Sunderland AFC to replace 'pink' seats as Stadium of Light undergoes 20th anniversary face-lift

Stadium of Light
Stadium of Light
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Sunderland's Stadium of Light is to undergo a major face-lift - including a rolling programme to replace discoloured seats.

Club officials say fans will see changes at the home of the Black Cats as the club enters its 20th season at the Stadium of Light, including the replacement of sun-bleached "pink" seats.

Officially opened in 1997, the Stadium of Light replaced the club's former home of Roker Park.

When the now 48,000 capacity ground was opened, most seats were bright red in honour of the club’s traditional colours.

However, many of them, particularly those in certain sections of the North and East areas of the stadium, now have a faded look having not been replaced for almost two decades and constantly in view of sunlight.

A significant investment programme is now being implemented to ensure that the stadium maintains the "exceptionally high standards set when it opened," say officials.

The most significant aspect of the work will see a rolling replacement programme for the stadium’s seats, which will commence soon to fit around the busy itinerary of football matches and other major events.

Officials say the first phase will see seats in the east stand replaced, with the remaining seats installed gradually, in order to minimise any disruption to the stadium operations.

New chief executive Martin Bain said: “After almost 20 years, naturally some areas of the Stadium of Light are in need of a face-lift.

"It is a magnificent home for our football club and we want to ensure that it is a stadium our fans can continue to be proud of.

"The replacing of the seats will be the most visual aspect of the work we are undertaking and is something I am sure Sunderland fans will welcome."

The stadium’s largest hospitality and function room, the Montgomery Suite - named after the much-loved 1973 goalkeeping hero - will also undergo a make-over, bringing a 'contemporary new look to the popular matchday hospitality venue'.

Added to this, Sunderland’s squad will see a new-look tunnel as they take to the field against Middlesbrough in the opening home game of the season, with imposing life-sized graphics featuring first-team players and a nod to the mining heritage of the site, adorning the walls.

The Wear-Tees derby on Sunday, August 21 is David Moyes’ first game at the Stadium of Light since he replaced Sam Allardyce.