English soccer side Sunderland AFC has announced that it will rename the south stand at its Stadium of Light as The Roker End, inspired by the 99 years it played at its original home, Roker Park.
The name change will take place on Boxing Day (December 26) where a ceremony will be held prior to its League One fixture with Bradford City.
The decision to change the name of the stand came following a survey by the club’s Red and White Army (RAWA) supporters group, which that discovered fans believed the Stadium of Light “needed a greater sense of identity”.
After compiling a shortlist of potential names and conducting a vote among 13,000 fans, an overwhelming majority of 70% chose The Roker End.
“This was a fantastic opportunity for supporters to come together and help give our stadium a greater sense of identity, and they answered the call with thousands participating,” said Andrew Hird, chairman of the RAWA.
“The club has been open and honest in its communication with supporters from day one, and they too are passionate about restoring the Stadium of Light to its former glory, as we saw with the Big Seat Change.”
Earlier in the year the Stadium of Light carried out the replacement of tens of thousands of seats after their red coloring faded to a light pink. The club came up with the initiative to invite fans and members of the community to help install the new seating, which proved to be a popular and successful operation.