After seating at the Stadium of Light ironically became damaged and bleached as a result of sunlight, the stadium owners recently undertook a unique renovation strategy by enlisting fans to help install 10,000 new seats.
Home to English soccer side Sunderland AFC, the 49,000-seater stadium has seen its once-red seating turn a shade of pink following years of weathering.
To transform the venue with fresher seating the club invited fans who wanted to help – almost 3,000 fans responded, with many more being turned away due to the overwhelming interest shown by club supporters.
Over a 10-day period, volunteers, who did not require any skills or experience in seat assembly, were given instructions on how to remove the old seat and fit the two plastic components of the new seat, affixed by eight screws. Days were broken into four-hour shifts with groups of volunteers being allocated their slot to help out.
“I’ve come along today to help replace the seats. Hopefully with the new owners in place there’s a new era on board. Replacing the seats, which everybody has had a lot to say about, it’ll help raise the atmosphere and certainly the appearance of the ground,” said volunteer Michael Darwin.
The first phase began in the South East corner where pink, faded seats were replaced with white ones. The next phase is due to take place in September.
By Illya Verpraet
Pics: courtesy of SAFC.com
July 19, 2018