Major music concerts to return to Stadium of Light next summer, says Sunderland AFC director Charlie Methven
The Stadium of Light will host summer music concerts next year, Charlie Methven has confirmed.
Sunderland's Executive Director says the events will be a financial boost for the club and has hailed the work of Managing Director Tony Davison in securing 'at least two' dates.
Davison was appointed to the role shortly after Methven and Chairman Stewart Donald took control of the club.
"We were late in the game when Tony [Davison] came in because by that point most things had been booked up," Methven said.
"Really from the moment his feet in the ground, he was on the case, going around his contracts to find gaps where we could do something.
"I’m happy to say that as with almost everything since he came in, it looks to have paid off.
"It looks like we’re going to have at least two concerts next summer."
Sunderland hosted a number of high-profile concerts between 2009 and 2016, bringing the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay and Oasis.
However, there have been no concerts since Beyonce's performance in 2016.
The club confirmed earlier this year that they had turned down the chance to host the Rolling Stones.
The new regime have quickly reversed that policy and Methven is confident that the club will benefit.
"The club looked after it themselves [in the past], whereas I think we’d be looking to work with a promoter and say, you need to guarantee us a certain amount of money.
"I can see why in the Premier League you’d take a view that £350, 400k from a concert isn’t much when you consider the TV money.
"I think it’s the wrong attitude completely but I understand it.
"For us, where are now, it is a big difference."
Earlier this summer, Methven opened up on his determination to bring the concerts back in an interview with fanzine A Love Supreme.
"We are absolutely intent on bringing the concerts back," he said.
"It’s part of the programme that has to re-engage Sunderland with its community and making the Stadium of Light the centre of that.
"What Bob Murray intended was for the SOL to be a beacon, a sort of symbol of hope, and that great things that can happen in Sunderland.
"Of course, that’s mostly football, but the reality is the Stadium gets used for football 30 times a year.
"It’s an amazing facility. Why would you only use it 30 times a year?"