Home to one of the most passionately supported teams and sports in the North East, Sunderland’s football team strut their stuff at the stunning Stadium of Light home, while the city welcomes thousands of fans each week to the Sunderland Greyhound Stadium.
The eighth largest stadium in the UK, the Stadium of Light has been Sunderland’s 49,000-capacity home for 20 years. Named the Stadium of Light as a symbolic tribute to the region’s mine workers and the area’s industrial heritage, it’s where Sunderland AFC play their home matches, as well as hosting some of the city’s biggest musical events including Rihanna, Coldplay, Take That and Oasis. The stadium on the banks of the River Wear has also hosted three England international football matches during its history and is often near capacity on its Sunderland match days – testament to the proud support of the team despite their recent relegation from the Premier League. With its city centre location, parking around the stadium is limited – better to make the mile-long walk from our City Centre hotel.
But if you are driving, park at the Stadium of Light Metro Station for just under a fiver, or use one of the Park & Ride schemes at Sunderland Enterprise Park – buses run every five minutes from 90 minutes before kick-off. The stadium is also connected via the Metro – use the Stadium of Light or St. Peter’s station, both are just a few minutes’ walk from the ground. Tickets start from around £25 and are available direct from the club. There are dozens of pubs around the stadium, most of which welcome home and away fans, while there is a Fan Zone in the south east part of the stadium with live bands, large screens, food and drink stands open three hours before kick-off.
The Sunderland Greyhound Stadium might be on a much smaller scale, but the atmosphere is just as electric – especially if your winning dog romps home! With five races during the week running from Tuesday to Saturday, the Greyhound Stadium has been part of Sunderland’s nightlife and sporting life since 1940. With a capacity of 1,700 and races that go on until 10.30pm on Friday and Saturday nights, it’s a popular destination for a night out thanks to hen and stag parties. It’s also home to some of the most prestigious greyhound races in the UK, with the William Hill Grand Prix and Classics shown live on Sky Sports each year. The stadium is located a couple of miles north of the city centre, in Newcastle Road, and has plenty of on-site parking.
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