8 North East sporting venues you MUST visit:

Written by on 23rd March 2022

Sports has been engrained into the culture of the North East over many years. Talked about by many, the North East has many different sporting venues with a great atmosphere and also phenomenal skill on display. Here are just some of the sporting venues in the North East that you MUST visit:

  1. St.James’ Park

The home stadium to Newcastle Football Club has provided many memorable moments over the years since it was built back in 1880. The ground holds 52,405 fans, creating one of the best atmospheres in the country if you are a sports fan. With the recent improvement in form for the Tyneside club, the side is flying, and the atmosphere amongst the club is the highest it has been for a long time. It’s well worth a visit.

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2. Stadium of Light

There is never a dull day on Wearside at the Stadium of Light, whether for good or bad. The Stadium of Light is the home to Sunderland Association Football Club, currently playing their football in EFL League One. The club still averages 30,000 fans a week despite an awful past few years for the SAFC fans. The atmosphere at the stadium is loud and constant and can fill up to 49,000 fans. Only built-in July 1997, the facilities on offer at the ground are top tier and is by far the best ground for the league and price that the club demands tickets.

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3. Riverside Stadium

The impressive Riverside Stadium is situated in Middlesbrough, right on the banks of the River Tees. The stadium is the home to Middlesbrough Football Club, which currently play their football in the second tier of English football, the Sky Bet Championship. A recent push towards the play-off spots has caused their attendance and atmosphere to improve dramatically and would be well worth the visit whilst in their rich vein of form. The Riverside is a relatively new stadium, only being built in 1995 and can hold up to 34,742 people. However, there is provisional planning permission to expand the stadium to a 42,000 capacity ground in the future.

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4. Emirates Riverside

The Emirates Riverside cricket ground is based in Chester Le Street, County Durham. It is the home ground to Durham County Cricket Club and has also been the host to international cricket matches. Not only is the ground known for offering top tier levels of cricket to watch but is also known for its beautiful nature and surroundings. Lumley Castle stands tall above the ground offering a stunning sight as well as the cricket being played. The ground was built in 1995 and can hold 5,000 fans for domestic games and a massive 17,000 fans for international matches.

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5. Gateshead International Stadium

This multi-purpose stadium is located in the centre of Gateshead, with a capacity of 11,800 people. Built-in 1955, the ground has mainly been used as an athletics stadium ranging from youth to professional-standard athletics. Furthermore, the stadium is currently the home stadium to Gateshead Football Club which currently play in the National League and have enjoyed a couple of successful FA Cup runs in the past few decades.

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6. Kingston Park Stadium

Owned by the Newcastle Falcons, this multi-purpose stadium is the host to a large number of different teams and sports, including rugby and football. Kingston Park Stadium has a capacity of 10,200 and is the home ground to Premiership Rugby team Newcastle Falcons and Betfred Championship Rugby League side Newcastle Thunder. The stadium has previously served as the home ground to a semi-professional football team, Newcastle Blue Star in 2009. Kingston Park Stadium is also ready to host three Rugby League World Cup games between countries such as Italy, Scotland and Fiji.

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7. Utilita Arena Newcastle

The Utilita Arena is an indoor arena with a capacity of 11,000. Since opening back in 1995, it has hosted many different sports such as Ice Hockey, Boxing, Basketball and MMA, but is now most commonly known for its music concerts. However, one sport that the arena is still massively known for is hosting the Premier League Darts. The Utilita Arena will host the 2022 Cazoo Premier League Darts Play-Offs in May and will undoubtedly produce an unmatched atmosphere and some incredibly memorable moments along the way.

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8. Suit Direct Stadium

Another one for the football fans of the North East, the Suit Direct Stadium is home to Hartlepool United Football Club that currently play their football in the fourth tier of English football, EFL League Two. The atmosphere around the club is at a real high at the minute following the club’s successful FA Cup run that saw them go up against Premier League club Crystal Palace. If you’re looking for a lower league club with cheap ticket prices, good food and an exceptional atmosphere, then look no further than the Suit Direct Stadium, which holds a capacity of 7,865.

Credit: Ben Fuller; Instagram @bobbleking

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