The owners of Newcastle United are having a stadium feasibility study carried out to see how St. James Park stadium can have its capacity increased from the current 52,300.
That will not only improve the look of the stadium but it will help with the match-day revenues too.
And of course, Newcastle is one of the few football clubs in England that have its Stadium just off the city center, and the owners want to keep it that way.
The Santiago Bernabeu project in Madrid was to remodel the stadium and it looks just fantastic, as shown in the photo above.
Alejandro Lorca, was the lead partner of the Bernabeu project, after his firm, L35, were chosen for the redevelopment.
Lorca dedicated his recent time to the Bernabeu project and is interested in what’s going on at St. James’ Park and the possibilities there.
Lorca is interested to see what comes out of the feasibility study at St James’ Park.
Lorca (shown above) is maybe one of the best people available to offer comments on the St. James Park of the future, and he has done this today by talking to Chronicle Live.
This is what he said:
“They (Newcastle) have to go for it and take their time,”
“With these refurbishments, especially in old stadiums, you really have to study well how you integrate everything to get the best out of it.”
“That means that you need more time to study all the technical areas. You have to have everything tied together for it to happen – and that takes time.”
“Nothing is impossible,” “You know the retractable pitch we have? If they had told me that they were going to do that in 2012, I would not have believed it.”
“We also did a service quarter because one of the problems that the Bernabeu had was all the goods were coming from the street so a truck would just go along the street and then you had all the boxes going inside the stadium.”
“They didn’t have a proper delivery area so we did a ring all around the stadium and then we went in between the foundations of the old stadium and went up the service elevators to be able to get into each area.”
“Now you can service it from one area and the TV compound is underground.”
“We were going in between and retrofitting old foundations. It’s amazing how the club really pushed to have it and if you can do that, you can do just about anything.”
“We even have the train tunnel going through the stadium that was done in the 1920s and it’s one of the most used in Madrid that’s very near the surface of the lower stand so we had to reinforce that to be able to do the retractable pitch.”
“We did build a new tier, like a fourth tier, similar to what they probably have to do at St James’,” “That was a big architectural and structural problem.”
“We have been through some things that could be quite similar to what St James’ might be into if they want to renew and probably the thing that is the closest to the problems that we had is the plot itself.”
“The Bernabeu plot is where the building ends. There’s no more land. I thought the Bernabeu is very tight – it’s about four-and-a-half hectares (11.11 acres), which is a small plot for a stadium.”
“But I saw St James’. Wow! It’s very tight, especially the east side with the row of houses at the back.”
“We did have some similar problems in the Bernabeu. You have to cantilever over it and that’s why that shape happens because it really comes from the limitations of the plot.”
“The skin of a stadium is a reflection of the renewal of a club,” “It sends the message about this iconic building moving into the 21st century.”
“I’m sure besides having more seats and better infrastructure at St James’, Newcastle will want this image of a ‘new’ stadium in the middle of the city. I hope this is the case.”
“I hope you get that wonderful stadium that you all want.”
It wouldn’t be a bad idea if after the study is completed for St. James’ Park expansion, Alejandro Lorca is used as a consultant on the redevelopment.
And remember the costs of the redevelopment is not limited by any FFP or PSR rules.
And it seems that Saudi Arabia’s PIF is willing to put a lot into the St. James’ redevelopment as a statement that Newcastle United is on the way to becoming one of the best clubs in world football.
What do you think?