Published on 03 June 2019
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.
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.
The band will be at the home of the Black Cats on June 6, the first gig at the stadium in three years.
Those with tickets to see the Spice Girls are being encouraged to plan their journeys in advance.
More than 50,000 music fans are expected to arrive in the city to enjoy the Spice Girls concert at the Stadium of Light on 6 June, with many of them first time visitors.
To welcome everyone, and make their journeys to and from the city and the stadium as stress free as possible, community partners led by Sunderland City Council and Sunderland AFC are putting well-rehearsed event travel and transport plans in place.
These include increased Metro and bus services, with a traffic management system in place through the afternoon and evening to avoid over-congestion on public transport or on the roads.
The City Council offers 3,500 car parking spaces, plus on/off street parking, and there are privately run car parks all within comfortable walking distance of the stadium. There is also a 'park and walk' system from Sunderland Enterprise Park and Deptford with access from main road routes into the city.
Sunderland City Council's Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture, Councillor John Kelly said: "We're all looking forward to welcoming music fans from across the country.
"We are an award winning events city, and it's great to see the return of major live music concerts to the stadium. This will be the twentieth international entertainment event of this scale staged there and there are strong plans in place to help concert goers enjoy their visit and the occasion.
"Our city centre has lots to offer with shops, cafes, bars and restaurants all open, so people can arrive early, enjoy some time in the city and then walk over to the stadium.
"We want everyone to enjoy themselves so our advice to concert-goers is plan your journey well in advance. Travelling by public transport can avoid the stress of driving, but if you are using the car please plan your route and remember that you can’t park or pick up at the stadium as the surrounding roads will be closed for the event."
The best routes into the city for motorists will be well signposted with temporary traffic signs, with drivers advised to switch off sat navs and follow signs.
Vehicles from travelling from the south are advised to take the A1018 and A690 exits from the A19 and drop people off in the city centre, with the Stadium of Light just a five minute walk away.
Vehicles from the north and west are advised to use Sunderland Enterprise Park - accessible via the A1231 Wessington Way, which is also the event's main Park and Walk site.
Public parking will not be available on the stadium complex and roads immediately surrounding the Stadium of Light will be closed to traffic all day and therefore vehicle pick up and drop off on or near the site will not be permitted.
Residential streets in the vicinity of the Stadium of Light are also subject to Residents' Parking Permit restrictions.
For further information on travel arrangements please visit: www.seeitdoitsunderland.co.uk
The Tyne and Wear Metro will be running additional and late evening services for Spice Girls fans travelling to Sunderland for the concert.
There will also be extended Metro services system-wide for an hour after the concert. Additional services will also be running before the concert, providing a higher frequency of service during what will be a busy evening for Metro.
Customers should use either the Stadium of Light or St Peter's Metro stations before the concert.
Concert goers with a Purple, Red, Yellow or VIP colour code on their tickets are advised to get off the Metro at the Stadium of Light station. Concert goers with tickets that are colour coded Platinum, Blue, Green or Spice Circle are advised to get off the Metro at St Peter's station.
The Stadium of Light and St Peter's Metro stations are the closest to the stadium to catch a Metro from after the concert, with both within a five to ten minute walk from the Stadium of Light.
After the concert ends both stations will be busy, with queuing systems in place for customer/passenger safety. Please listen out for station announcements and guidance from staff so people can get on to trains as quickly and safely as possible.
The extra services will be running between Sunderland and Newcastle, augmenting the normal core Metro service, with the last train time from St Peter's to Newcastle leaving as normal at 12.58am.
Passengers can get live travel updates from the @My_Metro twitter page and www.facebook.com/mymetrotw.
Go North East is also providing extra bus services around the Stadium of Light to areas including South Tyneside after the concert (www.gonortheast.co.uk) with return, saver tickets to and from the event.
Stagecoach are also operating a range of frequent services to the concert from many are of Sunderland and South Shields (www.stagecoach.bus.com)
Parking and Park and Walk
For those travelling by car there are 3,500 spaces available at Sunderland City Council on/off-street car parking and privately run car park parks within walking distance of the city centre and the Stadium of Light, details of which can be found at www.sunderland.gov.uk/car-parks
In addition to city centre parking; SAFC are operating FREE Park and Walk from both (North) Sunderland Enterprise Park and (South) Deptford Terrace, both of which are around 30 minutes’ walk away from the Stadium of Light. Drivers should follow temporary yellow signs for Park & Walk. Exiting from these after the concert is expected to be quicker than if parking nearer the Stadium of Light.
The best routes into the city for motorists will be well signposted with temporary traffic signs, drivers are advised to switch off Sat Nav and follow signs.
Motorists are also advised to give themselves plenty of time to get into the city. Roads immediately surrounding the stadium will be closed to all traffic on the day and there are no vehicle pick up or drop off areas on, or near to the site.
The main messages for drivers are:
* North: From the A19 and follow signs for A1231 Sunderland, then yellow signs for Park & Walk;
* Alternatively, from the A19 follow signs for A184 Sunderland (North), then either; Roker Seafront or City Centre and use car parks;
* South: From the A19 follow signs for A1018 Sunderland, then signs for City Centre, then yellow signs for Park & Walk or use City Centre Car Parks;
* From the A1(M) follow signs for A690 Sunderland, then signs for City Centre, then yellow signs for Park & Walk or use City Centre Car Parks;
* West: From the A183 follow signs for Sunderland (North), A1231 Sunderland, then yellow signs for Park & Walk;
* From the A690 follow signs for Sunderland, then signs for City Centre, then yellow signs for Park & Walk or City Centre Car Parks;
* From A1231 follow signs for Sunderland, then yellow signs for Park & Walk.
Parking is also available at Sunderland seafront car parks (20min walk)which are signposted via the main roads.
Pick-up and drop-off points
Roads immediately surrounding the stadium will be closed to all traffic on the day and there are no vehicle pick up or drop off areas on, or near to the site.
Vehicles from the south are advised to take the A1018 and A690 exits from the A19 and drop visitors off in the city centre, with the Stadium of Light just a five-minute walk away.
Vehicles from the north and west are advised to use Sunderland Enterprise Park – accessible via the A1231 Wessington Way, which is also the event’s main Park and Walk site.
There is no public parking available on the stadium complex, with parking immediately around the Stadium of Light also extremely restricted. Residential streets in the vicinity of the Stadium of Light are also subject to Parking Permit restrictions.
Sunderland City Council has a number of car parks in operation across the city, with spaces available at sites including St Mary’s (open until Midnight) and Sunniside (open 24 hours) secure car parks.
To lessen congestion in car parks following the concert, pre-paid parking will be available at St Mary’s and Sunniside car parks. To take up this offer, drivers should collect a ticket from the barrier, park their vehicle and take the ticket the car park’s main office to purchase the period of parking they require. Normal charges will apply and tickets will only be valid for the period purchased.
Prices for St Mary's are £1.50 per hour (8am - 6pm) and 90p per hour thereafter, and for Sunniside are £1.30 per hour (8am - 6pm) and 90p per hour thereafter. The concert is expected to end by 10.30pm, and visitors are reminded to purchase enough parking time to cover their stay.