One of the sporting world’s most famous stadia will welcome fans of a different kind this summer as part of a world record breaking event.
Hundreds of cartoon and gaming fans are to descend on Newcastle United’s St James’ Park stadium, on 17 June – all dressed as Pokémon characters.
And organisers are confident the event will smash the current Guinness World Record for the greatest number of people dressed as Pokémon characters at a single venue.
The world record breaking attempt is part of the annual, three-day SunnyCon Animé Expo 2017, which is returning to the stadium from 16 to 18 June and is expected to attract thousands of film, sci-fi, gaming and animé fans from across the region and beyond.
“To help win the record, all fans need to do is turn up in costume as their favourite Pokémon character,” said SunnyCon organiser, Donna Yeoman.
“But the costume must be accurate from head to toe and it must be a character from the franchise, whether human or Pokémon.
“The current record stands at 250,” she added, “so I am confident we can totally smash it.”
This year’s SunnyCon Animé Expo plans to build on the success of last year with a packed schedule of talks and signings by leading animé voiceover artists, including Bryce Papenbrook – famous for hit series such as Blue Exorcist, Sword Art Online and Attack on Titan.
Pokémon voiceover artists Michele Knotz and James Carter Cathcart – who voiced Jessie and James along with numerous other characters from the franchise – will also be making their first appearance at a European event.
Expo visitors will also be able to take part in workshops on everything from art to cosplay and Japanese culture and there will be performances from Japanese artists and musicians and stalls selling a variety of specialist merchandise.
The three-day event will be managed by the stadium’s catering and hospitality partner Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events and sales and marketing manager, Samantha Doyle, said:
“We are delighted to be welcoming SunnyCon back to St James’ Park.”
“The stadium is the perfect venue for this sort of event as, not only does it have capacity, but its city centre location makes it easily accessible for visitors from the North East and beyond.
“Most weekends, the stadium is a sea of football strips so we can’t wait to see all the Pokémons – and we’re very excited to be playing a part in a world record attempt.”
SunnyCon will take place from noon to 6pm on Friday 16 June and from 10am to 6pm on the Saturday and Sunday.
Weekend tickets, which grant access for all three days, cost £25, while single day tickets are priced at £15. Children aged 12 and under can attend free of charge with no more than two children per adult.