Monday, April 26

Sunderland ticket, travel and pub guide

Stadium of Light
Premier League
Sunday May 2, kick off 16:00


Out of a capacity of 48,453, United have 1,700 tickets, priced at £33 for adults, £22 for over 65s and £12 for under 16s.

All tickets have been sold and posted out.

The low allocation has proved very controversial and we recently encouraged fans to lobby Sunderland about potential problems with reds getting tickets in the home end.

Home-end tickets are still on general sale to people who have a booking history with Sunderland. Expect every Mackem and his dog to be selling them in town on the day of the game. For about £300.


The good news is that Sunday's match against Sunderland will be played in sunshine with a bit of cloud.

The bad news, however, is that it'll be pretty damn cold.

Despite the recent high temperatures, the high for the final day of the season will be 7C/45F and the low will be a pretty chilly 2C/36F.

Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 1HD will show the match live, with the show starting at 15:30 and ending at 18:00.


We recommend: Megabus there for £5 and train home (option 2) for £23.50 single - both booked in advance.

Car - £37
If you are using a sat nav or an internet routeplanner, use the destination postcode SR5 1SU.

The journey takes about two-and-half hours each way and petrol will be roughly £18.50 each way.

The basic route is: Take the M62 to J29 and join the M1 northbound. Get off at J62 and follow the A690 and signs for Sunderland city centre.

Parking – free
Because the ground is so close to the city centre, it is hard to find spots nearby for cheap and that won't have you queuing to leave for ages.

When you arrive in town, you'll see signs for Matchday Parking and they will lead you two sights at the University of Sunderland but they will probably charge you £5, it's a 10-minute walk to the ground and getting out afterwards will be a nightmare.

We recommend you use the free park-and-ride service. You park at Sunderland Enterprise Park and then buses leave every five minutes from 1.30pm and regularly afterwards after the game until everyone has been taken back.

To reach Sunderland Enterprise Park, leave the M1 at J65 and take the second exit onto the A1231.

Keep going for six miles over five roundabouts and the enterprise park is signposted.

Train - £44.50
It will take you about four hours and probably require four different trains to get there and the same on the way back, though if you go at the right time, it should be more straightforward.

If you buy your ticket on the day, it will cost you £61.90. If you book in advance via National Rail it will cost you £44.50, travelling Option 1 outbound and Option 2 inbound. No other discounts are available.

Manchester to Sunderland (pictured right)

Option 1 (Journey time 3:44)
Leave Piccadilly: 06:42
Arrive Thornaby: 09:16
Leave: 09:35
Arrive Sunderland: 10:26

Option 2 (Journey time 3:34)
Leave Piccadilly: 07:42
Arrive: Newcastle: 10:29
Leave: 10:31
Arrive: Newcastle Central Metro: 10:39
Leave: 10:50
Arrive: Sunderland: 11:16

Option 3 (Journey time 3:29)
Leave Piccadilly: 08:32
Arrive: Newcastle: 11:24
Leave: 11:25
Arrive: Newcastle Central Metro: 11:34
Leave: 11:35
Arrive Sunderland: 12:01

Option 4 (Journey time 3:19)
Leave Piccadilly: 09:42
Arrive: Newcastle: 12:23
Leave: 12:24
Arrive: Newcastle Central Metro: 12:33
Leave: 12:34
Arrive Sunderland: 13:01

Option 5 (Journey time 3:34)
Leave Piccadilly: 10:42
Arrive: York: 12:20
Leave: 12:35
Arrive: Newcastle: 13:32
Leave: 13:33
Arrive: Newcastle Central Metro: 13:42
Leave: 13:50
Arrive Sunderland: 14:16

Option 6 (Journey time 3:54)
Leave Oxford Road: 11:07
Arrive: York: 12:51:
Leave: 13:09
Arrive: Newcastle: 14:12
Leave: 14:13
Arrive: Newcastle Central Metro: 14:22
Leave: 14:55
Arrive Sunderland: 15:01

Option 7: (Journey time 3:34)
Leave Piccadilly: 11:42
Arrive: Newcastle: 14:35
Leave: 14:36
Arrive: Newcastle Central Metro: 14:45
Leave: 14:50
Arrive Sunderland: 15:16

The ground is a 15 minute walk from the station.

Leave the station by WH Smith, turn left and walk down High Street West. Turn left again into Fawcett Street. This leads to the Wear Bridge. Cross the bridge, and turn left into Millennium Way.

Sunderland to Manchester

Option 1 (Journey time: 3:22)
Leave Sunderland: 17:47
Arrive: Newcastle Central Metro: 18:15
Leave: 18:16
Arrive Newcastle: 18:25
Leave: 18:29
Arrive York: 19:29
Leave: 19:45
Arrive Oxford Road: 21:09

Option 2 (Journey time: 3:08)
Leave Sunderland: 18:28
Arrive Newcastle: 18:48
Leave: 19:06
Arrive Piccadilly: 21:36

Option 3 (Journey time: 3:22)
Leave Sunderland: 18:47
Arrive: Newcastle Central Metro: 19:15
Leave: 19:16
Arrive Newcastle: 19:25
Leave: 19:35
Arrive York: 20:34
Leave: 20:45
Arrive Oxford Road: 22:09

Option 4 (Journey time: 3:06)
Leave Sunderland: 19:28
Arrive Newcastle: 19:52
Leave: 20:07
Arrive Piccadilly: 22:34

Option 5 (Journey time: 3:49)
Leave Sunderland: 19:47
Arrive: Newcastle Central Metro: 20:15
Leave: 20:16
Arrive Newcastle: 20:25
Leave: 20:31
Arrive York: 21:26
Leave: 22:12
Arrive Piccadilly: 23:36

Option 6 (Journey time: 4:15)
Leave Sunderland: 20:28
Arrive Newcastle: 20:47
Leave: 21:06
Arrive Thornaby: 22:02
Leave: 22:12
Arrrive Piccadilly: 00:43

Coach - £21
United are running coaches from Old Trafford to the game. At the time of writing, there are six places left on it.

Places cost £24 per person. The coaches leave the Old Trafford N2 carp ark at 10:00 and are due to return by 20:30. Book by calling 0161 868 8000.

The Betty Bus is running two buses to this game. They are both sold out.

They leave Chorlton Street at 10:00.

Red Army Travel are not running a coach to this game.

National Express is running a coach from Manchester to Sunderland on the day of the game for £19.50 one way, but none on the way back.

It leaves Chorlton Street at 08:30 and arrives at 14:05.

Sunderland Coach Station is on Park Lane, which is a two-minute walk from Sunderland Train Station and a 15-minute walk to the ground.

Walk up Park Lane, turn right onto Holmeside and then a left onto Fawcett Street. Keep going up and cross the bridge. The ground is on your left.

Megabus is running a coach from Manchester to Sunderland on the day of the game for £9 return but you'd have to miss the last 15 minutes of the match to make the return coach.

Outgoing, it leaves Shudehill at 08:40 and arrives at 11:50 costing £5 one way
In going, it leaves Sunderland at 17:45 and arrives at 21:25 costing £6 one way.

The ground is a 15-minute walk from the city centre and there are no bars next to the ground, so all our chosen pubs are in town.

Probably, the meeting place for reds will be The William Jameson (pictured left), a Wetherspoons pub a stone's throw away from the train station at 30 Fawcett Street.

It's been open for 13 years now and has decent service and a cheap food menu.

And, fingers crossed, if the weather is good, there is an outside drinking area at the front.

The WJ doesn't have live football though, but you can go to another Spoons bar a couple of streets away in Low Road to watch the Liverpool v Chelsea 13:30 kick off at The Lambton Worm.

A good place to try is The Borough at 1 Vine Place. 'Quirky' doesn't begin to describe this joint.

There are always a few odd-but-friendly characters dotted about the place and there is a fantastic jukebox if you like your rock tunes.

Drink prices are about average (£2.50 for most pints of lager), but you can warm up your belly with a Borough Bomb cocktail, which costs £3.50 and is made up absinthe, Red Bull and Aftershock – served on fire.

It also has a big screen so you can watch the Liverpool game.

Another decent boozer is Sinatras at 31 Holmeside right near the train station, though it is quite near to Yates, which is firmly a home-fans' pub on matchdays.

But by far our favourite pre-match watering hole in this part of the North East is Laings at 26 Olive Street.

The prices are low, the Guinness is good and even the Stella goes down well.

It's named after a local shipping dynasty and, while it's not massive, it is big enough for you not to be too crammed in on matchdays and get served quite quickly.

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