Sunderland’s Stadium of Light hosted its first major concert in 2009, when music giants Take That took to the Wearside stage.
In the ten years since that first show, some of music’s biggest names have graced the stage at the home of Sunderland AFC – including Oasis, Coldplay, Bruce Springsteen and Beyonce.
In total, there have been 19 concerts staged since that initial show, each one brining in an estimated £4 million to the city economy, providing a significant boost to local hotels, restaurants, bars and even taxi firms.
With some of the world’s biggest music stars performing, as well as the financial boost, the concerts have given the Stadium of Light and the City of Sunderland exposure on a global platform, which it otherwise may not have been able to achieve. And, after a two-year hiatus, concerts are back at the Stadium of Light.
British pop sensations the Spice Girls will perform to a 50,000-capacity crowd, with Sunderland being one of only six UK venues on the tour. Thursday 06 June will see the iconic all-girl four-piece arrive on Wearside to set the city alight as they perform hit and after hit from their stellar career, in what will be the Stadium of Light’s 20th major music event.
Speaking about the club’s decision to get back into the concert market, Sunderland AFC managing director, Tony Davison, said: “Since that first show in 2009, over half a million visitors have enjoyed some of the most iconic names in music as they performed here at the Stadium of Light – and that’s something to be extremely proud of.
“We are passionate about playing our part in promoting Sunderland and the wider region and the concerts afford a great opportunity for us as a club and a city to show just what we’re made of.
“Our stadium is more than just a venue for football. It’s a world-class facility and it is important that we maximise its use, especially during the close season.
The club has continued its close working relationship with Sunderland City Council, through MAKE it Sunderland, with the organisations’ coming together to ensure that the concert can be successfully delivered. A huge amount of work goes on behind the scenes, with months of planning and preparation taking place from both a club and city perspective.
Tony continued: “The close relationship we have with the City Council is key to being able to deliver such major events. Our partnership means that we can offer promoters a seamless approach to the management of the event and all of the elements they need to be able to put a concert on are covered because we are working together.
With only six weeks to go until show day, excitement is mounting as the stadium and the city prepare to welcome tens of thousands of visitors for what will be the most memorable music event of the year. As far as concerts are concerned, Sunderland is well and truly back in business.
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