PanStadia & Arena Management Magazine is the undisputed world leader for the business of stadia, arenas, sporting events and venues on a global scale.

Stadium of Light turns up heat for football stars

The Stadium of Light, home of Sunderland AFC, continues to broaden the range of events it holds, from business seminars to major concerts. The club is leveraging its access to star players when possible, including at a recent culinary evening.

Players Phil Bardsley, Adam Johnson and John O’Shea swapped their strips for aprons and took orders from world-renowned chef Marco Pierre White in ‘Marco’s Black Cats Kitchen’.

“It was a fantastic evening,” said Gary Hutchinson, SAFC Commercial Director.

The players really put a massive effort into this. Marco was a hard taskmaster but they all rose to the occasion and everyone had a brilliant night.

The three players created one course each under the scrutiny of the celebrity chef, which was then served to an audience of around 250 hungry diners. Guests – who also got the opportunity to share a question and answer session with Marco and the players – finally voting Adam Johnson’s effort as the best course of the night. An auction in aid of Sunderland AFC’s registered charity, Foundation of Light, also raised more than £20,000 on the night.

Marco Pierre White with Sunderland players Phil Bardsley, Adam Johnson and John O’Shea.

Marco Pierre White with Sunderland players Phil Bardsley, Adam Johnson and John O’Shea.