SUNDERLAND’S economy is set for a cash boost thanks to this season’s amazing cup run.
Pubs, clubs and bars are busy gearing up for one of the city’s most momentous days in decades tomorrow, as SAFC take on Manchester City at Wembley.
Should Gus Poyet’s side upset the odds to bring home silverware, the party is expected to last for days.
Staff at Oddies pub, in Hylton Road, have decked out the building in red and white ahead of the game.
“We’ve been really busy throughout the cup run and the atmosphere’s been fantastic,” said head barmaid Natalie Connify. “There’s extra staff on Sunday and we’ll be supporting The Lads all the way.”
John Dickman, who owns Gatsby in Park Lane, said: “We normally have five members of staff on at any time, but are having to call in 20 people and extra door staff.
“We expect 2,500 to 3,000 to come through the doors, which is absolutely fantastic.”
Manager of Low Row pub Greens, Paul Davidson, said: “We’re going to have all of our staff in as we expect the place to be rammed.
“It’s difficult to say how many people will come in, but we hold 300 and expect a couple of thousand to come in throughout the day.
“I can’t put a number on how many gallons of beer we will go through, but it will be one hell of a lot.”
Harry Collinson, chairman of Sunderland City Centre Traders’ Association, said: “You can feel it around the city centre that the customers are buzzing and the pubs, bars and coffee shops have been packed out.
“Come tomorrow, the city centre will be an ocean of people and independent Sunderland businesses can only benefit from that.”
Shirts, jumpers and other SAFC memorabilia have been flying out of the doors at official club shops in the city, as supporters look to get kitted-out for the big day.
Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson says a win would give the area a huge lift.
He said: “The success of the football club is hugely important to people in Sunderland, fans across the region, the country and across the world as everyone wants to see them do well.
“We wish Gus and the team every success at Wembley.
“We are hoping they emulate the 1973 cup final heroics and bring back the cup for the people of Sunderland.”