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FAN LETTERS: “I don’t care much for the name of Sunderland’s stadium - cash in and re-name it!”

Andrew writes in regarding the possible renaming of the SoL while Michael is looking for advice on what to do and where to go for the game on Boxing Day against Bradford City. Email us: - we’ll include your message in a future edition!

Fan Letters Danny Roberts | Roker Report

Dear Roker Report,

Regarding the potential of changing the name of our ground - I’m not particularly bothered about the Stadium of Light name as most of my 50+ years as a Mackem were centred on Roker Park.

I can see the financial benefits of re-naming, though, and what is there to stop the club having the best of both worlds - e.g. The (******) Stadium of Light?

Andrew Bailey

Ed’s Note [JN]: I’m a purist, so I would be against any re-naming to a wholly un-linked entity on purely financial grounds. I’d prefer they would try and find the funds elsewhere. I suppose this is one of the many pitfalls of modern football and for one hope it becomes an absolute meme of a name like the Dicksons’ Pease Pudding Pie Stadium of Light. Or the Stadium of Turkish Delight.

Safe to say I’m not a fan of any change.

Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Firstly, thanks for the great work that you do with all of the articles and the podcasts. I’ve just finished listening to the latest Stewart Donald one and its great to have the sense that the feel-good factor is coming back to the club, even from afar.

I’m writing because I’m looking for some suggestions from your side. I live in Cape Town in South Africa, but will be in London over Christmas and I’m keen to make the trip up with the wife to watch the Boxing Day game against Bradford. As the last time I spent any amount of time in the North East was when I was a kid, I’m pretty clueless when it comes to do for a match day, particularly if the plan is to make the trip up from London on the morning.

Firstly, would you have any idea how other Londoners would make the trip up on Boxing Day? The trains don’t seem to be running (or have limited service), which leaves either driving or flying into Newcastle as our options for getting up there in time for the match. Secondly, once we’re there, what suggestions would you have for the full match day experience (e.g. pubs to have a pre-match pint, best place in the ground to sit for the match, other things to do)? If there’s already an article on the site, maybe you could point me towards that. The Away Day guides are great, so maybe something similar for a clueless out-of-town fan coming to support the Lads at a home game.

Thanks and keep up the great work!

Michael Dodd

Ed’s Note [JN]: Glad you enjoy the content on the site!

Firstly, I presume you want something a bit more cultured than my own personal approach (getting absolutely sloshed on cheap pints in the Sunderland Deaf Club before stumbling too late into the new South Stand seats).

Zoning out from a long working week? Head over the river, into the city centre for some drinks and or scran, see Port of Call (by Park Lane station, opposite Gatsbys) or the Dun Cow (further out, next to the Empire Theatre). Closer to the ground is considerably livelier and busier, and the pints easily flow.

Seat-wise, probably centrally in either the East or West Stand if you’re looking for that real & homely vibe. On both sides it is a decent view and price, plus you can hear both singing sections in opposition fairly evenly - and as a bonus you don’t need to worry about the sun in your eyes at this time of year if in the East. To be honest, travelling so far you could just treat yourself to the excellent facilities in hospitality for a little extra.

If you’re looking for a much more intense and (in my opinion all round better experience) get yourself to the back of the South Stand or SWC - but be warned, expect to stand all game and get chucked about and kissed by a plethora of complete strangers when we score.

To be quite honest, I don’t have a clue about travelling on Boxing Day - we’ll put out a tweet to seek some advice from other exiles. At a guess I’d presume the best best would be just getting the fight to Newcastle.

I sounded like a salesman there. Hew Don, giz a job.

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