Sunderland AFC fans back Stadium of Light fan zone

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Black Cats fans have given their support to a new fan zone complex which is set to be created at the Stadium of Light.

The Echo reported yesterday the club’s proposals for the 1,800sqm site, which Sunderland AFC chiefs hope will enhance the match-day experience for both home and away fans.

Proposed site of new fans village at the Stadium of Light

Proposed site of new fans village at the Stadium of Light

The complex, which would be located near the south east corner of the ground, would have capacity for up to 6,000 people and feature bar and food outlets, a big screen showing highlights as well as a kid’s activity zone, including a mini-football pitch.

If approved, it will be open three hours before kick-off and for an hour after the final whistle.

It is expected that about 3,500 people would use the facility on most match days.

Editor of A Love Supreme fanzine, Martyn McFadden, whose office is just yards from where the fan zone will be, said: “I’ve been to World Cups and European Championships and this type of thing is pretty common.

Fans wil be able to meet there, have a drink and see some bands play. It’s copying the German model and will just be a lot more civilised.

Martyn McFadden, editor of A Love Supreme fanzine

“It’s good that Sunderland are catching up as there isn’t a great deal of entertainment around the ground before matches kick off.

“Fans wil be able to meet there, have a drink and see some bands play. It’s copying the German model and will just be a lot more civilised.”

Commenters on the Echo’s Facebook page mostly gave the proposals the thumbs up. Howard Beadnell wrote: “The one at Man City is spot on, so if we can replicate that here then it should be good.”

While Anthony Minchella put: “Looks like a great complex. Can only be good for the image of the club.”

SAFC Fan Zone graphic

SAFC Fan Zone graphic

Lyndsey Louise King said: “Looks like it will be good, love the idea.”

Chris Hall wrote: “What a brilliant idea.”

However, some fans said they would rather see money invested in the playing squad rather than non-football related improvements.

Steven Defty wrote: “Why not invest in the squad instead?”

Martyn McFadden from A Love Supreme.

Martyn McFadden from A Love Supreme.

A planning application for the proposals will be discussed by Sunderland City Council’s Development Control (North Sunderland) Sub-Committee on July 2.