Summer fanzone to create 'vibrant atmosphere' for sports fans in Sunderland

From left to right, Gemma Dishman from Sunderland BID, John Dickman, Andrew Golding, Karen Dickman and Ken Dunbar, chief executive of Sunderland BID.
From left to right, Gemma Dishman from Sunderland BID, John Dickman, Andrew Golding, Karen Dickman and Ken Dunbar, chief executive of Sunderland BID.
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Sports fans in Sunderland will be able to share a great summer of sport, with a big screen set to be erected in a new fanzone in the city.

From June 10 to July 10, a 20 metre-high screen will be in place in Park Lane, showing games from football's European Championship as well as other major events, including Wimbledon for tennis fans, and races for Formula One supporters.

The Summer Fanzone is being created by Sunderland BID, in conjunction with the bars in the Park Lane area, which will be creating a range of offers to entice people to watch the games and create a party spirit in the city centre.

The fanzone will be open daily from 10am, and plans are to screen all of the Euro 2016 matches, along with F1, Ascot, Wimbledon and athletics.

Music fans will also get in the action, with hopes of screening highlights from festivals such as Glastonbury.

Ken Dunbar, chief executive of Sunderland BID, said: "It’s going to be a fantastic summer for sport, and it will be much more fun for people to watch it on a giant screen where there will be a vibrant atmosphere.

“It will also help boost the city centre economy, as we are sure that people will want to come along and enjoy their favourite sport but also take advantage of the offers on food and drink which the bars in the area are putting together.”

Andrew Golding, managing director of Nightlife North East, which owns Café Purple and The Point in Park Lane, said the fanzone offered bars in the city centre the opportunity to work together.

He said: "We are delighted to be collaborating with Port of Call and Gatsby, along with the BID, to do something which will really showcase many fantastic summer events and fixtures right in the heart of Sunderland.

“It will all be kicking off with the France vs Romania game on June 10, and hopefully end with Andy Murray and England in the finals on July 10.

“This is the first event of its kind in the city, and we’re are all working together very closely to ensure it’s a huge success and hope that people from across Sunderland will come and support us.”

John Dickman, owner of Port of Call and Gatsby, added that bars were also planning a range of events around each sporting fixture to create a special atmosphere.

He said: "We are looking forward to supporting this fantastic venture, and all the bars involved will be hosting events and putting together special offers in our venues throughout the month.

“So far, we’ve agreed to open early so people can enjoy breakfast while watching the Grand Prix, special cocktails and food on Ladies Day at Ascot, cream teas and Pimms during Wimbledon along with a range of activities for the whole family to enjoy.”