THERE was a leap in Sunderland season card sales yesterday in the wake of the Premier League fixture list for 2012/13 being published.
A programme which begins and ends for Sunderland in London – with first Arsenal and last Spurs – contains highlights like glamour trips to the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea and offers a Boxing Day game against Man City at the Stadium of Light and New Year’s Day trip to Liverpool, as well as derbies against Newcastle in October and April.
And fixtures like those immediately boosted fans’ desire to be there for all 19 home games at the Stadium of Light.
Season card sales had already got off to a good start for Sunderland during the early renewal period between February and April – boosted by Sunderland’s stirring FA Cup run to the last eight of the competition.
And the club is now firmly on course for bumper season card returns before the start of the new campaign.
SAFC chief executive Margaret Byrne said: “We naturally see an increase in enquiries once the season has structure and people can work matches around their holidays and other commitments but we’re delighted with what we’ve seen over the last 24 hours.
“We’re currently looking at our highest levels of season cards since the club returned to the Premier League in 2007.”
Adult seats for next season cost from £425, with young people under 22 able to secure their seat from £295 and over-65s season cards available from £320. Junior tickets are available from £99.
The new season will also see the launch of a new rewards scheme offering free SAFC TV access, special offers and discounted match-day travel with the Wear on Our Way scheme.
It will also see the introduction of a new Family Zone in the South East section, which the club hopes will encourage more young supporters and their families to attend matches.
The area will have child-friendly facilities and décor specifically created for junior Black Cats fans. An adult and child season card package in the Family Zone will cost £499, with any additional child seats available for £99.
With visiting supporters moving to the upper tier of the North Stand, there will also be designated singing section in the South Stand – with large parts now completely sold out.
“While we’re satisfied that prices are some of the most competitive in the Premier League, we appreciate that a season card still represents a sizeable outlay for a lot of people,” added Byrne. “So a huge amount of work has gone in behind the scenes to bring those ideas together.”