Sunderland AFC

Sunderland AFC

The information provided on this page is generated by information supplied by the clubs. Level Playing Field (LPF) cannot be held responsible if the service and provision differs from what is stated on our website. If you have any queries or wish to raise a point please get in touch directly with LPF –

Stadium Information


Stadium of Light


The Stadium of Light

Club / stadium contact for disabled supporters


Maureen Johnson

Telephone no.

0871 911 1255

E-mail address

Website address

Disabled Supporters Association




Website address



Accessibility Information

For UK minimum access standards for new and existing stadia and for good practice guidance please click here.


Getting There & Parking


Disabled parking for 160 home and 5 or 6 away supporters within stadium grounds and close to stadium  entrances.  Some spaces are available on a match by match basis. 80 spaces have wide access.


National Rail have published links to the nearest stations to sporting venues including Sunderland see here for more information.


Level Playing Field have not verified the information given and we suggest that you contact the station direct if you have any access requirements.

Getting a Ticket


Information on ticketing can be found on the Sunderland AFC website.


Tickets for disabled and & blind and partially sighted supporters can be purchased by contacting SAFC Ticket Office on 0871 911 1973 or

Spectator Viewing areas


Home supporters have 196 spaces for wheelchair users available to them. 6 spaces for wheelchair users can be found in the away section for away supporters. All in elevated positions. The Away area is in the Carling Upper Stand with Personal Assistants elevated behind. Pitchside positions give partial cover. 


There are 328 'Easy Access and Amenity' seats available at the ground and ambulant supporters are able to sit anywhere with their Personal Assistant to enjoy the game, from any seat they choose.


If for any reason, an ambulant supporter feels they have more specific seating requirements (a certain area, block or row) they should contact the club’s Disability Liaison Officer to discuss their individual requirements in more detail.


NB: Under existing minimum standards for accessible stadia, the club should have 226 wheelchair spaces (192 home and up to 34 away). 75% of these should be elevated positions and the remaining 25% pitchside.


LPF's view is that many disabled supporters should be able to access general seating areas and only those with specific needs eg those who require extra legroom, or access via aisle seats or who need step free access etc should be allocated seats in the dedicated areas.


Based on the above, the club therefore only meets 89% of the guidance and has a shortfall of 24 wheelchair spaces. 

Accessible amenities


23 accessible toilets, some on concourse directly behind platforms. 3 toilets next to lifts by South West corner ramp for use by wheelchair users at pitchside. Radar locks, alarms and warning lights are in operation. Refreshment facilities are available on concourse level, with low-level counters. Tray service is also available. Pitchside positions offer limited access to catering facilities at the mid-tier levels.

Accessible services & information


Blind and partially sighted supporters can enjoy match commentary at all home games on headsets which can be booked with the Disabled Liaison Officer at the time of buying a ticket.


All the stadium is under cover; however supporters in pitch level areas may get wet dependant on the direction of the wind.


Nathan Shippey Sensory Room


Sunderland AFC have become the first Premier League club to build a designated sensory room for supporters who are affected by the noise levels of the stadium seating areas.

The Nathan Shippey Sensory Room, named after a young supporter who has helped develop the first-of-its-kind project and is now available for Sunderland supporters.


The room is located in the Black Cats Bar and tickets are subject to availability. If you are interested in using this sensory room this season please contact the Disability Liaison Officer or for further information.


Sunderland Club Website - Disabled Supporters Information


Updated December 2017.

DSA Additional Information


Updated 24th May 2018

Comments about Sunderland AFC:


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Paul Horsfield

Match: Sunderland v QPR 14/10/17

Published: 15/10/2017


Getting to the ground no problem just follow the signs.  On arriving at the ground and showing the stewards the prearranged parking permit there was a bit of confusion about where the space was and ended up being told that the spaces with a D on them were for disabled parking and to find the one that coresponded with my bay number, on return to the car after the match was confronted by a chap who said we were parked in his pre purchased space and that it was an ongoing issue with the stewards.  Looking at the space we should have been in it's just like an ordinary supermarket space, no use whatsoever for a wheelchair user or anyone with mobility issues.

Getting in the ground was easy pleasant club security officers and stewards although finding the way to the seating from the lift was a bit confusing.  The accessible toilets required a radar key, but were clean and easy to transfer.  The refreshement area is a complete joke if you're disabled, the doors are quite tight to get a wheelchair through unless you open both doors, impossible if you're on your own, we only had 686 fans at the match and it was impossible to move in a wheelchair due to the very small size of the area, I ended up waiting well away from the counter, not that I could get anywhere near it, so my carer could get the drinks, the service was that slow we missed the first 5 mins of the 2nd half, and the coffee was disgusting.  

The view of the match was better than expected, not as high up as we had been told, and the laminated safety glass made a great windbreak, the carers could either sit just behind us or stand alongside, being so close to our own fans made the atmosphere better as we felt a part of it unlike some other grounds we've visited.   Overall not a bad try but still plenty for the club to do to make it a truly accessible experience.

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Match: Sunderland v arsenal

Published: 3/12/2016


Absolutely disgusting. Helped my Mrs to the match happily in a small wheelchair. She's only in it temporarily so no need for a disabled space. Just thought we'd pop her in her usual seate and fold the chair up until full time when we would get her back in and I'd push her home. Easy. 


Not at Sunderland its not. We were told they will NOT store walking aids, folding disable support of any sort.. They simply wouldn't budge and we were told if she wanted to use her seat the chair had to go outside. What a joke! Suffice to say we left very upset and my Mrs vowed even when she's fit and well again she won't be back.. Neither will I. 

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Match: League Cup Round 2 - 27/08/13

Published: 6/9/2013


This was our first visit to the Stadium of Light as away wheelchair fans.


Access to the Ground

Heading from the South we needed to weave our way through what appeared to be the inner ring road but the Stadium was well signed throughout.   The route took us past two large supermarkets and the stadium was easily visible as we approached.  We travelled in a wheelchair accessible mini-bus, part of our Club’s official away travel, which was allowed to park right opposite our entrance to the stadium.   The entrance for away wheelchair fans is down the right hand side of the stadium.   It is in the building marked, “The Black Cat Bar”.   This entrance is more like a modern hotel lobby.   There is a large lift on the left as you enter, which takes you to Level 3.


Facilities in the Ground for Away Wheelchair Fans

Viewing Areas

There is no away end as such as the home fans occupy all 4 sides of the ground and the away fans (including the away wheelchair fans) are at one end behind the goal on the upper tier.   On leaving the lift at Level 3 you do a right and left turn through a carpeted (!) lobby area to get your first view of the inside of the stadium.  I noticed there was a refuge area marked on the right in this lobby.    As you go along the passage towards the stand, the wheelchair viewing platform is in front of you, slightly to the left, in the far left corner, right at the front of the upper tier.   The away fans area is behind above you and at the side of you.   Even with only just over 200 away fans we felt very much part of the away crowd which is very welcome as we are so often at some distance from them.   Our club was sent 6 wheelchair tickets and I guess that would be the maximum for the area (no marked spaces).   For our visit there were 3 of us in powerchairs with companions and that felt comfortable, although we had to do a bit of “come dancing” to allow each other to move in and out of the area.   There are drop-down companion seats at the back of the platform.  One of the companions with our group happily used them and the other two chose to stand and this was allowed.   With more wheelchair users the view from the companion seats might be more problematic.  


For us what made this platform unique was how high up the upper stand is and the subsequent view.  It is difficult to convey in words the sense of vastness that comes from being right at the front so high up in such a massive stadium, it has a real wow factor.   This is not the ground to go to if you have a fear of heights!    That said, I am not someone who would choose to look over the edges of bridges but I felt quite comfortable and safe looking out, not least I think because of the clear viewing panels at the front of the platform which for me made it feel very safe without detracting from the view.  At 5ft 4” (in a powerchair) my view was just over the top of them but it would be equally good if your view was through these panels. I had read in an old stadia guide that it was one of the most impressive in the country and we weren’t disappointed.


If there is a disadvantage to being so high up, it is that the pitch action is a long way away, with the players seeming like dots on green.  I also found it impossible to read the clock on the scoreboard facing me at the other end of the pitch. I managed to get a 3G signal but in daylight, as you are close to the stadium side and over-hanging roof, we found it difficult lighting to take photos.  



We didn’t sample the refreshments but our friends returned with the usual goodies and were very impressed by all the TVs in the refreshment area which I assumed was out near the lift and which I guess could get a bit congested if there were a lot of away fans in this area.


Accessible Toilets

There is a large accessible toilet in front of you as you exit the lift on Level 3 with a steward on hand to unlock it for you.   It was spotlessly clean.   It is a right hand transfer, with hot water, liquid soap and hand towels.   The only thing missing was a bin of any description. 


Headset Commentaries for Blind and Partially Sighted Fans

As my husband is severely sight impaired and watches games through a 1 cm spy glass he is always pleased when clubs provide a headset commentary to help him follow the ball.   Unlike with most Clubs we were unable to find any info about disabled fans on Sunderland’s web site, so I used the general enquiry email address to contact the club and got a prompt positive response, stating that a headset would be with the stewards for his use, which it was. It was in fact in an old style Walkman with a radio but my husband was unable to get any audible commentary for most of the game.  We have emailed the Club to advise them that my husband thought there might be a technical problem with the headset. Even though we were so far from the pitch, my husband said this distance, compared to other grounds where we were much nearer the pitch, did not adversely affect what he could see through his spy glass and as with us all, he just enjoyed the brilliant atmosphere and sense of occasion.  


Attitude of Club Officials

As soon as our mini-bus parked at the Stadium, a WPC came aboard and welcomed us to the Stadium, she then went on to say she was required to remind us that racist comments were not tolerated at the Stadium and offenders would be evicted.  In the 40 previous stadiums we have visited as away fans we had not had this welcome before and opinion was divided amongst us about it.   Perhaps mention that no abuse of any type would be tolerated would have been received better by a group who in their time have experienced abuse by home fans on the grounds of disability.

Stewards were immediately on hand to direct us where to go and continued to be at each point during our visit.    The Stewards we dealt with were friendly and welcoming without being over burdening, just as we would want them to be.  




After the Match

We were able to exit the stadium and get back onto our mini-bus without any problems.   The official away travel was given a police escort from the stadium so we were able to commence our 5-hour journey home without any delay, albeit the roads around the stadium did generally seem congested.  


Will We go Again?

Yes.  The experience was worth leaving home at 12.45 pm, getting home at 3.30 am and needing 2 days to recover from lack of sleep and such a long journey!

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Allan MacKillop

Match: View blocked by fans standing 28/10/2011

Published: 26/10/2012


 I’m a season ticket holder at Sunderland (North Stand). The facilities are fairly well organized, with good car parking and helpful stewards. However, the elevation of the wheelchair area is not high enough to stop supporters who choose to stand from obstructing the view.

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