St James’ Park is a class stadium, no doubt about it.
As for the location, well, it can’t be beat.
Not only is it based in Tyneside, it’s right in the heart of the city.
However, another thing is certainly true, it is not big enough.
If you’ve supported Newcastle United for any length of time, you’ll already know this.
After all, it was only six years ago when, with the hated Mike Ashley still owning the club, we packed St James’ Park week in and week out in the 2016/17 season, in the second tier!
Over 23 Championship games, Newcastle United averaged over fifty thousand, simply because Rafa Benitez had given us some hope by staying on after Ashley had ‘earned’ his second relegation in just eight PL seasons.
Newcastle United had more fans pay in total through the turnstiles that season in 2016/17 than all Premier League clubs except Man Utd (having four extra home games in the second tier meant that the total at St James’ Park beat Arsenal). and the Emirates).
Not that I needed it anyway, but today gave me absolute proof that Newcastle United need a much bigger St James’ Park.
I am one of those who was so fed up with Mike Ashley, that I felt the only way to try to get rid of him was to boycott and pack my season ticket, which I did with so many thousands of others. If we had all stayed and continued to pretty much fill St James’ Park, I would never have sold the club. Once he was forced to give away over 10,000 free season tickets we knew it was the beginning of the end for him, he would sell NUFC as he knew he would be facing a dwindling crowd at St James’ Park with every season that remained.
Anyway I lost my season ticket and loads of loyalty points which allowed me to go to away games when I wanted but I still think it was the only way to get rid of Mike Ashley so I’m happy to have done it
However, I’m not so happy that I haven’t been able to get a season ticket back so far, so it’s a season ticket for me (and others I go with) and the mad scramble for game-to-game tickets.
I thought I’d seen it all, but this Thursday morning was something else, I thought I’d accidentally stumbled into the queue for Peter Kay’s tour tickets!
Tickets for Newcastle and Leeds went on sale at 10am and I was ready, as usual, well before that.
Anyway, I got a pretty decent spot in the online queue and was still very lucky to get tickets! It was absolutely crazy, I got to the NUFC ticket office before 10.20 and so fast I was trying to put the tickets in my online cart or whatever, those tickets had been taken by someone else.
I was lucky enough to secure our tickets and almost immediately St James’ Park sold out, even the family grounds which usually take a while longer (as you need to have at least one junior membership amongst your season tickets) . to be able to buy them up there) even disappearing what seemed like only a few minutes later.
I hate to think how many Newcastle United fans tried to get tickets for Leeds today and failed. Just out of curiosity, I tried the NUFC ticketing site a bit later and there was still a small queue to get in, and they gave me a number of over 200,000, which I believe is a total of course of how many have accessed the ticket site / queuing that particular day.
I really hope that our big Christmas present will be the owners of Newcastle United announcing that they now have plans on how they will significantly expand the capacity of St James’ Park.
The Gallowgate End seems the most obvious place that could help with this potential expansion and hopes have been raised for some, with the sight of the recent disappearance of all the building materials that stood on the land opposite the Gallowgate, which Mike Ashley sold to promoters. . The hope for Newcastle fans is that the new owners of NUFC have somehow managed to regain control of this ground.
So it all crossed so that St James’ Park can be made much bigger, over 65,000 is to me the bare minimum we should have, still not enough in an ideal world, especially if we ever come back to succeed!
The alternative is something that seems impossible to contemplate…