With football on a hiatus and corporate bookings few and far between, summer can be a particularly quiet time for stadia cross the UK.
Here at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland, we’ve found new ways to capitalise on this availability and build new audiences in both the business and leisure sectors.
One of the most successful ways of doing this has been to host high profile concerts by acts including Rihanna, Take That, Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi, who have enhanced the summer billing at the stadium.
This summer we welcomed One Direction for the opening night of the UK leg of their ‘Where We Are’ World Tour and we can’t wait to welcome a line-up of the biggest stars, including Jessie J, for blinkbox music North East Live.
Combined, these events will bring more than 80,000 people into the Stadium, generating a welcome boost to our summertime economy, as well as that of Sunderland as a whole.
Securing these concerts has taken years of work behind the scenes, developing strong partnerships with leading promoters and a proven track record of successfully managing these types of events. But there are other strategies that could be implemented to deliver a quicker pay off.
Over the next few months, we’ll be running a series of summertime promotions, designed specifically to draw corporate custom to the Stadium of Light. This includes our special Sizzling Summer package, based around an informal BBQ dinner or alfresco lunch, with unlimited refreshments served throughout the day.
The package, priced from £28 per person, can be tailor made to suit everything from training days and meetings to corporate entertainment, with its versatility, affordability and novelty value all helping to increase its appeal.
For even more added value, every delegate who attends an event booked with the Sizzling Summer package will also receive a complimentary tour of the stadium, including the executive boxes and pitchside, which are normally closed during the summer (subject to availability).
One event that draws crowds to the Stadium of Light every summer is the annual graduations for the University of Sunderland. This year, as well as hosting the various ceremonies for different university departments, we’ve also arranged for the specially constructed outdoor stage to remain in place for up to a week.
This will allow us to host other large scale gatherings, involving up to 3000 guests, and to deliver these services at a lower rate than would normally be possible if a staging area was being erected.
In order to enhance our seasonal offering even further, our specialist catering and events subsidiary, 1879 Events Management, has also introduced a special summer menu at the National Glass centre, Sunderland, which can cater for up to 300 guests and offers beautiful views across the River Wear.
With this level of forward planning and creative thinking across the board, summer 2014 will be a hot one for SAFC.
For more information about events at the Stadium of Light, visit www.safc.com/hospitality-and-events, call 0871 911 1555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about 1879 Events Management visit www.1879events.com, call 0871 911 1269 or follow @1879Events on Twitter.