Bringing back Stadium of Light gigs hailed as 'huge boost to the city'

It’s hoped that concerts resuming at the Stadium of Light could be a huge boost to the local economy as the city gets back to business following the pandemic.
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Over the years, the club has worked with the country’s biggest promoters to bring global stars to the home of the Black Cats, including Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen, Oasis, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Coldplay, Rihanna and more, with a total of 20 concerts staged over 10 years.

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Take That have played the stadium the most times with dates in 2009 and 2011.

Coldplay wowed in 2012Coldplay wowed in 2012
Coldplay wowed in 2012

The minutes from the meeting, which took place on May 26 at the Stadium of Light state: “Concerts are being secured for next year. Promoters are keen to come as the stadium is well suited to hosting concerts. Engagement from across the city is a key component of this.”

Sharon Appleby, Chief Executive at Sunderland BID, said that talks with promoters is “great news for the city."

“With new hotels and restaurants opening we already have a lot to celebrate,” she said, “and this couldn’t come at a better time.

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“The Stadium attracts big name stars and that will bring visitors back to the area and give a massive and much needed boost to the local economy.”

Beyonce filling the stadium in 2016Beyonce filling the stadium in 2016
Beyonce filling the stadium in 2016

There’s no news yet on who the acts will be, but only a limited number are capable of filling stadiums. Other factors in any future gig announcements will be: which acts have an album to promote, the proximity of any other tour dates to Sunderland and, of course, who can perform in the summer window dictated by the football seasons.

The 48,000-seater stadium can increase its capacity for a gig due to the pitch being used, with Rihanna attracting one of the larger crowds of 56,000. However, audience size is also dictated by individual artist’s stage and set size and how much space that occupies.

The events, which have attracted national media coverage for the city over the years, are estimated to bring in around £3.5million in visitor spending to the local economy.

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As well as being a boost for the city’s existing hotels, guest houses and bars, it will also help to generate new custom for developments such as the Holiday Inn in Keel Square and the Seaburn Inn.

In a previous poll we held with readers to see which was their favourite gig across the 10 years indie legends Oasis, who had a stellar support lineup in 2009 of The Enemy, Reverend and the Makers and Kasabian, came out trumps with almost 15% of the vote, closely followed by Coldplay in 2012, who put on one of the most visually-spectacular shows, with 14% of the vote.

Rock music also seems to be a popular choice with Echo readers with Foo Fighters coming in in third place, thanks to an energetic performance from frontman Dave Grohl in 2015.

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