A MULTIMILLION pound boost for Sunderland’s economy is just weeks away as the city gears up for two hotly-anticipated concerts at the Stadium of Light.
An estimated 90,000 people – many screaming girls – are expected on Wearside to see One Direction in May and pop extravaganza North East Live the following month.
Hotels across Sunderland are set to be booked full to capacity and businesses could share a windfall in excess of £7million from the extra visitors.
Harry Styles and co will play the stadium as they kick off the UK leg of their Where We Are tour on May 28. Hot on the heels of the boys, North East Live will feature Jessie J, Jason Derulo, Rizzle Kicks and The Saturdays on June 22.
“It gives me great pride to see how Sunderland continues to attract world-class performers,” Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson said.
“People from all over the country 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 I encourage every local business to promote itself and make the most of these fantastic opportunities.
“Attracting visitors into the city centre means they can enjoy food and drink and shopping in Sunderland. With this in mind, it’s up to businesses to make sure that the concerts are just part of a whole fantastic experience in the city.”
Figures suggest day visitors to Sunderland now spend an average of £25 per person, with overnight visitors spending about £125 each.
“Sunderland AFC continues to do a remarkable job of selling the Stadium of Light and the city to promoters, and repeatedly putting on world-class concerts,” Coun Watson added.
“Sunderland has so much to offer and we are proud to play our part in the concerts, and in making sure visitors enjoy their stay in the city and, most importantly, making sure they want to return.”
Sunderland AFC commercial director Gary Hutchinson said: “Sunderland is now firmly established as a leading destination on the music circuit and it’s great that the city as a whole can benefit from that.
“We work with more than 200 businesses on the concert projects, from announcement through to delivery, and such a joined-up approach is a real positive when we’re talking to promoters.
“Each concert is worth about £3.5millon to the local economy, which is a huge benefit for the city and the region.”