AS derby day approaches and the Tyne vs Wear rivalries mount, we look at five things we’ve got that Newcastle could only dream of...
1) The beach
Miles of golden sands, stunning views, happy children splashing in the sea – nothing can beat Sunderland’s seafront on a clear blue day.
Newcastle tries to make up for it with a dodgy-looking little sandpit on the Quayside. Really?
2) The Sunderland International Airshow
The biggest free airshow in Europe, attracting over one million visitors every year to our aforementioned amazing seafront with thrills, spills and visual spectaculars.
What has Newcastle got? The Hoppings? We even pinched that off them a couple of years ago.
3) The Stadium of Light gigs
Sunderland has attracted some of the biggest names in music history since it began hosting concerts in 2008, kicking the dated St James’ Park into touch.
Bruce Springsteen, Oasis, Coldplay, Rihanna, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Take That, Bon Jovi... the list goes on.
True, they have the Arena and the O2 Academy, but it’s nice to see the Geordies travelling through here for the really big gigs each summer.
4) The Sunderland Empire
We’ve got the only theatre in the region capable of hosting top shows, making us the West End of the North East.
Newcastle’s Theatre Royal just isn’t equipped to host the likes of The Lion King, Wicked and War Horse – and it can’t expand because of its location.
We’ll keep the big shows coming to us, thanks Tyneside.
5) The Aquatic Centre
With it’s graceful curved roof and impressive facilities, the Aquatic Centre is the best and biggest swimming pool in the North East.
In fact, it’s the only 50m pool between Edinburgh and Leeds – meaning we get all the top competitions, and the best swimmers and divers in the region coming to us.
Some young athletes have even moved here to be near the pool.
Newcastle has the Byker baths. Erm, no thanks!