Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 15.10.06FANS of cult Japanese animations are expected to flock to Newcastle’s St James’ Park next month for the first of two national conventions.

On 13 September, the stadium, home to Newcastle United Football Club, will welcome visitors from across the UK – many dressed as their favourite characters – for a day of gaming, demonstrations, stalls and talks relating to the animé trend.

The event, to be followed by a larger, three-day convention at the stadium in June 2016, has been organised by Sunderland-based SunnyCon, which has seen a surge in the popularity of the Japanese cartoon TV, video game and comic book characters.

“This is our fifth year and the events just get bigger and bigger,” said SunnyCon Ambassador Michael Tuckwell. “We’ve completely outgrown all our previous venues, which is testament to the popularity of Japanese animation.

“We’re really excited about moving across the water to St James’ Park because not only is it one of the UK’s biggest and most iconic football stadiums but it gives us the capacity and flexibility to expand the event and open it up to more people than ever before.”

The SunnyCon events at St James’ Park will be managed by the stadium’s in-house team from Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events, which won the Operations Team of the Year category at The Stadium Events and Hospitality Awards 2015.

General manager, Frankie Angus, said: «We’ve never hosted anything like this and we’re really looking forward to showcasing our facilities to a vast number of people, who may not have visited St James’ Park before.”

«The Newcastle United ground is a hugely popular venue for all manner of corporate and social events – although this will be the first time our guests have been dressed as cartoon and gaming characters.”

Day tickets for the 13 September event are £15. For SunnyCon, in June, full weekend tickets cost £25 and single day tickets, for Saturday and Sunday, are priced at £17.

Tickets for both events can be purchased via www.sunnycon.co.uk and further information about Sodexo Prestige and its conference and banqueting facilities at Newcastle United call 0191 201 8525 or e-mail candb@nufc.co.uk