The Stadium of Light - a place visited by many and feared by little - is entering its twentieth year as Sunderland’s home in 2017. As you would expect, over time, things change - our league status has changed several times, managers even more so.
But. perhaps most shockingly of all, the sun has managed to alter the colour of our beloved red seats.
Finally, after years of campaigning and complaining, the Sunderland hierarchy have informed that they are in fact going to replace those darn pink seats whilst also giving the tunnel a little makeover too – I can’t remember people complaining about the tunnel mind.
The club statement on SAFC.com said:
A significant investment programme is now being implemented to ensure that the stadium maintains the exceptionally high standards set when it opened. The most significant aspect of the work will see a rolling replacement programme for the stadium’s seats, which will commence soon.
The installation will be carried out in a number of phases, to fit around the busy itinerary of football matches and other major events. The first phase will see seats in the east stand replaced.
The remaining seats will be installed gradually, in order to minimse any disruption to the stadium operations.
Sunderland AFC’s CEO, Martin Bain said: "After almost 20 years, naturally some areas of the Stadium of Light are in need of a face-lift. It is a magnificent home for our football club and we want to ensure that it is a stadium our fans can continue to be proud of. The replacing of the seats will be the most visual aspect of the work we are undertaking and is something I am sure Sunderland fans will welcome".
The stadium’s largest hospitality and function room, the Montgomery Suite - named after the much-loved 1973 goalkeeping hero – will also undergo a make-over, bringing a contemporary new look to the popular matchday hospitality venue.
Added to this, Sunderland’s squad will see a new-look tunnel as they take to the field against Middlesbrough in the opening home game of the season, with imposing life-sized graphics featuring first-team players and a nod to the mining heritage of the site, adorning the walls.
I for one don’t really care about what colour the seat I sit on is. For years the colour of our stadium’s seats have been used as an excuse to attack the club’s management. Personally, I feel that we should be selling out every game, and if everyone can park their backside in one of those pink seats then nobody can even see them - instead all you will see is a sea of neutral colours along the odd dafty who decided to wear a luminous jacket to the match.
Now that the dreaded pink seat ordeal is finally over, many Sunderland (and Newcastle) fans will be able to sleep peacefully.