Newcastle United

St James' Park

Capacity: 52,401 (all seated)
Address: St. James' Park, Newcastle, NE1 4ST
Telephone: 0191 201 8400
Fax: 0191 201 8600
Ticket Office: 0844 372 1892
Pitch Size: 114 x 74 yards
Club Nickname: The Magpies or The Toon
Year Ground Opened: 1892*
Undersoil Heating: Yes
Shirt Sponsors: Wonga
Kit Manufacturer: Puma
Home Kit: Black and White
Away Kit: White and Blue
Third Kit: Navy With Red & White Sash

External View
External View
Sir John Hall Stand
Sir John Hall Stand
Milburn Stand
Milburn Stand
Gallowgate End
Gallowgate End
East Stand
East Stand
View From The Away Section
View From The Away Section
Sir Bobby Robson Statue
Sir Bobby Robson Statue

The ground was largely rebuilt in the 1990's and is now unrecognisable from the St James' Park of old. On approaching the ground, it looks absolutely huge, as it appears to have been built on raised ground. I particularly like St James' Park as it is totally enclosed and has a great atmosphere. With the completion of the additional tier to the Milburn & Leazes (Sir John Hall) Stands in 2000, the capacity has been increased to over 52,000. These stands have a huge lower tier, with a row of executive boxes and a smaller tier above. This development has created the largest cantilever structure in Europe and has a spectacular looking roof, which allows natural light to penetrate through it (and hence is good for the pitch). However the ground now looks somewhat imbalanced with one half of the ground being significantly larger than the other two sides. These remaining two sides the Gallowgate End and East Stand are both of the same height and are two-tired. The stadium is also totally enclosed with all four corners being filled with seating. In October 2014 a large video screen was installed on the upper side of the Sir John Hall Stand, which looks rather odd, in terms of its position. Outside the stadium is a statue of former manager Sir Bobby Robson.  

The Club have announced plans to re-develop the Gallowgate End of the stadium. The plans which also include the construction of a new conference centre, hotel and residential apartments, would see the overall capacity of the ground increase to around 60,000. The plans are subject to local authority approval and as of yet no formal timescales as to when this might take place have been announced.

Away fans are housed on the very far side of the Sir John Hall Stand, in the top tier. Up to 3,000supporters can be accommodated in this section for league games and a larger allocation is available for cup games. Be warned though that it is a climb of 14 flights of stairs up to the away section and that you are situated quite far away from the pitch. So if you are scared of heights or have poor eye sight then this may not be for you. On the plus side you do get a wonderful view of the whole stadium, plus the Newcastle skyline and countryside in the distance. Also the leg room and height between rows are some the best that I have come across and the facilities on offer are pretty good. Away fans also get the best view of the new video screen that has been installed as it is located on that side of the stand. The concourse is spacious and there is a fair selection of pies on offer including the Chicken Balti Pie (£3), plus the usual burgers and hot dogs, all served in Newcastle United branded packaging (which made me wonder if their sales were affected when playing Sunderland!). There are also televisions on the concourse, showing live the game being played, with separate refreshment areas which serve alcohol, again in Newcastle United branded plastic glasses. 

Jeremy Gold a visiting Leyton Orient supporter adds; 'The visitors section is on level seven at the top of the stand. The view is a long way from the pitch, although it is still good. If you suffer from vertigo, don't go! The stewarding at the game I went to was fairly strict. However people were being warned against gesturing before they were thrown out. Unfortunately some people didn't take the hint and about five or six made the long trip back down the fourteen flights of stairs!'

The atmosphere in St James' Park can be electric and it is certainly one of the best footballing stadiums in the country. I personally found the Geordies friendly and helpful and a trip to Newcastle can be one of the better away trips in the Premier League.

The ground is one of the few remaining in the country that is literally right in the centre of the city. You are only a few minutes walk from the main shopping areas of Newcastle. 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. The 'A Head Of Steam' 'The Lounge' and 'O'Neills' are all recommended, but some of these bars will only admit fans if colours are covered and none of them admitted children. Also nearby is a Wetherspoons outlet called the Union Rooms. Alternatively there is Idols which has strippers and is popular with both home and away fans. 

On my last visit I went to the Bodega on Westgate Road and had no problems. This pub is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and had a friendly atmosphere. Closer to the ground (and just around the corner from China Town which is good for a cheap lunch) is the Newcastle Arms on St Andrews Street. This pub is also in the Good Beer Guide, but unless you arrive very early and have no colours you are unlikely to gain entrance. Just down the road is 'The Backpage' book shop, which is an oasis of football books, DVD's, programmes and memorabilia. Alcohol is also served within the ground.

At the end of the A1(M) continue on the A1 and then the A184 towards Newcastle. Continue along this road, bearing left onto the A189. Continue over the River Tyne on the Redheugh Bridge, from which the ground can be clearly seen. Carry on straight up the dual carriageway (St James Boulevard). This leads directly to the Gallowgate end of the ground. As the ground is so central there are a number of pay and display car parks in the vicinity. 

Post Code for SAT NAV: NE1 4ST

Jason Adderley a visiting West Brom fan adds; 'An easier way into the City is to stay on the A1 until the exit for Westerhope. Leave the A1 go straight over two roundabouts and then follow the signs for the Royal Victoria Infirmary (Queen Victoria Road) - parking here is in a multi storey and allows a reasonably quick getaway after the game'.

Park At Newcastle College

Around a 10-15 minute walk away from St James Park is Newcastle College, where around 400 car parking spaces are available for home matches and other events at the stadium such as the Magic Weekend of Rugby League taking place on May 30th & 31st 2015. The cost to park there is £4, which is paid on entry and then you will be given a voucher to display on your dashboard. The car park is supervised with security coverage. The entrance to the College car park is off a roundabout on Scotswood Road (A695), see this Newcastle College location map. If approaching Newcastle from the South and following the directions above, then after bearing left onto the A189 and crossing over the River Tyne. Then at the next set of traffic lights turn left onto the A695 signposted Blaydon/Metro Radio Arena and at the next roundabout turn right into the College car park. 

The car park is in easy walking distance of Newcastle Railway Station and City Centre. To walk straight to the stadium, then exit the car park via the entrance you drove through and turn left. At the traffic lights turn left onto the main St James Road. Just walk straight up St James Road and you will soon spot the stadium up in front of you. It is just over half a mile from the College to St James Park.

Newcastle Central Railway Station is half a mile from the ground and takes 10-15 minutes to walk. 

Thanks to Dave Lawson for providing the directions; 'Come out of the station, across the two zebra crossings and then head up the pedestrianised Pink Lane. Then cross Westgate Road at the top. Then up pedestrianised Bath Lane with the old city walls on your right. Turn right on to Stowell Street (Chinatown). At the end of Stowell Street bear left up St Andrews Street by Rosie’s Bar, under the ornate Chinese arch. Then left up Gallowgate. St James is on your right'. Andrew Saffrey adds; 'If you're feeling lazy, you can get  buses 36, 36B, 71, 87 or 88 from Berwick Street (across the road from station), up to the ground. The fare should be about 50p'. Whilst Claire Stewart informs me; 'You can also get the metro from inside the train station up to the ground, which has its own "St. James' Park" stop. Go on the metro from the Central Railway Station to Monument Metro Station where you need to change trains to go to St James' Park. You can also walk up to the ground from Monument Station. It's pretty easy to find, and if you do happen to get lost, then just follow the black and white crowd!

Dave Green warns; 'Please note that some of the metro trains passing through Central Station in the direction of Monument show St James as their destination. If you board one of these trains, you still need to change at Monument station for St James Park. To be honest, the ground is so close to Central Railway Station that unless you have difficulty walking or the weather is really foul, you're better off on foot'.

Remember if travelling by train then you can save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.

Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can normally save.

Click on the trainline logo below:

Newcastle Airport is located seven miles away from the City Centre. The easiest way to get into Newcastle is to go by the Metro transit system. The airport has its own Metro station which is situated next to the passenger terminal. There are frequent departures to the City Centre and the journey time is 23 minutes. This costs £2 for a single ticket or £3 return (£3.80 at peak periods). You can also purchase a 'day saver' ticket for £3.50 which allows you unlimited travel on the Metro System for one day. Change at Monument Metro Station for a Metro to St James Park Station. 

See a map of the entire Metro system (PDF file on the Nexus website).

Like a number of Clubs, Newcastle operate a ticket category system (A,B & C) whereby the most popular games cost more to watch. Prices are shown below with Category B & C prices shown in brackets.

Sir John Hall Stand 

Adults: £37 (B £31) (C £27)
Over 65's & Full Time Students £32 (B £26) (C £22)
Under 16's £18 (B £15) (C £13)

 

Newcastle United FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).

The Club offer daily tours of the ground at 11.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm. On matchdays there is just one tour held at 10.30am. The cost of the tour is Adults £15, Concessions £12, Under 16's £8, Under 5's Free.

Tours must be pre-booked by calling 0844 372 1892. As part of the tour a visit to the Club Museum is also included.

Official Programme: £3
The Mag Fanzine: £3
True Faith Fanzine: £2.50

 

Sunderland and Middlesbrough.

 

Record Attendance 
68,386 v Chelsea, Division One, September 3rd, 1930.

Modern All Seated Attendance Record
52,389 v Manchester City, Premier League, May 6th, 2012.

Average Attendance
2014-2015: 50,359 (Premier League)
2013-2014: 50,395 (Premier League)
2012-2013: 50,517 (Premier League) 

For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the  Level Playing Field website.

If you require hotel accommodation in the area then first try a hotel booking service provided by Late Rooms. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will go to help with the running costs of keeping the Guide going. The Hotels listing also includes details of how far away the accommodation is located from the football ground. 

Access their Newcastle Hotels and Guest Houses page.

Remember that you can use the above link or panel below to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, either in the UK or abroad.

The Old Fashioned Football Shirt company are based nearby in Gateshead and have a factory shop that may be of interest. You can see how TOFFS shirts are made while browsing their range of retro football shirts for teams from around the UK and worldwide. The shop is open Mon-Fri 08.00-17.15 and some Saturday mornings (phone for details). 0191 4913500 or enquiries@toffs.com or www.toffs.com Factory Shop at Unit 11C, Station Approach, Earlsway, TVTE, Gateshead, NE11 0ZF. Click here for a location map.

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me duncan@footballgroundguide.com and I'll update the guide.

Special thanks to:

Owen Pavey for providing the ground layout diagram.
Haydn Gleed for providing the YouTube video of St James' Park.
Kevin Aldworth for providing photos of the Sir John Hall Stand and Gallowgate End.
John Trotter for providing the photo of the Sir Bobby Robson Statue.
 

Newcastle United v West Bromwich Albion
Premier League
Saturday 9th May 2015, 3pm
Sam Foord (West Bromwich Albion fan)

Why you were looking forward to going to St James' Park?

After an away win at Old Trafford the previous week in the league, my hopes were high of getting another win against a Newcastle team who were currently on a streak of 8 losses! Also tickets were priced at £5 for students, so I roped my brother in to join me on the long journey north!

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?    

Went on the supporters coaches with my brother, got picked up from the Hawthorns at 9am in the morning. I had looked up how far away Newcastle was but nothing prepared me for how long the journey would take, it seemed to take forever! Luckily when we arrived the coach pulled up within a minutes walk of St James' Park.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

We arrived in Newcastle around 1.30pm so me and my brother thought we would use the hour to explore the city centre. As my brother isn't old enough to drink I didn't get to go to any pubs unfortunately! There was though a brilliant football memorabilia shop called "the back page" not far from the ground. It is well worth a visit. The local Geordies seemed very friendly and we had a laugh with some Newcastle fans in the city centre... though a group of 12 year old kids did shout that "west from are s***!" at my brother which we just found funny!

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?    

The ground is awe inspiring...the size of it is incredible! The walk up to our seats took us up 14 flights of stairs and it was worth it for the fantastic view of the stadium and the city of Newcastle! The away end is right up in the gods, so you might need binoculars! However, the seats were well spaced and the seats were good as well. From what I could see the rest of the stadium seemed to be up to a very high standard.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..    

Atmosphere from the Newcastle fans was a little disappointing... but this was to be expected after their dire run of form and the strange outburst of their manager John Carver in the previous game! Albion went 1-0 up thanks to Victor Anichebe and the Albion fans really gave a good cheer! Then a few minutes later Newcastle equalised...the noise was deafening! After that the game played itself out as a 1-1 draw, though Albion having the better of the chances.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away was easy (much easier walking down stairs than up them!) and the coach was parked a minute walk away from the stadium.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall, a fantastic day out even though we only got a point and the game was fairly forgettable! The beauty of Newcastle and the size of St James Park made it a brilliant day out for me and my brother!

Newcastle United v West Bromwich Albion
Premier League
Saturday 9th May 2015, 3pm
Alex Hopwood (West Bromwich Albion fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting St James' Park?

St. James' Park is an iconic stadium for English football and one I've always wanted to visit. Albion weren't quite over the relegation line despite the fantastic 1-0 win at Old Trafford the week before. It was also being described as Newcastle's biggest game of the season. So it had the potential to be a really good match.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?    

Me and my friend travelled with Baggies coach travel so the journey wasn't too problematic for us personally. We always knew it would be a long trip so the four hour journey wasn't a surprise. The ground was visible as soon as we entered the city and from this point on the ride was short and simple.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

The coach dropped us off right outside St James' Park and with little knowledge of where we were we didn't really fancy wandering off into the city. Because of this we decided to head straight into the ground and up the seven flights of stairs. The home fans were friendly enough and seemed more focused on their own team than us. The food inside the ground was of reasonable quality and wasn't too overpriced.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?

The ground was impressive and the view from the away stand is even better. You get a clear view of the city as well as the stadium and the leg room is one of the best I've seen. The stewards were helpful in helping us find our seats and overall we were satisfied. However there were a couple of faults. I found the seats to be overused and felt like they were going to break from beneath me every time I sat down. Also, I wouldn't recommend getting seats right on the very end of the stand over by the windshield when in a group, as there is a row with just one seat up against the wall. Because of this I found myself separated from the person I attended the game with as well as the majority of travelling baggies fans.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..    

The game took a while to get going with the early singing of the Albion fans being the only entertainment. The atmosphere from the Newcastle fans was frosty in parts and never really got going until they scored. It was Albion who took the lead in the 32nd minute through the head of Victor Anichebe, and in all honesty it came against the run of play. It took Newcastle just 11 minutes to equalise thanks to a good strike from Ayoze Perez and the score at half time was 1-1. This was how it remained to the final whistle with both teams having chances to win it during the second period. The atmosphere from the home fans was better in the second half as they pursued a vital three points in their season. On the other hand, Albion were all but safe and seemed content with the point, and this showed with the relaxed atmosphere from within the away stand.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away from the ground and finding our coach was very easy as it was only round the corner from the exit. We integrated into a large group of Newcastle fans with no trouble and enjoyed a bit of lighthearted banter on the coach with a young group of toon fans waiting in the bus stop over the road. The trip back down to the West Midlands was a long but happy one knowing that the baggies will be playing Premier League football again next season.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I thought Newcastle was a really fun day out and I certainly wouldn't mind making the trip again next year. The game didn't live up to what was expected but the stadium it was played in made up for that, a long with the all important point Albion needed to stay up successfully achieved.

Newcastle United v West Bromwich Albion
Premier League
Saturday 9th May 2015, 3pm
John Holding (West Bromwich Albion fan)

Why you were looking forward to going to St James' Park?
Always been looking to go to St James Park. Finally had the chance, with kick off being at 3 o clock on a Saturday!

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?    
Drove up from the Midlands for a long days drive but worth it. Very straight forward to the ground. Instead of going through the city centre (Gateshead), simply followed the A1 around Newcastle, until Westerhope. Then went straight into Newcastle City Centre. We spotted a large sign detailing what city centre car parks were available and we ended it up parking in the Eldon multi-storey car park.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    
The homes fans were very friendly considering where their team lies in the table before before and after the game (2 points above relegation) Burger before game (£4)

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?
After catching my breath after climbing to the top of the stairs and then entering the away section then the thought was just wow! The concourse is huge at the back of the stand. The view from the seats was good considering you are very high up. Also the leg room was plentiful.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..    
Steward friendly enough. Atmosphere wasn't the best, probably down to nerves from the home fans. But we got the point we needed to stay up, as it finished 1-1.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
Took 30 minutes to get back to the car park. Out and on the long journey back shortly after. If using the Eldon Car park. Turn right at the lights. Right at T junction. 3rd exit on island. This will take you back onto the B1318.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Brilliant day out. Just would of been a very long trip back if we lost.

Newcastle United v West Bromwich Albion
Premier League
Saturday 9th May 2015, 3pm
Alex Smith (Doing The 92)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to St James' Park?
As the current league season for my team, Coventry City, had ended, me and my dad looked to take advantage of the Premiership League still playing for a further few weeks. So we decided to visit St James' Park for the simple fact that I had never been there before and the ticket prices were more than reasonable! In fact we have paid more to watch some Coventry away games in League One this season.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
In the morning we drove to Tamworth Railway Station as its the only station local to us as we that you can get to Newcastle direct from. We hopped on the 07:44 service and after a very boring four hour train journey we arrived in Newcastle for about quarter to midday. St James' Park is like a huge shrine in the centre of the City and it just stands out, being visible from some distance away. So finding the ground was not an issue at all. 

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
With plenty of time to spare before kick off we walked round Newcastle City Centre and went for a coffee and put some bets on for the day's football ahead. At about 1pm we walked up to the Stadium and had a look round there for half an hour, afterwards we went to the NINE bar at the ground and watched the midday match between Everton and Sunderland (A game that didn't go down too well with the locals as Sunderland won) when the game finished we made our way into the ground. Geordies have a reputation for being friendly and they did that reputation no harm! They were more than happy to give directions and were easy to chat to! 

4. What you thoughts on seeing St James' Park?
The Stadium is absolutely Stunning! I was more than impressed with St James Park! The positioning of the ground is perfect, in the Middle of the City Centre, where in my opinion every stadium should be.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..
It was generally a fairly poor match of football. Victor Anichebe but WBA 1-0 up in the 33rd minute before Ayoze Perez equalised for Newcastle just before half time. The atmosphere was a mixture of emotions, as for a while after West Brom scored the atmosphere was fairly hostile - with most Newcastle fans frustrations being vented at the Directors Box and at manager John Carver. Although the atmosphere did lift when Newcastle equalised, the draw mixed with other results lifted Newcastle them up the table. Stewards were no problem but can't comment on quality of refreshments. 

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
No problem at all! Just come back the way we came - Train no issues! We we're even home in time to watch 'Match Of The Day' on telly.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Absolutely fantastic, Would love to go back again at some point in the future. If you're traveling with your team or just doing the 92, the long journey up to Newcastle is really worth it!

Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur
Premier league
Sunday, 19th April 2015, 4pm
Mark Coome (Tottenham Hotspur)

Why you were looking forward to going to St James' Park?
I haven't been to Newcastle since 1974 and the ground has changed so much since then.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
We went on the coach so the route in was as per police instructions, as was our arrival time and we parked up on Barrack Road, near Leazes Park.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
We asked a friendly police officer which were the away pubs. He said there weren't any real designated pubs and he directed us towards the Gallowgate area and said look for pubs down there. In the end we went through Chinatown and ended up in Tilleys Bar on Westgate Road. It was a real ale pub with a cracking selection of hand pulled ales and a vast collection of bottled beers. Atmosphere was friendly and there were a mix of home and away fans in there.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?
Very impressed with the early sightings of the ground. I had been warned about the massive climb up to the away end. I thought it was 15 sets of stairs that I counted. To make it worse we were on row W, right at the back of the away section which made it even more of a climb. The view though was good and as it was sunny you got a great view of the surrounding area.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc.. 
The stewards were very friendly as were the home fans. One even took our photo for us outside having volunteered his services. I did have my flag scrutinised to see what was written on it. As there were demos outside the ground against Mike Ashley and a boycott, they were checking for any 'Ashley Out' banners. The atmosphere from the home fans was virtually non-existent. A few thousand had stayed away and those in the ground failed to get behind the team. We had 3,000 supporters there so the atmosphere in the away sections was good. The game sparked a bit more into life seconds into the second half when Colback equalised for them, but even that didn't rouse the Geordie fans. Spurs upped their game and in the end ran out comfortable 3-1 winners with Harry Kane scoring his 30th goal of the season in added on time.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
We were a bit slower getting back to the bus as there were a few more demonstrations outside afterwards and we probably went the long way round as well (last back on the coach, not good!). Once under way it was steady getting out of Newcastle.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Really enjoyed the trip with the Scunthorpe Spurs. I took my niece who is a Newcastle fan and paying her first visit to the Toon and in spite of the score she had a good day too. Spurs also paid for our coach, which was a nice touch from the club.

Newcastle United v West Ham United
Premier League
Saturday 24 August 2013, 3pm 
By Dan Evans (West Ham fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be): 

I have been once before and had a great time before so I had no qualms of going again. 

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We left home at 6am for the long journey to Newcastle and arrived just after 11am with stopping off to for breakfast and a well earned coffee! We parked local to the ground at a shopping centre which cost £5 

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

We went to Sammy Jacks before the game which had a mixture of home and away fans seemed fairly friendly. The venue had entertainment which is probably more for the adult variety. But still enjoyable. 

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground? 

The ground on the way looks very impressive on the eye. We got into the ground in plenty of time which is good because the 13 flights of stairs to the concourse is a challenge! We was also placed at the very top of the away end excellent view but maybe a little to high. The ground overall is fantastic. 

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game was 0-0 and I think we was unlucky not to come away with three points but I would have taken a point beforehand. The atmosphere in the away end was fantastic almost non-stop the atmosphere amongst the home fans seemed a bit tense you can tell its not a happy place with all what is happening with management staff and the board. The stewards seemed reasonably friendly and helpful when assisting you to your seat. The facilities are impressive in my opinion easy enough to get to toilet at half time.  

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away from stadium  was nothing short of a nightmare. Took well over an hour to get out of the car park I wouldn't recommend anybody to park there or even drive there. 

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out: 

Was a good day out although I wouldn't drive there and back again 580 miles in a day is some going. I would totally use public transport next time and stay for a weekend. Highly recommend any away fan thinking of doing Newcastle United away.

Newcastle United v Stoke City
Premier League
Saturday 21 April 2012, 3pm
By Dominic Bickerton (Stoke City fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I was really looking forward to this game as it was a chance to have a day out with a few mates and visit a ground that none of us had previously been to. However, I wasn't looking forward to the inevitable result of this game; Newcastle were on an impressive run that saw them 5th in the league with the chance to move into the Champions League positions should they beat us. Meanwhile, Stoke had only won 1 of their last 6 games and were currently producing some rather pathetic performances.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Finding the ground was no problem at all. We arrived at Newcastle Central Train Station a few hours before the game and followed the mass of black and white shirts up to the ground which took us about 10 minutes.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Before the match we visited Shearer's bar, which is actually part of the ground. I was thoroughly impressed with the bar as it serves a wide selection of beers on tap and the locals seemed to be very friendly; this could have due to the fact that we weren't wearing colours, however, I saw a few other Stokies in colours that seemed to be getting along well with the Geordies.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

Our first impressions of the ground was just amazement at how big it looks from the outside, so we couldn't wait to get into the away end and see the ground from the inside. I had seen a few pictures taken from the away end, but they can't prepare you for how colossal the ground really is. After going through the away turnstiles we made the tough journey up God knows how many flights of stairs before reaching the concourse. Whilst trying to catch our breath we ventured out into the away end and were simply in awe of the place. It is huge! The view is simply incredible and is the best I have experienced at any football ground I have been to. If you haven't been, then you're missing out on what has to be one of the best grounds in the country.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

As I mentioned earlier, we weren't expecting a good result here and we certainly didn't get one. We started the match fairly well with the goal-shy Jon Walters ballooning an early chance that should have at least tested Tim Krul. We were made to pay for our wastefulness when, on 14 minutes, Cabaye put Newcastle 1-0 to the good after reacting quickly to nod in Cisse's header that had bounced back off the bar. This didn't spell good news for the Potters and 4 minutes later we were punished again. Cabaye slid a ball through our paper bag defense and Cisse easily directed his shot past Begovic to all but seal the 3 points with 18 minutes on the clock. After an awful start from the Potters we somehow managed to get to half time only 2-0 down. 

During half time I ventured down into the concourse. The toilets were fine but the bar quickly ran out of food which was quite annoying considering that we hadn't taken a large following. After watching the latest scores from around the country, I made my way back out for the second half. 

The second half started much like the first had ended with Newcastle completely dominating and nicking an early goal, which, to our relief, was ruled out for offside. However, our relief was short lived when the ball broke to Cabaye, who curled in a sublime effort from just outside the box. 3-0 down after 57 minutes and the game was well and truly over.

The atmosphere in the ground wasn't as good as I was expecting, but then I imagine that most Newcastle fans were far too busy wondering how Stoke are in the Premier League with performances like this one! Despite the Newcastle fans not being as vocal as I first expected, the noise when they scored was absolutely deafening. The was the only downside of the away end being so high; you can see almost every Newcastle fan celebrating. Not fun when it happens three times! The travelling Stokies were in good voice and even did a conga through the away end - with such poor away performances our travelling fans have to do something to keep their spirits up.

As for the stewards, they didn't really get involved and seemed to be decent.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

After full time, we left the ground quickly and were back at the station in about 10 minutes.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

The day was brilliant. Having a few drinks with mates and visiting a new ground is always a good experience, but we agreed that it was the best ground we had been to in some time and thoroughly enjoyed our time in Newcastle despite the result. I would thoroughly recommend it those who haven't been.

Newcastle United v Queens Park Rangers
Premier League
Sunday 15th January 2012, 2pm
By Mark Buckingham (QPR fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

From a young age, I have always had a soft spot for Newcastle.  Possibly because my Nan is a Geordie, possibly because I have a great amount of respect for Sir Bobby Robson and Alan Shearer (back when he was a national hero rather than a dull Match of the Day pundit).  I agonised at how close they came to taking the Premier League title from Fergie’s United before Keegan lost his marbles live on television. 

The atmosphere at St James Park is legendary and I had always wanted to see QPR play there; when Newcastle were in the Championship a few years ago it was the first fixture I looked for…a midweek game coming just three days after I started a new job was not what I had been hoping for!  Now, two seasons later I decided I couldn’t miss the chance to visit St James Park again and as regular contributor to this site Ben Buckingham and the other QPR away day usuals decided they couldn’t justify the expense on the second weekend in January. I convinced 3 mates (who support Charlton, Blackburn and Brentford) to come up to sample Newcastle’s famous nightlife and take in the game the next day.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We got the train up to Newcastle on Saturday afternoon. It took less than 3 hours from London Kings Cross and as there were four of us we had reserved seats round a table, armed with a crate of beer and looking forward to sampling the delights of the Newcastle nightlife.  The journey flew by and was so easy and direct. Coming out of the station, our hotel was a 10–15 minute walk over the Tyne Bridge.  When we got there I was pleasantly surprised to find the QPR team coach parked outside and Joey Barton in the reception area (probably tweeting!).  The ground itself was at the opposite end of Newcastle but still only a 10 minute walk from the station with plenty of pubs, bars, restaurants and fast food joints along the way.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Me and my mates spent Saturday night drinking large amounts of alcohol and not returning to our rooms until the not-so-early hours.  Newcastle provided a great night out with a big choice of pubs, bars and clubs and nearly all of them had free entry (a novelty for us London types). Needless to say come Sunday (matchday) we were all a little ropey. We started the day with Goals on Sunday. Zola was a studio guest and after a clip of one of his most famous pieces of skill he laughed and, in a thick Italian accent, said “for the rest of the game, the other team kicked the sheet out of me” which we found hilarious. As I mentioned previously, there were plenty of pubs to choose from for the pre-match build up, but we decided to chow down on some KFC and head straight to the ground, after bumping into a few more QPR players at the hotel and wishing them good luck.  Over the course of the weekend the locals were very friendly and there was never any sign of trouble.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

Wow, where do I start? St James Park is massive. The away end is up in the Gods and it probably took us an age to climb the stairs to our seats. I think there were a few lifts which I would seriously advise those less able to take advantage of. The four of us are young-mid twenties and we struggled, although this is may have something to do with the horrendous state our bodies were in after the night before.  From our seats we could see the Newcastle skyline which was nice. The facilities were good, it was easy enough to get food and drink but I can’t help but feel the whole stadium is just starting to look a little dated and could use a lick of paint.  It was still a fantastic place to watch football however, despite the away fans (and anyone else sitting on the top tier) being so high up and far away from the action.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

The game itself was a poor one. Mark Hughes had just been appointed QPR manager so there was a lot of interest from Sky (who were showing the match live) and QPR did indeed start brightly; hitting the bar twice from range and having a few other decent chances early on. Then Newcastle started to control possession and Best scored with a well taken goal about half an hour in and that was his side’s first (and last) attempt on target. The fact that QPR never really looked like equalising after a poor miss in the second half tells you all you need to know about the game.  

The atmosphere was a strange one.  It was very good in the away end at first, but much like the performance of the team, the energy and enthusiasm seemed to drain as an uneventful second half played out.  The Geordies seemed a bit lethargic too; the atmosphere was good at times but for much of the game they were quiet. The game was brightened up by some colourful characters sitting near us; there was an Asian Elvis who would shout manically to everyone and no-one whenever a QPR player made a mistake (very regularly) and there were a group of about 30 Dutch fans towards the back of our stand.  They were clearly made of stronger stuff than us as they looked like they hadn’t stopped drinking all weekend. They spent the entire second half jumping up and down, waving scarves and chanting.  One tried to climb up the stairs about 5 minutes after half time and could barely hold himself up, after some serious swaying and using the railings for support he still managed to fall into the laps of the 2 blokes between me and the aisle. The stewards duly led him away…only for him to return to a standing ovation and even more enthusiastic pogoing about five5 minutes later! 

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Again, the journey down the flights of stairs seemed to take forever, but getting out the ground was very easy.  In a nod to my usual away day routine of going to Frankie and Bennies with the Buckingham Boys before a game, I suggested to my mates we got some dinner there before heading back to the train station and London; another incredibly easy journey home although the amount of rubbish we were talking must surely have driven everyone else on the train mad.  The alcohol had probably worn off by that point but had been replaced by a touch of hangover insanity as we spent well over an hour coming up with words/music video/dance moves for a very simple song to accompany the drinking game ‘ping pang pong’. It was understandably too much for one member of our group who tried to block us out with headphones whilst trying to sleep.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Despite the game itself (which I left feeling pretty miserable about QPR’s lack of invention or quality going forward) the weekend as a whole was brilliant. I would thoroughly recommend a night out in Newcastle to anyone making a long journey there to see their team play as there are plenty of restaurants and nice bars for those who don’t wish to spend their evenings making shapes on the dance floor with a high level of drunken confidence but a very basic concept of rhythm.  The journey to and from London was so easy, and good fun with mates as well.  I would definitely go back if time and finances allow.

Newcastle United v Manchester City 
Premier League
Sunday 26th December 2010, 3pm
By Adam Smith (Manchester City fan) 

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I've always wanted to go to St James' Park. I've visited Newcastle many times (for the best night life in the country) but this was to be a first visit to the football ground. From the images I have seen, I believe the stadium is without a doubt the best looking one in the country.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I took the train from Manchester Piccadilly to Newcastle Central.  As you come out off the station, the stadium is so big that you can actually see it, and/or follow the black and white army from the pub. Its basically impossible to miss and if you do get lost, just ask the Geordie's, all of them are very friendly.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Before the game, I went for a few pints at the bar in the Railway Station. The home fans were happy to have a chat with you no problems at all. Then on the way up to the ground got some food from Greggs.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

The ground is truly magnificent! and huge. I've been to Old Trafford and this feels easily just as big. And although you are high up in the stands, you do get compensated with a fantastic view of the city skyline.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

City went 2 nil up after 5 minutes due to a catalogue of Newcastle errors. However as normal and as I've previously heard, the Geordie's never stopped singing, almost impossible to compete with although we did our best. The leg room and facilities are probably the best I've come across. And although the magpies looked like making a comeback thanks to Andy Carroll, we snatched one near the end to make it a 3-1 victory for city. And i will add: after City's the third, the Geordie's still sang! They really do have fantastic support, and although there was very little public transport that day in the North East, they managed an attendance of 51,657.... Not bad at all!

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Easy, walked out basically with home fans and headed towards the station, no problems once again.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Brilliant day,  brilliant stadium, very good for pubs. I would recommend any away supporter to make the journey up (or down) and make a day of a game. Why not even stay for the famous night?

Newcastle United v Arsenal
Carling Cup 3rd Round
Wednesday 27th October 2010, 7.45pm  
By Mark Archer (Arsenal fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

Managed to get a ticket for the game through a supporters club and so off I went! St James always looks very impressive and intimidating on the tv and I jumped at the chance to witness the arena for myself in person.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I came down from Edinburgh on the train and the ground is so central you can’t fail to miss it.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Before the game we went to the Strawberry Inn beside the club shop. Found it very friendly and a nice terrace to enjoy a smoke with a drink (bliss!!)

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

Seeing the ground on the tv doesn’t really do it justice. It’s a very impressive structure from the outside and although high in the sky the away end gives a great view and like previous reviewers have said the legroom per seat is good.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

After a fairly even start the gunners got a goal just before half time and then took control in the second 45 to run out emphatic winners 0-4. Found the home fans to be surprisingly quiet: cue chants from the gunners fans ‘Where’s your famous atmosphere?’ There was a top tier of the ground empty which isn’t surprising given that this was a cup game which would have cost extra on the season ticket. Even at £20 a ticket football ain't cheap these days. The away end was a good 90% full and big up the fans coming from London on a Wednesday evening and making a 500 mile plus round trip.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Had an easy exit from the stadium and the gunners fans were obviously in good voice and spirits. I waited outside the ground for the gunners team bus – just to the left of the away turnstiles and managed to get Pat Rice and Mr Wengers autograph

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Cracking day – cracking stadium – very central for pubs,shops and transport. I would recommend any away supporter to make the journey up (or down) and make a day of a game. Why not even stay for the night?

Newcastle United v Crystal Palace
Championship League
Wednesday 27th January 2010, 8pm
By Andy Cross (Crystal Palace)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

For a long time I have wanted to go to St James Park. It was one of my favourite grounds, the tradition of the stadium, the club, and their fans which I'd heard so much about, so the moment the fixtures come out, this was the first away fixture I looked out for, seeing as we had no local rivals in the league this season!

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We hired out our own coach with about 30 other boys from the Holmesdale Fanatics, and left from the site of the original Crystal Palace, were we took a photo of us all in front of the HF banner. Luckily, we was allowed beer on the coach, so it was a banter filled journey up to the toon! Although it was a good 7 hours to the ground, the excitement I was feeling of going to one of my all time favourite football league grounds sort of made up for the long journey!

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly? 

Once we got to the ground there was a lot of pubs to choose from, many with strict doormen on, but most of them were pretty friendly, with a few police checking round the pubs as you do. The Newcastle fans were actually genuinely nice and helpful, involved with good friendly banter, we even met a bloke wearing a Sunderland shirt in a pub near the station, which I wasn't expecting! We ended up going in " Idols " which was sort of a nightclub, but it was amazingly quiet when we went in, and there wasn't a person in sight, so we had the whole place to ourselves. Plus buying a pint there were only around £2 which was surprisingly cheap. Good build up and sing-song before the game, and once we finished a few pints we headed towards the stadium.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

One of the best things about St James Park, is that its situated practically right in the middle of the city, which makes it very easy to get to from the station, pubs etc. The ground looks amazing from outside, and really does tower over Newcastle. There's a lot of stairs to climb, to get right up to the away section though, but it was worth it as the views from the top were brilliant, not only a good view of the pitch but a good view of the Newcastle city as well. Mind you, if you have a problem with heights, I would suggest trying to sneak in to the lower tiers of the Home section as its a long olde way up! 

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

The game was fairly good, and the players were giving a lot of passion considering it was only hours before the game we was put in administration, but it sort of bonded the players together more, and our fans were amazing, over 1,000 fans on a Wednesday night in the middle of January is pretty impressive and we certainly made up for it with noise! Surprisingly, I'd expected so much more from the Newcastle fans, as they only belted out a couple songs all game, but I was told it was one of there worst atmospheres from the home fans that season

At half time, it was clear the bar staff weren't prepared for such a large away following, as they ran out of stock extremely quickly, which was a disappointment. The toilets were fine as well, even if a bit crowded! The game ended in 2-0 to Newcastle, but the players did themselves proud, and deserved so much more.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

As it was a Wednesday we decided to stay over for the night, and walking away from the ground was fine as we made it back to our hotel, got changed and hit the clubs! The nightlife is Newcastle is as good as it sounds, and it was a pretty amazing night, the people in Newcastle are extremely friendly, had a good few drunken chats with a couple of Geordies, but it was a night to remember and I'd absolutely love to do it again one day!

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Well what can I say, possibly the best away trip of my footballing life, great day out with the lads, great stadium, great atmosphere, and great nightlife. Would absolutely recommend this away trip to anyone, And I hope to visit there again one day!

Why not write your own review of St James' Park Newcastle and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

* Although the Club didn't move in until 1892, the land had been used for football since 1880.

Updated 30th August 2015

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