One Direction and Rizzle Kicks set to add to Sunderland’s £50million pop concert economy

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NEXT summer’s Stadium of Light concerts are set to hit the right note with city businesses.

Best-selling pop group One Direction kick off their world tour at the stadium on May 28, while Jessie J will headline a line-up of top acts and solo artists, including Rizzle Kicks, The Saturdays and Union J, at North East Live on June 22.

Since the Stadium of Light welcomed Take That in 2009, more than 750,000 people have flocked into Sunderland, pumping an estimated £50million-plus into the economy of the city and the wider North East.

City council leader, Coun Paul Watson, said the concerts were an ideal opportunity for city businesses.

“In 2013 the concerts attracted around 150,000 concert-goers into Sunderland, pumping millions of pounds into the local economy,” he said. “People from all over the country and in some cases the world, will be visiting Sunderland and it is a huge opportunity to showcase what the city has to offer.”

Sunderland AFC commercial director, Gary Hutchinson, added: “The ongoing work of Sunderland City Council and Sunderland Live, along with support from partners across the region, helps to ensure that not only can we attract some of the best acts in the world to the city, but we can deliver a fantastic event too.”

Sunderland Live CEO, Chris Alexander, said that planning was already underway to maximise the economic benefit to the city. “It’s really important that we work closely with Sunderland AFC and other key partners to help bring the maximum possible benefit to the city as tens of thousands of people attend and we’re already looking forward to the summer season,” he said.