HOTELS and businesses are bracing themselves for an influx of 150,000 visitors into the city as Sunderland prepares to rock.
With just seven weeks to go until the start of a series of summer pop concerts at the Stadium of Light, excitement is building across Wearside.
More than 150,000 people will flood into the city in June to see performances by British rock giants Coldplay on Thursday, June 7, one of music’s all time legends Bruce Springsteen on Thursday, June 21 and US rockers Red Hot Chili Peppers on Sunday, June 24.
Hotels across Sunderland are booked to capacity and the city’s bars, restaurants, shops and taxi companies could be set to share a £10million windfall from the extra visitors to the city.
Speaking on behalf of Sunderland City Council, its leader, Councillor Paul Watson, said: “Sunderland has been put well and truly on the musical map thanks to the high profile concerts which have been held at the Stadium of Light in recent years.
“I’m sure the fantastic line-up of international stars this year will continue that success. People from all over the world will be visiting Sunderland and it’s a huge opportunity to showcase what the city has to offer.
“Hotels, taxi companies, bars and restaurants are the obvious winners for major events like this, but every business can treat this as a unique opportunity to sell itself and benefit from the influx of visitors.
“Day visitors spend an average of £25 during their stay in Sunderland, with overnight visitors spending £125.”
The Marriott Hotel in Seaburn is just one of a number of hotels and bed and breakfasts which are booked to capacity with concert goers.
Raoul Lemmerling, general manager of the hotel, said: “Just as in previous years with Take That and all of the other acts who have played at the stadium, as soon as the concerts this year were announced we received a surge in inquiries and room bookings.”
Each concert is worth approximately £3.5million to Sunderland.
Gary Hutchinson, commercial director at Sunderland Football Club said: “We are proud of the football club’s reputation for delivering world-class concerts, but even more proud of the impact this has had on the city as a whole.
“Sunderland is now firmly established as a leading destination on the music circuit and it’s great that businesses across Sunderland can benefit from that.”