Fri 6 Oct 2023, 16:15 · NUFCFEED

Breaking: NUFC plan to increase the capacity of St. James' Park to 65,000

Breaking: NUFC plan to increase the capacity of St. James' Park to 65,000
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Newcastle United's ownership group, comprised of PIF, RB Sports & Media, and PCP Capital Partners, is planning to expand the capacity of St. James' Park to around 65,000 seats.

That's according to Luke Edwards of The Telegraph, who asked head coach Eddie Howe about an expansion of the stadium in this morning's pre-West Ham United press conference.

Howe said that he would "love to see it expanded" to get more fans in to watch the team, but stressed the need for the club to do its due diligence before committing to any plans.

No longer the second-largest club stadium in England

Newcastle's current capacity of 52,305 ranks seventh in the Premier League, although it only trailed Manchester United's Old Trafford throughout much of the 2000s after the "Level 7" expansion of the Milburn Stand and Leazes End in the late 1990s.

St. James' is now well behind Old Trafford's 74,310 seats but also trails Arsenal's Emirates Stadium, Liverpool's Anfield, Manchester City's Etihad Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur's Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and West Ham United's London Stadium.

A capacity of around 65,000 would restore the club to second place in the rankings and there'd be no doubt that the ground could still be sold out given the current demand for tickets. Many, many supporters are continually unable to see their side in the flesh.

A feasibility study is underway to see what can be done

The club's current vision seems to be to remodel the East Stand and Gallowgate End to better match up with the enormous size of the Leazes End and Milburn Stand, offering a more cohesive "bowl-shaped" appearance.

The East Stand poses significant challenges due to heritage-listed buildings behind it, rendering demolition nearly impossible. Still, innovative solutions include raising the stand's height using glass, which would ensure residents maintain their entitlement to natural light.

While the acquisition of Strawberry Place last year gave Newcastle the potential to augment the Gallowgate End, the imminent construction of a fan zone, slated to be in place for three years, has shifted the ownership's immediate attention to the East Stand.