Desired St James’ Park outcome moves closer as Newcastle United explore expansion plan

Newcastle United are one step closer to everyone’s desired stadium outcome after conducting a feasibility study into how a new-look St James’ Park could become a reality.

The Magpies are expected to move ahead with a potential stadium expansion, rather than finding a new location for their iconic venue, after a six-month study was conducted. Architects have taken a look at a range of options moving forward, including increasing the capacity to north of 60,000, following in the footsteps of Liverpool.

However, as per the Telegraph, it is believed club bosses and Newcastle City Council could discuss the length of the St James’ Park lease, which currently has 70 years left to run before any moves are made.

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With demand for match tickets soaring since the 2021 takeover by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund [PIF], Newcastle moved quickly to both consult matchgoing fans and design experts to explore whether there was an appetite, and whether it was indeed possible, to expand St James’ Park.

During this time, while other locations have been mooted, it has been the desire of almost everyone involved with Newcastle United to stay at the current city centre location. Co-owner Mehrdad Ghodoussi made that point clear back in 2022, while Magpies manager Eddie Howe has repeatedly insisted his preference would be to expand the stadium, rather than start from scratch elsewhere.

“The stadium is iconic and where it’s situated in the city, there is nothing else like it. It’s the heartbeat of the city,” Howe said in December. “It’s the thing you can see more than any other. Personally, I wouldn’t want that to change.”

Newcastle CEO Darren Eales has played a key role in talks up to this date and is another who has admitted a desire to stay put, rather than move elsewhere. However Eales, who played a huge part in MLS side Atlanta United’s lavish stadium development a decade ago, has continually stressed the need to wait for the results of the recent study.

“Genuinely, if we have got that ability to be able to stay in this location and to drive the revenues, and to drive capacity and to give what we’d love to, which is to give more fans the ability to watch Newcastle United that’s what we’d like to do,” the Newcastle chief said last year.

While any expansion at St James’ Park remains some way in the future, Chronicle Live understands changes are set to be made behind the scenes this summer. Some of the stadium concourses will be given a revamp, while a number of kitchens and bars are being renovated inside the ground.

There will also be new beer dispensers put in place, while food and drink menus are expected to change for matchday punters. Outside the stadium, there is hope the STACK fan zone will be ready to go during the summer months.

Construction work has been taking place outside St James’ metro station since January and there is optimism the new venue could be ready when England host Bosnia and Herzegovina on June 3rd.

View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/desired-st-james-park-outcome-29087632

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