catered for at the SOL and they're situated in the upper tier of the North Stand behind one of the goals.
The view of the action is fantastic from all seats and leg room is also very spacious. Facilities and refreshments are good with pies, burgers and hot dogs setting you back around £3.50. Alcohol is also available in the away end at around £3.50 per pint
Parking in the immediate vicinity of the stadium is quite difficult although there is a large car park at the stadium that is generally reserved for permit holders. However, the club operate a free park and ride service with buses running every five minutes, from 90 minutes before kick off. You can also park in the town centre and walk back 10-15 minutes to the stadium. Whichever option you choose, allow plenty of time as there's always a lot of traffic on match days.
The Club have opened a Fan Zone which is located outside the South East part of the stadium. The area has entertainment in the form of live bands, large screens etc. Plus, food and drink outlets. It is available to both home and away supporters. It is open three hours before kick-off and for one hour after the game has ended. Entry is free.
With the ground being close to the city centre there's the usual mix of pubs, cafes, chain stores and burger vans. Although once you're right next to the stadium itself it'll be burgers only. The White Rooms on Holmeside is often the semi-official away pub. As ever though, check with the local police on the day.
In the city though there are plenty of options, whether you want to gorge on Greggs, or have a few beers. For the latter, try Green Terrace, which has a canny few bars - as they say - including Fitzgeralds for those who like a real ale or two. It's about 20 minutes’ walk from the ground.
I have been to the Stadium of Light 2 times as a Southampton fan. Below are a list of the results:
Check out the Grounds Hub to view in depth fact files on each Ground.
Check out the timeline to see all the away games I have been to.
Check out the Clubs Hub to view in depth fact files on each Club.