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Roker Roundtable: There’ll be no Euro 2028 football at Sunderland, but was there ever likely to be?

The Stadium of Light hasn’t been included on a list of potential venues for the UK’s bid. We asked our writers for their thoughts and whether the news was a surprise

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Andrew Smithson says…

I must admit that I’m a little surprised at the news, and it’s a shame for Sunderland in terms of income and exposure.

Both the Stadium of Light and the city as a whole have a fantastic reputation for hosting top music acts, and the summer concerts tend to attract much larger crowds than football games.

That would tend to suggest the infrastructure is already in place, and with more regeneration expected between now and 2028, the offering would’ve been strengthened even further before the Euros.

We’ve got a lot to offer and I think Sunderland would’ve been a great venue, and although I doubt we’ll ever get to know the full details behind the decision, we’ve suffered setbacks before and overcome them, so hopefully this doesn’t prove to be too much of a blow for the city.

Sunderland Open Training Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Malc Dugdale says…

I’m not surprised that the Stadium of Light missed out, though it’s a shame it did as the investment and updates it really could do with might’ve been forthcoming if we’d made the list.

If the new ownership are serious about being a host city for major football events in the future, a bit of TLC is needed in and around the stadium at the minimum.

It’s pretty tired in a lot of ways, although somewhat expectedly after four years in the third tier. Spending money when you don’t need to isn’t a priority when a club like ours is stuck League One.

The location may be OK for the Spice Girls or Pink, but they aren’t playing elite level sport and being a host for premium level football is what our stadium needs to become.

Hopefully with the successful season we’ve had, further investment in fixed assets like the stadium can be considered by Kyril Louis-Dreyfus and his board but until that happens, we’ll always play second fiddle to better options for bigger football events, as there are quality stadia both near and far.

Tom Albrighton says…

It’s no surprise to see the Stadium of Light fail to make the grade for Euro 2028, and anybody thinking otherwise was probably being a tad optimistic.

The reality, whether you like it or not, is that when these kind of events roll around, Sunderland will always compete with Newcastle and more often than not, St. James’ Park will win out.

There’s not much can be done about this, with the Stadium of Light boasting neither a bumper capacity nor a city centre location, and it simply doesn’t have any defining qualities that sets it apart from the rest.

Upon its opening, it was without question one of the most up-to-date stadiums in the country.

However, as football and technology have rapidly evolved since 1997, the Stadium of Light has faded and has become just another run-of-the-mill stadium.

Sunderland v Ipswich Town - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images,


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