St James’ Park is a major football stadium located in the North East of England, in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne.
St James’ Park has been the home ground of Newcastle United since 1892 and has been used for football since 1880. The stadium has a current seating capacity of 52,354, this makes it the seventh-largest club football stadium in England.
The stadium lies slightly towards the north-east of Newcastle’s centre and north of the main railway station, from where it is a 10-minute walk. On its northern side it borders Leazes Park. St James’ Park location is 500 metres roughly north of the Central Station, the main railway station of the city of Newcastle.
The stadium is bordered by “Strawberry Place” behind the Gallowgate, Barrack Road in front of the main entrance, a car park to the north and Leazes Terrace to the East. Further south is St James station, a terminus station of the Tyne and Wear Metro line to the east, although the main Metro interchange strange, Monument station, is situated 250 metres to the east.
If arriving by car, follow directions to Newcastle’s city centre. The stadium is close to most city centre car parks, but due to its location it is advised to travel by public transport. You can easily walk to the ground from the city centre, however for some people who don’t want to do this, then there are buses costing less than a quid which depart from Berwick Street, essentially opposite the train station. Bus services: 36, 36B, 71, 87 and the 88.
St. James’ Park Stadium
The stadium has a generic pitch alignment of a north easterly direction. The four main stands feature the famous “Gallowgate End”, which is officially the Newcastle Brown Ale Stand, at the southern end of the ground, named unofficially for its proximity to the old City gallows, and officially after the long association with the club of sponsor Scottish and Newcastle Breweries. The “Leazes End”, which is officially the Sir John Hall Stand, at the northern end of the ground. It’s named unofficially for its proximity to Leazes Park, and officially after the club’s Life President Sir John Hall.
The “Milburn Stand”, which is the main stand, on the west side of the ground. Named after 1950s footballer Jackie Milburn. The Milburn stand is the ‘main’ stand of the stadium, housing the main entrance, lifts and escalators behind a glass fronted atrium. The dugouts and player’s tunnel is located in the traditional position of the middle of the main stand.
The smallest stand is the East Stand, following the death of Sir Bobby Robson, a plan to rename the East Stand the “Sir Bobby Robson Stand” was rumoured to be in the works. As yet, this has not been made official. The Milburn stand and Leazes end are double tiered, separated by a level of executive boxes; The East Stand and Gallowgate End are single tiered, with boxes also at the top of the Gallowgate.
The stadium also contains conference and banqueting facilities. These comprise a total of 6 suites with a total capacity of 2,050, including the 1,000 capacity Bamburgh Suite containing a stage, dance floor and 3 bars, and the New Magpie Room, on two levels with a pitch view. For home fans, St James’ Park houses premium priced seating areas designated into clubs, each with their own access to a bar and lounge behind the stand for use before the match and at half-time. The Platinum Club, Bar 1892, Sovereign Club and the “Black & White Club” are in the Milburn Stand, and the Sports Bar is in the Leazes End.
The current stadium design, is rather impressive on first sight, for supporters it offers an unobstructed view of the pitch from all areas of the ground. The leg room is excellent, and with over 50,000 Geordies in attendance, the atmosphere is certainly electric.
Unfortunately one draw back for away supporters is their location. They are 3,000 places for away supporters, who are situated in the far end of the upper level of the Leazes End. This location has attracted some criticism due to the poor view offered, by being so far from the pitch. This is mainly due the height of the stand, and the 14 flights of stairs to reach the upper level.
There are 170 spaces are allocated for wheelchair users. 120 spaces are elevated and 42 are located pitch side. 158 of the 170 designated wheelchair spaces are for home supporters and 12 spaces are designated within the visiting supporters area. Disabled away fans are seated amongst their own supporters.
One of the great assets of St James’ Park is its central location right in Newcastle’s city centre. This means that there is a large variety of eating and drinking establishments in the nearby surroundings of the stadium.
There are plenty of bars to choose from in the city centre, but most away fans tend to favour the pubs opposite and around Newcastle Railway Station. Inside the stadium the cost of a pie is around £3.20, a cup of tea £2.30, and a match day programme £3.00. (Correct at the time of publication)
The nearest hotels to the ground include the Crown Plaza Newcastle, Hotel Indigo, Hampton by Hilton Newcastle and Grey Street Hotel. As an international venue, St James’ Park has hosted concerts for many famous artists, including The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Queen, Bob Dylan, Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Kings of Leon. It has also hosted the “Super League Magic Weekend”, in 2015, 2016 and is planned once again for 2017.
The future looks bright for St James’ Park, in 2007 there was an announcement surrounding a £300 million development of the stadium and surrounding areas, to include a major conference centre, hotels and luxury apartments. The proposals also include a plan to increase the Gallowgate End, eventually taking the capacity to 60,000.
This expansion would be funded by the city council and linked to the redevelopment of the land behind the stand and over the Metro Station. Expansion of the Gallowgate end involves difficulties due to the proximity of a road, Strawberry Place, and issues surrounding reinforcement of the underground St James Metro station.
For more information about St James’ Park Stadium, please visit Newcastle United’s official website, by Clicking Here .