The Stadium of Light is an all-seater football stadium in Sunderland, England and home to Sunderland A.F.C.. With space for 49,000 spectators, the Stadium of Light has the eighth-largest capacity of any English football stadium and is the sixth-largest capacity Premier League stadium. The stadium primarily hosts Sunderland A.F.C. home matches. According to Sir Bob Murray then chairman of Sunderland F.C. the name Stadium of Light "was chosen for two main reasons; namely as an ever-lasting tribute to the region's mine-workers and proud industrial heritage and in the expectation that the stadium would be a guiding light in the future. The name is very much a symbolic link to the thousands of miners and Sunderland supporters that emerged from the darkness and into the light every day when they returned to the surface after working in the mine." A Davy lamp monument stands at the entrance to reflect the coal mining industry that brought prosperity to the town.
As well as hosting Sunderland games, the stadium has hosted three matches for the England national football team, as well as one England under-20 football team match. With an original capacity of 42,000, it was expanded in 2002 to seat 48,707 and not the 49,000 quoted by the club website. It's simple design is apparently to allow for redevelopments up to a capacity of 66,000 though this is unlikely to ever be required. The attendance record at the Stadium of Light is 48,353 set on 13 April 2002, when Sunderland played Liverpool with the visitors running out 1–0 winners. Along with hosting football matches, the stadium has played host to performers such as Beyoncé, Rihanna, Oasis, Take That, Kings of Leon and Coldplay. The ground also holds conference and banqueting suites, the Black Cats Bar, and a club shop selling Sunderland merchandise.Close