The Rebuilt St.James' Park
The inaugural game against Derby County on Weds 23rd August
2000 saw an official attendance of 51,327, against a claimed capacity
of 52,143 places available.
That figure then climbed to over 52,000 by 2003, reaching its highest level to
date on 28th August 2006 when 52,327 were present for the
Manchester United game - the largest crowd ever to sit at St.James'.
Extra seats being added to existing areas was the reason for the small
increase to this figure - achieved by the narrowing of aisles etc.
Rebuilding work in the Milburn Stand to alter the Directors Box and press
areas then saw capacity for the 2008/09 season set at 52,138.
The last time crowds of this size were accommodated at St.James' was in season
75/76, when on 18th February 1976, 52,760 were on hand for a scoreless
draw in the FA Cup against Bolton. For a larger league attendance, one must go
back to Boxing Day 1973, when 55,638 saw Paul Madeley score the only
goal of the game for Leeds, and send the points back to Yorkshire.
However, the all-time ground record of 68,386 set on 3rd September 1930
when Hughie Gallacher returned in the colours of Chelsea seems safe, barring
further massive and seemingly unnecessary building work.
Having said that though, how many of the 7,184 (including both NUFC.com
authors) who witnessed a home victory over Wrexham in May 1979 would have
believed that 50,000 + crowds would ever return to the ground.....
Click here for views of SJP in July 2004
Click here for views of the "New" SJP
Click here for views of SJP during 1999/2000
Click here for views of the "Old" SJP
Click here for views of SJP
Click here for a seating
plan (partial) of the "New" SJP
The construction of the upper tiers on the Milburn (West) and Leazes (North)
sides of the grounds was completed in July 2000, with seats and executive
The East Stand saw the demolition of the old executive boxes and construction
of seating blocks from pitch level up to the existing rows, in a mirror image
of the Milburn stand. In total 93 executive boxes were constructed.
The cost of the new construction work was
estimated at £42m - significantly more than the proposed
Leazes Park stadium. United also purchased the land around and above the St.
James' Metro station, with the eventual aim of building hotel and conference
facilities on what is currently the car park.
Furniture throughout the ground (executive
facilities etc.) was renewed and the unwanted old tables etc. made available
to local good causes.
In the region of 1,000 seats were also donated to newly-promoted Scottish
League club Elgin City (who also play in black and white). Local Unibond outfit Blyth Spartans also took around 340 to install at their
Croft Park ground.
first team have trained at the purpose -built Newcastle United Training Centre
more commonly known as Darsley Park since July 2003.
It's situated to the west of the main Newcastle -Edinburgh railway line, south
of the A191 Whitley Road and next door to the
Northumberland FA base of Whitley Park .
valuable part of the centre is the full-size indoor training facility, which
has an artificial grass-like surface called FieldTurf, which was also
utilised on some outdoor pitches at Darsley Park and the adjacent Academy
facility at Little Benton.
Other local sportsmen to have benefited from the facilities at Darsley Park
include the Falcons rugby team who used the indoor facility to train when bad
weather rendered their Kingston Park pitches unplayable.
England fast bowler and toon season ticker holder Steve Harmison has
also spent some there time doing fitness work with the Newcastle side.
St.James' Park / Hunters Moor, Newcastle
Maiden Castle, Durham
Riverside ground, Chester-le-Street
After years of borrowing inappropriate facilities and sharing changing
facilities with hockey-playing students and the like, a proposal was made in
the late 1990s for an Academy base to be constructed at Waverdale in the
Walkergate area of Newcastle.
Initial planning consent from the local authority was
gained in March 2000, but in December 2000, some publicity was given to the
fact that as the site had formerly been a rubbish tip, a special permit
would needed to be obtained from the government's Environmental Agency before
work to clear the site could begin.
That plan was subsequently abandoned and a nine hole golf course and driving
range have been mooted for the Waverdale site, while Newcastle looked
elsewhere for suitable land.
Since season 2003-04, United's youngsters have been housed in a purpose -built
headquarters at Little Benton, located to the immediate south of Darsley Park.
In September 2004, the club hired the facility out to a TV production
company who broadcast the Sky programme "The Match" from Little
And along with St.James' Park and Darsley Park, Little
Benton has also been used by the film crews shooting the football movie
"Goal!" about an unknown youngster who signs for Newcastle United.
Blue Flames aka Whitley Park, Newcastle
Bullocksteads, Kenton Bank Foot, Newcastle
Federation Park, Dunston, Newcastle
Hillheads, Whitley Bay