It’s Getting Time To Expand St. James’ Park


With the way the Newcastle United Football Club is now being run, we know we’ll not be the first ones who think it’s a good time to start planning an extension to St. James’ Park, so the seating capacity expands beyond 60,000.

st-james-park-new.jpg

Artist’s Impression of the Proposed £300M expansion to St. James’ Park

We say that because we’re sure it’s already been thought about by at least Chris Mort, because the signing of Kevin Keegan and the expected arrival of attacking and entertaining football again on Tyneside will mean there will be no problems in filling St. James Park by an extra 10,000 in attendance.

Even before Sam Allardyce was appointed Manager, new plans were announced on April 2nd by Newcastle United. The plans were for a £300m three-phase development – including a major conference center, hotels and luxury apartments at St. James’ Park – plus an extension of the St. James Park ground capacity.

It would include the expansion of the football ground to 60,000 by increasing the capacity by at least 8,000 at the Gallowgate End on land above St James’ Metro Station. It was to be in 3 phases:

  • Phase 1, for which planning positioned is being sought – will be a 140-bedroom hotel complex.
  • Phase 2 will be Superior apartments on the site of the existing public car park, overlooking Leazes Park – with an address of Number 1 St. James’ Park.
  • Phase 3 will be the Ground Expansion – of at least 8,000 – with a new stand at the Gallowgate end – to make the overall capacity of the ground at least 60,000.

We’re not quite sure what the status of this project is at the moment. Maybe some of our readers know more than we do.

But we think it’s worth the club thinking now about how to get the ground expanded by even more than the 8,000 planned in the scheme above. Newcastle United will then be able to gain additional revenues, which will help us to bring in new players.

60,000 screaming Geordies is also a little more threatening to the opposition, than 52,000 screaming Geordies.    😀

What do you think?

Please let us know – comments welcome.


22 comments so far

  • Leo*

    Jan 19, 2008 at 1:18 AM

    Comment #1

    wow that is a cool thought, it would look awesome, i hope it comes true. i am looking to buy an apartment this year sometime, maybe i will wait and buy a number 1 st james apartment

    where did ya get this info on Ed? your always so quick with all of this, and from all the way in America, its very impressive, btw what part of the US are you?

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  • Awais

    Jan 19, 2008 at 1:35 AM

    Comment #2

    This is old news announced last year by previous regime. These plans are on hold according to Mort – although that was back in the summer when he said that.

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  • sparetheman

    Jan 19, 2008 at 1:40 AM

    Comment #3

    Weren’t these plans made when Fat Freddie was still in charge? All the articles I can find on this use quotes from his mouth, rather than the new owners.

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  • ObaFan2

    Jan 19, 2008 at 1:45 AM

    Comment #4

    Shame to see extra seating is phase 3 but I suppose the money will be made from the apartments etc.

    Planning permission won’t be a doddle but anything’s possible atm.

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  • Zero Cool

    Jan 19, 2008 at 1:45 AM

    Comment #5

    I’ve actually seen a picture of the projected St. James’ Park. The 60,000 building and it looks beautiful. I do have a soft spot for how the building currently looks, but I’d like to see it completed and enclosed.

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  • ObaFan2

    Jan 19, 2008 at 1:54 AM

    Comment #6

    How long would all the work take to finish?

    It does certainly look a fine ground but Keegan’s probably been and gone by the time 60,000 are sitting in SJP.

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  • UTD111

    Jan 19, 2008 at 1:58 AM

    Comment #7

    Totally agree Ed – got to keep up with the so-called “big four” (2 of whom get lesser crowds than us and one of whom has only beaten us since last year). But isnt there a problem behind the Polular side (East Stand) in that the student buildings are protected “Dobson” stuff and cant be pulled down?

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  • Hadrian

    Jan 19, 2008 at 1:58 AM

    Comment #8

    scrap them plans and let mort come up with his own , someone needs to correct me aswell if they could , but doesnt one of fat freddys compnays own land we need to build on? meaning he needs a lump sum? sure he bought some land but not in the name of the club, it was another compnay so he could gain from it when selling it back to the plc..

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  • ObaFan2

    Jan 19, 2008 at 2:14 AM

    Comment #9

    UTD111 think ur right on the protected buildings bit. It’s going to be a real difficult project to push through.

    and Hadrian that wouldn’t suprise me at all.

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  • stk

    Jan 19, 2008 at 2:29 AM

    Comment #10

    beautiful…. my cathedral!

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  • trojan

    Jan 19, 2008 at 6:56 AM

    Comment #11

    i think its time to get real and do what arsenal have done . . . . sell the ground as flats and build a purpose built statium , bigger and better slightly out of town and let the club build up a lesuire park around it . Also with ashleys money, there would be no need to close st james till the new place was open.

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  • Guinea Mag

    Jan 19, 2008 at 7:13 AM

    Comment #12

    Ashley won’t spend any money until he’s done his due diligence to ensure he’s on a winner. He didn’t give Allerdyce money as he wasn’t confident with him; i.e. a wise-man…..

    Now KK’s at the helm, we need to bring in top quality players to improve the team. A succesfull club generates money and the need for additional capacity and other facilities. I expect the 3-phase stadium plan to change as it’s Freddie Shepherd’s plan, but hope to see the ground capacity increase to 60,000 provided the team can match the stadium and start winning silverware.

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  • BW POSITIVE

    Jan 19, 2008 at 7:55 AM

    Comment #13

    Personally, I cannot see the benefit for such a huge sum of money by increasing a large capacity by a min of 8000 seats. You would not hear any difference from 52 to 60. I know the importance of being the only prem club to have its ground seated firmly inside the city, but if we want to KEEP UP with the other big clubs, then not only must we make that move now, to a new stadium upto 75+ seats, but one that also offers the available land that will allow us to expand it further more. Its true, having a club ground tightly packed in a city can go against you. Whilst it guarantees local bars great trade especially with no carparking, it forces majority of people to get the metro in. I think having a behemoth of a ground outside the city, 80000 all seater with NO PITCH problems, and trains/buses running back into the city for the pubs is the only way forward. Discussions about those dam grade listed buildings will carry on forever, as will the bitter memory of us almost having a brand new stadium back in the mid 90s. Its unfortunate but it must happen. This club is selling itself short, it could easily fill 70000 on premiership fixtures. 300m for 8000 more seats, some hotels and apartments. Crazy. Considering the last upgrades cost us 90m combined with this latest, would prove to be more costly than Arsenals brand new emirates.

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  • Hadrian

    Jan 19, 2008 at 8:46 AM

    Comment #14

    Trojan thats an awfull idea , the great thing about SJP is the fact it sits atop the hill in the centre of our city .

    ohh and ^ 8000 * 350(ish) per year all the cash from trade would be a worthwhile investment .

    id never vote for leaving sjp , i do think mort n ashley will re evaluate freddys plans .

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  • graham

    Jan 19, 2008 at 8:59 AM

    Comment #15

    the whole 3 phases are budgeted at £300m not just the extra seats. And all the hotel, appartments etc was going to be privately financed. I’m not sure though whether its ffs or nufc who own the land above the metro station.

    ashley has never mentioned this project, it all come from the mouth of our previous fat controller

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  • trojan

    Jan 19, 2008 at 9:39 AM

    Comment #16

    i agree with BW POSITIVE, there is a time for progress and i think that we need to start looking at the whole structure of the club , some massive improvements have been made but it is just not practical to have the stadium any larger in its current location

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  • ad

    Jan 19, 2008 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #17

    to the people saying move the stadium are yous from newcastle? i love it in the middle of the town you can see it for miles around i would be devastated if we ended up in some industrial estate next to tesco extra and toys r us!!!!!

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  • big pea ov the weab

    Jan 19, 2008 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #18

    moveing the club to a new location might b a good idea !
    ok every 1 loves sjp but as long as them listed buildings r standing we will not be able to go past the 60 000 mark wich is a shame becouse if kev doz wot he plans to do newcastle will need a 80 000 seats for all the mad geordies to sit in i remember getting my season ticket wen kev was last on the tyne and there was a 4 years waitng list for to get ur ticket last season they couldent sell all there tickets MY oppinion on this is to up sticks and move to a more suitable ground

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  • Keltik

    Jan 19, 2008 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #19

    i agree, moving SJP would be the worst mv ever, the great thing about SJP is the fact its in the center of town, you can see it when your shopping in the center! and that you can get a metro straight to it.

    im not too sure abou those buildings being protected, thats the first ive heard of it.

    I was under the impression they designed SJP with the idea that all sides would be developed in different stages, would be a bit careless ifthey had designed it like yhat but not actually checked the planning details of the buildings that suround it.

    I think a NUFC Hotel would be amazing, Man Utd have something similar and i know for one when i travel down every week or so to see them id probaby stay their.

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  • Ed Harrison

    Jan 19, 2008 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #20

    Maybe Chris Mort should just come up with a plan to increase the capacity by say 10,000 – it would be much cheaper and could be completed much more quickly.
    Sounds a reasonable idea doesn’t it?

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  • Chris F

    Jan 19, 2008 at 3:45 PM

    Comment #21

    aye, the newcy broon stand (or whatever it’s called these days) can’t be expanded cos the street behind it is all listed buildings.

    tho when i lived on st james’s street (50yards from the strawberry, what bliss!) all the houses up there were full of twats from darn sarf, so i say knock em down anyway! 🙂

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  • BW POSITIVE

    Jan 19, 2008 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #22

    For those of you that disagree with the idea of moving out of the city, to a new stadium with grounds, consider this. If and when NUFC become a force, realise that the lopsided stadium stands will never change. Those grade listed buildings are there to stay. I think our support is big enough to handle a move outside the city, it needs to happen. It isnt like we are sharing. We need more than 52, its really that simple. The stadium looks like a half complete dream. Dated in appearance at that. We have pitch problems as a result of light issues. We can not improve parking facilities in that we have no available land left, and more importantly no more expansion. If we do not move, we WILL be caught up with. Its ok having the warm feeling about ohhh how we are the only club with home city ground stadium. But I bet the novelty disintegrates when you have sunderland, spurs, city, liverpool amonst others getting larger grounds, for a fraction of the 300m it would cost us to get an extra 10000.

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