Supporters are being advised to arrive early for the Wear-Tyne derby at the Stadium of Light, which takes place on Sunday 27 October.
In light of the expected sell-out crowd and enhanced safety measures in place, fans should allow additional time for their journey, both to and from the stadium.
Turnstiles for home supporters will be open from 12 noon on the day of the game, which kicks off at 1:30pm and supporters are reminded that they can use any turnstile to enter the stadium.
Access to the Strongbow North Stand will be limited for home supporters, with safety segregation measures in place as police escort visiting fans from buses to their turnstiles in the Strongbow Upper North Stand. Sunderland supporters seated in the lower Strongbow North Stand are advised that they can gain entry via the East or West Stand turnstiles, as well as their usual turnstiles, to avoid any delays.
Police segregations will be in place both before and after kick-off, resulting in no vehicle access via the north road, which runs parallel to the Aquatic Centre. Anyone using the West Stand car parks will therefore be required to enter and exit via the south roads (past the Bob Stokoe statue), which will naturally lead to some additional congestion. Supporters are asked to show patience during this time.
Fans travelling to the game can utilise the usual scheduled Metros and trains. Sunderland AFC supporters can make their way to the stadium from the Stadium of Light Metro Station, whilst a police escort will accompany visiting fans to and from St Peters Metro Station.
Upon the full time whistle, Sunderland AFC supporters situated in the Strongbow North Stand can leave the stadium via their usual exit points for a five minute period. After this time, a sterile area will be created outside the Strongbow North Stand and a diversion will be in place to exits in both the East and West Stands.
Home fans will be required to turn left upon exiting the West Stand and right when exiting the East Stand to avoid mixing with the visiting supporters, who will be held back in the stadium for a period of time.
After the game, guests in hospitality areas of the stadium may face restrictions in exiting via the main West Stand stadium entrance as police escort visiting fans from the Strongbow North Stand.
Sunderland AFC’s head of safety and security, Paul Weir, said: “There are a number of changes to our normal matchday operation for the derby, which have been implemented to ensure safe arrival and exit of all supporters.
“We want to ensure a safe and enjoyable day for everyone on Sunday and have worked in conjunction with the police to ensure the safe arrival and departure of all supporters. Supporters are strongly advised to plan their journey, arrive at the stadium in good time and to listen to the advice of stewards and police on the day.
“Naturally there may be some delays, particularly in exiting the stadium and we thank supporters in advance for their patience and understanding.”