Visitor boost set to bring millions to Sunderland

One Direction is the first of two concerts to be held in Sunderland next month.
One Direction is the first of two concerts to be held in Sunderland next month.

A boost in the number of visitors to Sunderland is expected to bring in millions of pounds with just over seven weeks to go until the first of two high profile concerts at the Stadium of Light.

An incredible 90,000 people are expected to flock to the city in May to see One Direction start the UK leg of their ‘Where We Are’ tour on Wednesday, May 28. They are also expected to see the musical talents present at North East Live, featuring the likes of Jessie J, Jason Derulo, Rizzle Kicks and The Saturdays come Sunday, June 22.

Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Paul Watson, said: “It gives me great pride to see how Sunderland continues to attract world class performers. People from all over the country will be visiting Sunderland and it’s a huge opportunity to showcase what the city has to offer.

“Hotels, taxi companies, bars and restaurants are the obvious winners for major events like this, but I encourage every local business to promote itself and make the most of these fantastic opportunities.

“Attracting visitors into the city centre means they can enjoy food, drink and shopping in Sunderland, with this in mind it’s up to businesses to make sure that the concerts are just part of a whole fantastic experience in the city.”

Recent figures indicate that day visitors spend an average of £25 per person during their stay in Sunderland, while people who stay overnight spending on average £125 each.

Hotels all across Sunderland are expected to completely booked out and the city’s businesses could be set share up to £7m from the extra visitors to the city. Each of the major concerts could be worth approximately £3.5m to Sunderland.

Coun Watson added: “Sunderland AFC continues to do a remarkable job of selling the Stadium of Light and the city to promoters and repeatedly putting on world class concerts. Sunderland has so much to offer and we are proud to play our part in the concerts, and in making sure visitors enjoy their stay in the city and most importantly, making sure they want to return.”

Gary Hutchinson, Commercial Director at Sunderland Football Club, said: “Sunderland is now firmly established as a leading destination on the music circuit and it’s great that the city as a whole can benefit from that. We work with more than 200 businesses on the concerts project from announcement through to delivery and such a joined up approach is a real positive when we’re talking to promoters.

“Each concert is worth around £3.5m to the local economy, which is a huge benefit for the city and region.”

Information regarding both tickets and hospitality can be found at www.safcconcerts.com.

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