1. ITV Report

Stadium of Light set to be transformed for 20th anniversary

A general view of Sunderland A.F.C signage at the Stadium of Light. Photo: PA

As Sunderland AFC enters its 20th season at the Stadium of Light, supporters are set to see some changes at the home of the Black Cats.

Officially opened in 1997, the Stadium of Light was one of the most iconic modern stadia to be built in the post-war era, replacing Sunderland’s famous, but ultimately outdated former home of Roker Park.

An investment programme is underway to ensure that the stadium maintains the high standards set when it opened.

The most significant aspect of the work will see a rolling replacement programme for the stadium’s seats, which will commence soon.

The first phase will see seats in the east stand replaced. Credit: Sunderland AFC

The installation will be carried out in a number of phases, to fit around the busy itinerary of football matches and other major events. The first phase will see seats in the east stand replaced.

The remaining seats will be installed gradually, in order to minimse any disruption to the stadium operations.

Sunderland AFC’s CEO, Martin Bain said:

After almost 20 years, naturally some areas of the Stadium of Light are in need of a face-lift.

It is a magnificent home for our football club and we want to ensure that it is a stadium our fans can continue to be proud of.

The replacing of the seats will be the most visual aspect of the work we are undertaking and is something I am sure Sunderland fans will welcome.

– Martin Bain

The stadium’s largest hospitality and function room, the Montgomery Suite - named after the much-loved 1973 goalkeeping hero – will also undergo a make-over, bringing a contemporary new look to the matchday hospitality venue.

Added to this, Sunderland’s squad will see a new-look tunnel as they take to the field against Middlesbrough in the opening home game of the season, with life-sized graphics featuring first-team players and a nod to the mining heritage of the site, adorning the walls.