St James' Park
52,405 (all seated)
Address: St. James' Park, Newcastle, NE1 4ST
Telephone: 0844 372 1892
Fax: 0191 201 8600
Ticket Office: 0844 372 1892 (Option 1)
Pitch Size: 115 x 74 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Magpies or The Toon
Year Ground Opened: 1892*
Undersoil Heating: Yes
Shirt Sponsors: FUN88
Home Kit: Black and White
Away Kit: All Green
Third Kit: All Orange
On approaching St James’ Park, it looks absolutely huge, dominating the skyline. In 2000 an additional tier was added to both the Milburn and Leazes Stands increasing the capacity to over 52,400. These stands have a huge lower tier, with a row of executive boxes and a smaller tier above. It has a spectacular looking roof, which at the time was the largest cantilever structure in Europe. This roof gives the stadium a unique look, which is almost breath-taking. The roof is mostly transparent allowing natural light to penetrate through it, facilitating pitch growth. However, on the whole, St James’ Park looks somewhat unbalanced 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-tiered. 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, there are three statues; of former players Jackie Milburn and Alan Shearer, plus former manager Sir Bobby Robson.
Away fans are housed on the very far side of the Leazes Stand, in the top tier. Up to 3,000 supporters can be accommodated in this section for league games and a larger allocation is available for cup games. Be warned though that it is quite a climb of 14 flights of stairs up to the away section (that is 140 stairs to be negotiated, although there is a lift available if you are unable to take the stairs) and that you are situated quite far away from the pitch. So if you are scared of heights or have poor eyesight 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 food on offer includes; Food on offer inside the stadium includes; Mag Pies (thankfully no magpies in them, but mince and onion £3.70), Balti Pies (£3.60), Peppered Steak Pies (£3.90) and Cheese and Onion Pies (£3.50), 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. If you are stuck for cash there is an ATM located near to the Sir Bobby Robson Statue, which is on the corner of Milburn and Gallowgate Stands.
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. A trip to Newcastle is certainly one of the better away trips in the League and one that many fans look forward to.
With the new owners now in situ at Newcastle you can bet bottom dollar a stadium revamp will be on the horizon. It’s long been discussed but without physical change. The latest proposals, however, model what St James’ Park could look like if the pitch was rotated. The theory is that you’d retain the ‘soul of the club’ whilst allowing the stands to rise in such a way where you could add near on 20k to the overall capacity. Whether or not that idea ever gets off the paper remains to be seen. The new owners probably have more pressing concerns right now though.
Although Newcastle United have forever known St James’ Park as their home they weren’t the first team to play there with Newcastle Rangers, who folded in 1884, the original tenants. The Magpies moved in at the point of formation in 1892. At that time, the ground consisted of, well, not a lot. The first stand was added in 1899; it was Gallowgate End and allowed for 30,000 standing fans. Six years later the capacity increased by 100% with the build of what is now known as the Milburn Stand. A combination of legal challenges, financial woes and poor on field performances meant stadium expansions were few and far between for decades upon decades despite various plans being drawn up.
Half a job was done on the East Stand whilst the West Stand development, which was rushed through after the Bradford City fire out the worries up the club hierarchy, was hardly going to win architectural prizes with a lack of funds preventing full plans being met. In the mid-nineties things finally started to come together though; all four stands were either tarted up or completely rebuilt whilst each corner was filled in too to round the Newcastle stadium off. It took the capacity to 36,000. A few years later and expansion was on the menu again under Freddy Shepherd; two stands and a corner saw second tiers added at a cost of over £40m. It is a hefty price tag but did see the capacity jump to 52,000.
The Newcastle fans are generally welcoming to visitors and even bars located at or very close to the stadium such as Nine (Shearers Bar) or the Strawberry, will normally admit away fans. Also close by is the Sandman Hotel inside which is the Shark Club Sports. St James’ Park is only a few minutes walk from the city centre where there are plenty of bars to choose from. Most away fans tend to favour some of the pubs opposite and around Newcastle Railway Station. The ‘A Head Of Steam’ ‘The Newcastle Tap’ and ‘The Lounge’ are all popular with visiting supporters, but some of these bars will only admit fans if colours are covered and none of them admits children. The Head of Steam is also listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. Nearby is a former Wetherspoons pub called the Union Rooms, which is under new ownership. This pub is happy to admit away fans and is family friendly. Please note that the Gotham Town and the Victoria Cornet pubs located across from the railway station do not admit visiting supporters.
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 known for its real ale, but unless you arrive very early and are not wearing colours you are unlikely to gain entrance. Just down the road is ‘The Back Page’ bookshop, which is an oasis of football books, DVD’s, programmes and memorabilia.
Alcohol is also served within the ground in the form of Carling (500ml bottle £4.50), Coors (330ml bottle £4.40), Kingstone Press Cider (500ml bottle £4.40), Kingstone Press Wild Berry Cider (500ml bottle £4.70), Wine (White, Red or Rose 187ml bottle £5), Gin and Tonic (Can £5.50) and Jack Daniels and Coke (Can £6).
At the end of the A1(M) continue onto the A1 North 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 and 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. 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.
Park & Ride
There is a Matchday Park & Ride service which operates from Gateshead Metrocentre (NE11 9YG). It is free to park there and the Bus costs £2 return. The X50 Soccerbus operated by Go North East commences two hours before kick off. It leaves from the middle of the Metrocentre Coach Park and returns from Barrack Road (behind the Milburn Stand) with the last bus leaving one hour after the match has ended.
There is also the option of renting a private driveway near St James’ Park via YourParkingSpace.co.uk.
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Newcastle Central Railway Station is half a mile from St James’ Park and takes around 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 the 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 ” 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’.
Booking train tickets in advance will normally save you money! Find train times, prices and book tickets with Trainline. Visit the website below to see how much you can save on the price of your tickets:
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).
Over 65’s & Full Time Students £22
Under 18’s £16
Official Programme: £3
The Mag Fanzine: £3
True Faith Fanzine: £2.50
Newcastle vs Sunderland rivalry: The hatred felt between Newcastle and Sunderland goes far outside of football with the underpinning event the English Civil War, which started in 1642. Football wise it’s obviously more than that. The two cities are only 12 miles apart, which is very little when you consider the landscape of professional football in the north east; it’s not loaded with clubs like London! Despite that, both teams originally had rivals within their own cities. As those rivals fell by the wayside, the ferocity had to be directed somewhere and they found each other. They’ve played 156 times since first locking horns in 1888 with both teams having won 53.
Newcastle vs Middlesbrough rivalry: We’d be telling porkies if we said the fans inside the Newcastle stadium are wild with excitement when Boro come to visit; they’re just not that fussed. Despite that the Tyne-Tees derby does put two teams together that have under 50 miles between them; it’s not a big time rivalry but does bring a little extra carnival to the terraces.
For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the Level Playing Field website.
Outside St James’ Park on the corner of the Milburn Stand and Gallowgate End, is a statue of former Newcastle United and England Manager Sir Bobby Robson. The bronze statue was unveiled in May 2012 and was sculpted by a local man; Tom Maley.
Sir Bobby Robson managed the Club for five years between 1999-2004 and is affectionately remembered by most Toon fans. When he first took over the club, Newcastle were sat at the bottom of the League. Not only did Sir Bobby steer them to safety, but within a couple of seasons they were challenging at the other end of the table. After finishing third in the Premier League in 2003 the team also competed in the UEFA Champions League.With striker Alan Shearer scoring over 100 goals, with Sir Bobby as Manager, then it is a period in the Club’s history remembered for attacking entertaining football, something that is part of the DNA of the Newcastle fans. Not only did Sir Bobby Robson come across as a gentleman, but he always had time for the supporters and developed a great bond with them.
Located outside St James’ Park on Barrack Road is a bronze statue of former player Alan Shearer. The striker played for Newcastle United for ten years and in that time scored over 200 goals from 405 appearances. He also had a short stint of managing the club at the end of the 2008/09 season. The statue depicts Alan Shearer in his trademark goal celebration of simply raising one finger up in the air.
The Club offer daily tours of the ground on weekdays at 12.30pm and 2.30pm, Saturdays 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm and 2.30pm and Sundays at 1.30am, 12.30pm, and 2.30pm. Tours are also held on matchdays, but a £3 supplement is charged on the tour prices below.
The cost of the tour is
Under 16’s £8
Get a birds eye of St James’ Park on one of their special rooftop tours, which take place each weekend at 12pm and 2pm from April to October. As the name suggests you’ll put on a hard hat and be loaned a pair of binoculars and taken up onto the roof the Milburn Stand to take in spectacular views across the ground and city. These cost:
Under 16’s £15
Tours must be pre-booked by calling 0844 372 1892 or by booking online. As part of the tour a visit to the Club Museum is also included.
The Newcastle night life is legendary, with the bars around Biggmarket and the Quayside being very popular. A lot of fans tend to stay over in Newcastle for this, or in the nearby coastal town of Whitley Bay, which is only a 25 minute journey away on the Metro. Whitley Bay itself is pretty lively and popular for stag parties. So why not make a weekend of it?
68,386 v Chelsea
Division One, September 3rd, 1930.
Modern All Seated Attendance Record
52,389 v Manchester City
Premier League, May 6th, 2012.
2019-2020: 48,248 (Premier League)
2018-2019: 51,121 (Premier League)
2017-2018: 51,992 (Premier League)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com and I’ll update the guide.
Special thanks to:
Owen Pavey for providing the St James’ Park ground layout diagram.
Haydn Gleed for providing the YouTube video of St James’ Park.