How the return of Stadium of Light concerts will spice up Sunderland’s economy

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While the Spice Girls reunion might be the talk to the town, it’s the return of summer concerts to the Stadium of Light that will prove the big winner.

That’s according to a business expert from the University of Sunderland who believes the Spice Girls’ concert announcement will see the city reaping the rewards of the band’s latest comeback.

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Professor Lawrence Bellamy, Dean for the Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism, said: “The Spice Girls at the Stadium of Light is a great opportunity to showcase the city.

“A great welcome from the restaurants, bars and hotels coupled with well-organised transport and a tidy presentation of the city will make a positive impression to promote Sunderland to the many visitors who will be coming only for this event.”

After months of speculation, the band confirmed this week that they will embark on a UK tour next year, with a date at the home of the Black Cats on June 6, the first gig at the stadium in three years.

The Spice Girls announcement is rumoured to be the first of two gigs believed to take place at the Stadium of Light next summer.

Sunderland University Professor Lawrence Bellamy Picture: DAVID WOOD

Sunderland University Professor Lawrence Bellamy Picture: DAVID WOOD

Professor Bellamy added: “The Tall Ships festival was a great success and proves what a fantastic job Sunderland can do in offering these types of experiences.

“It’s another revenue stream for the football club too and provides work opportunities for local people as stewards, with hospitality and in promoting and organising. The stadium is a great venue, certainly one of the best in the North East and to get the most from the asset it really needs to work hard, with something happening at every opportunity.

“Tourism in the UK is a major industry, worth approximately £150bn. Running large- scale events is a great way to boost the economy, alone with around £40bn to the UK and makes the most out of the resources on offer.

“Overall this is a win for all and a great introduction to the many Spice Girls fans, young or not so young.”

The city hosted a number of high-profile concerts between 2009 and 2016, bringing the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay, One Direction, Take That and Oasis to Sunderland. However, there have been no concerts since Beyonce’s performance in 2016.

•Tickets for Spice World at Stadium of Light will go on sale at 10.30am on Saturday, November 10. More on how to get tickets here.