SUNDERLAND are advising supporters to arrive early for next Sunday’s Wear-Tyne derby at the Stadium of Light.
The game is a complete sell-out and fans are being encouraged to get there early for the 1.30pm kick-off to avoid bottle-necks and traffic jams. Home turnstiles will be open from midday on the day of the game.
Sunderland supporters seated in the lower Strongbow North Stand will also be able to gain entry to the stadium via the East or West Stand, as well as their usual turnstiles.
Access to the Strongbow North Stand will be limited for home supporters with segregation in place as police escort visiting fans to their turnstiles in the Strongbow Upper North Stand.
Police segregations in place both before and after the game means no vehicle access via the north road parallel to the Aquatic Centre.
All car park users in the West Stand car parks will need to enter and exit car parks via the south roads, which is going to cause extra congestion.
Supporters travelling to the game can use scheduled Metros and trains.
Sunderland fans can make their way to the ground from the Stadium of Light Metro Station, while a police escort will accompany visiting fans from St Peters Metro Station and back following the full-time whistle.
At full-time, Sunderland supporters in the Strongbow North Stand can leave the ground via the exit points in the stand for a five-minute period.
After this, a diversion will be in place to exits in both the East and West Stands as a “sterile area” is created outside the Strongbow North Stand.
Home fans will be required to turn left upon exiting the West Stand and right when exiting the East Stand to avoid travelling supporters, who will be held back in the stadium for a period of time.
After the game, guests in hospitality areas of the stadium may face restricted times in exiting via the main stadium entrance.
Sunderland’s head of safety and security Paul Weir, said: “There are some significant changes to the Stadium of Light with the away fans being relocated this season.
“We would advise supporters to arrive early for the game and to ask stewards and the police for any advice on the day.
“We have measures in place to ensure the safe arrival and exit of all supporters and we kindly request fans for their full cooperation and patience on the day.”