Sunderland AFC is advising its supporters of some important information ahead of the fixture against Middlesbrough next Wednesday evening.
The club has worked in partnership with Middlesbrough Football Club, Cleveland Police and Northumbria Police in planning this event and all parties hope those attending have a safe and enjoyable evening.
Coaches to and from the Riverside Stadium are being provided free of charge by Sunderland AFC. Supporters are strongly advised to use these free coaches as they afford the safest and easiest method of transport.
Concourse facilities, offering food and drink to purchase (including alcohol), will be open in the east stand of the Stadium of Light from 4pm on Wednesday afternoon. The coaches will begin boarding from the GREEN car park, outside the ticket office, at 5pm and will then depart under escort for Middlesbrough promptly at 5.30pm. On arrival at the Riverside Stadium, Sunderland supporters will be guided directly to the away turnstiles.
Only those coaches forming part of the official escort will be allowed to park at the stadium and will be located adjacent to the visitors’ turnstiles and exits. No further vehicles can now be accommodated, therefore any additional coaches or minibuses travelling independently must secure their own parking arrangements (see below) before travelling to the area, as they will not be permitted to park at the stadium.
Supporters choosing to travel independently are strongly advised to plan ahead, allowing extra time for their journey in order to negotiate peak-time traffic and source parking locations. There will be no spaces in official car parks at the stadium and enforcement officers will be on duty to deter illegal roadside parking.
Matchday parking information, including details of restrictions, can be viewed online - here.
Visiting fans’ turnstiles 53-61 will open at 6.30pm. Away fans are located in the south east corner of the stadium, which is a change from previous visits.
Supporters are advised that search dogs trained to detect pyrotechnics and controlled drugs will be on duty at the stadium turnstiles, and additional security checks of bags will also be conducted before supporters are allowed entry. Any supporter found with one or more of these articles will be liable to arrest.
Supporters are also reminded that any adult seeking to enter on an under 18 ticket will be refused access. The visitors’ area is sold out and there will be no additional tickets available to purchase and any necessary ticket upgrades must be processed before the ticket is presented to a steward at the turnstiles.
Any person wearing overalls and dust masks (‘smog suits’) will be refused admission or, if worn thereafter, will be removed from the stadium. Furthermore, supporters are reminded that it is a criminal offence to attempt to enter the stadium whilst under the influence of alcohol.
Supporters are also reminded that smoking is banned in the stadium and the use of electronic cigarettes, or similar, is not permitted. However, an external smoking area will be available at Exit 41 during half-time.
At the end of the game
Following final whistle, visiting supporters will be asked to remain inside the stadium to allow the home crowds pass, before making their own way home or moving onto their coaches. During this time, supporters will be able to purchase refreshments, watch the TVs and use the toilet facilities.
Alcohol and food service
Alcoholic and soft drinks will be available to purchase from the stadium concourse, pre-match, at half-time and at the end of the game to allow visiting supporters to wait in comfort as the crowds disperse.
Light Show, advisory
There is a pre-match floodlight show to coincide with players entering the pitch. Middlesbrough FC advises that this is unlikely to affect anyone with epilepsy, however those with any concerns are advised to remain in the concourse area until the show ends.