Black Cats supporters using the Metro system to get to tomorrow’s season opener will be greeted by a station now decked out in SAFC colours.
The Stadium of Light station on the transport network has been revamped to celebrate 20 years of the nearby football ground.
The move has been backed by Black Cats legend Kevin Ball saying: “You certainly know where you are now when you pull into the station.”
It now has red and white walls and the historic Sunderland AFC crest put in place in time for the start of the new football season, which begins with a home game for the Wearsiders against Derby County tomorrow night.
The revamp recognises the growth of the on-going redevelopment of the ‘Stadium Village’ area of Sunderland, with the new Hilton Garden Inn hotel, Aquatic Centre and Beacon of Light building increasing visitor numbers.
Nexus, which owns Metro, is also testing out a new covering for its existing vitreous enamel panels at the station which, if successful, can be used to refurbish stations elsewhere on the network.
Signage has also been upgraded to help visitors find their way.
Club legend and former captain Kevin Ball was among those taking a look at the new improvements at the station, which is just off Newcastle Road.
Kevin, now a club ambassador, said: “It’s fantastic to see the Stadium of Light Metro station reflecting the club’s iconic red and white stripes.
“It’s hard to believe that it has been 20 years since the stadium opened and it’s great to see Nexus commemorating the milestone in such a visually stunning way.
“You certainly know where you are now when you pull into the station.”
Metro services director, Chris Carson, said: “This station has a growing importance to the city of Sunderland as it taps into the conference and leisure market.
“There has been a huge amount of regeneration in the area around the Stadium of Light, which has boosted visitors numbers in the city.”
Sunderland City Council portfolio holder for city services Councillor Michael Mordey said: “The Metro system is a hugely important part of our public transport system, and it’s great to see one of our most popular stations rejuvenated in this way to more closely associate it with our football club.
“The Stadium of Light is a fantastic asset to Sunderland in so many ways, not only as a world class football venue but also focal point for the on-going regeneration of this part of the city.”