The Difficulties of Expanding St James’ Park – Chris Waugh explains

Written by on 9th May 2024

Since the Saudi-backed takeover in 2021, Newcastle United have been heading in one direction jumping over every hurdle in their way.

However, the only hurdle which is proving hard to jump is expanding the Stadium. Chris Waugh from The Athletic explains why.

He said: “Leazes Terrace, directly behind the East Stand, features listed buildings, while the houses on Magpie Lane just further along also require a right to light which come become restricted if the stand grows in height.

“Behind the Leazes End, Leazes Park is a city-centre park which is owned by the Freemen of the city and planning challenges would be inevitable if the club looked to further encroach on that land. Behind the Milburn Stand there is Barrack Road, which is a major throughway into the city from the west.

“Then, on Strawberry Place, behind the Gallowgate End, despite Newcastle repurchasing the lease on the land so they can theoretically build on it, there is also another road, as well as a Metro line and station underneath, meaning structural reinforcement is required if additional capacity is to be added.”

With St James’ Park being a city centre Stadium, it is incredibly difficult to expand, and this is a major stumbling block as the owner’s ambitions are to be the biggest and best club in the world.

St James Park home of Newcastle United football club. Credit: Alamy

Chris said: “The feasibility study has been conducted to find out the answer to this precise question as, given architectural and technological advancements, previous assessments have become outdated.

“However, given that the stadium is hemmed in on all sides by listed buildings, a city-centre park and major roads, and there is a dearth of space to build around it, that makes this project a logistical challenge and an extremely costly outlay. Theoretically, it will be possible to expand St James’ Park, but it will be a far from straightforward process and it will require significant time and resources.”

Some fans don’t think it’s a good idea to expand the Stadium. Robert Lawson, a season ticket holder, said: “No, I don’t think it’s a good idea and it potentially would kill the atmosphere which is not what fans want as the atmosphere is what makes St James’ Park so special.”

Do you think it is a good idea to redevelop St James’ Park?

Current track