The Stadium of Light is built on the north bank of the River Wear in the city of Sunderland SR5 1SU. It is the homeground for Sunderland AFC and has a crowd capacity of 49,000.
Before this stadium, the Roker Park used to be Sunderland’s home ground. Stadium of Light (SOL) was built in the 1990s. The design of SOL is such that the capacity can be extended upto 66,000.
The first ever match in this stadium was a friendly match between Sunderland and Ajax played in 1997. The match ended in a tame draw where none of the teams scored any goals.
The England national football practiced at the SOL when the Wembley stadium was under construction.
SOL hosted an U20 international game against Italy in 2002. The English team lost 3-5 against the strong Italian team.
It also was one of the venues for U-21 qualification rounds in 2004. England played Turkey in the competition and won 2-0 against them. Darius Vassell scored the first goal in the 76th minute, after which David Beckham sealed the match with another goal in the 1st minute of extra time.
A controversial banner of Newcastle United’s fan was flown over the SOL in the first half of a match involving Sunderland and Swansea City in May 2017.
The banner read “United by cancer, divided by leagues”. It supported and raised funds for a 5-year-old who had cancer. The fans had mixed reactions over the banner.
The most recent game involved Sunderland and Barnsley. The Championship game was played on 1 January 2018. E Pinnock of Barnsley scored a goal in the 47th minute, assisted by Z Fryers. It was the only goal of the match as Barnsley won the match 1-0.