The city is preparing to welcome thousands of Spice Girls fans on Thursday.

The huge array of restaurants, shops, bars and cafes in Sunderland city centre are getting ready to meet the demands of  more than 50,000 music fans expected to attend, with many of them first time visitors.

To help provide what they ‘really, really want’ many businesses are hosting Spice Girls themed events and attractions throughout the day and well into the evening.

These include the proposed Fan-zone in Sunniside where Spice Girls – The Movie is planned be screened in the afternoon before fans leave for the Stadium of Light.

In the evening it’s planned to screen the inaugural UEFA Nations League match between England and The Netherlands.

Over at the Stadium of Light the large concert courtyard opens at 2pm, with an extensive range of food and drinks available before the main doors open at 5pm.

Six hundred catering staff will be on hand to provide concert goers with a wide range of tasty street food with everything from fish and chips and Nachos, to pizza and hot dogs with alcohol and soft drinks also for sale within the courtyard and from kiosks inside the stadium itself.

Concert-goers are also invited to visit Sunderland Football Club’s very own Fans Museum near to St Peter’s Metro station on their way to the stadium, which is hosting an exhibition of Spice Girls memorabilia and evening of musical entertainment from 10am to midnight to help raise money in support of St Cuthbert’s Hospice for Terminal Illnesses.

Sunderland City Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture, Councillor John Kelly said: “We want everyone to enjoy their time in our city, with our businesses  making the best of this fantastic opportunity to showcase the many cultural and leisure attractions that we have here in Sunderland.

“Travel and transport arrangements are in place to help people get to and from the concert with as little fuss as possible, and we have a trained team of volunteer ‘event makers’ in and around the Stadium to help our guests find their way around.

“Sunderland is an award winning events city, and working with our partners at Sunderland Football Club we are determined to make the return of major international music concerts to the Stadium of Light a success.”

Head of operations at Sunderland AFC David Moses added: “Over the last ten years we have become very experienced at delivering major events such as this.

“This will be our twentieth concert and we are very much looking forward to welcoming the thousands of Spice Girls fans and ensuring that they have a great experience here at the Stadium of Light.

“For those who want to get to the stadium well in advance to soak up the atmosphere, there’s plenty on offer. Our food and beverage courtyard opens at 2pm and concert-goers can enjoy a wide range of street food, and alcoholic and soft drinks.”

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