Absolute proof that Newcastle United need a far bigger St James’ Park capacity

St James’ Park is a class stadium, absolutely no doubt about it.

As for location, well, you couldn’t get any better.

Not only is it based on Tyneside, it is right in the city center.

However, one other thing is undoubtedly true for sure, it is not big enough.

If you have supported Newcastle United for any length of time, then you will know this already.

After all, it was only six years ago when, with the hated Mike Ashley still as club owner, we filled St James’ Park week in week out throughout the 2016/17 season, in the second tier!

Over 23 Championship games, Newcastle United averaged over fifty one thousand, simply because Rafa Benitez had given us a bit of hope by staying on after Ashley had ‘achieved’ his second relegation in only eight PL seasons.

Newcastle United had more paying fans in total through the turnstiles that 2016/17 season than every Premier League club, other than Man Utd (having four extra home games in the second tier meant the total number at St James’ Park beat the likes of Arsenal and the Emirates).

Anyway, not that I needed it, but today gave me absolute proof that Newcastle United need a far bigger St James’ Park.

I am one of those who was so sick of Mike Ashley, that I felt the only way left to try and get rid of him was to boycott and pack in my season ticket, which I did with so many thousands of others. If we had all stayed and continued to pretty much fill St James’ Park, he would never have sold the club. Once he was forced to give away 10,000+ free season tickets we knew that was the beginning of the end for him, he was going to sell NUFC as he knew he would face ever decreasing crowds at St James’ Park with each season he remained.

Anyway, I lost my season ticket and loads of loyalty points that allowed me to get to away games whenever I wanted, but I still believe it was the only way to get rid of Mike Ashley, so I’m happy I did it.

However, I’m not so happy that so far I haven’t been able to get a season ticket again, so it’s a membership for me (and others I go with) and the mad scramble for tickets match by match.

I thought I had seen it all but this Thursday morning was something else, I though I had stumbled by accident into the queue for Peter Kay tour tickets!

The Newcastle v Leeds tickets went on sale at 10am and I was primed, as usual, well before then.

Anyway, I got a very decent place in the online queue and yet I was still VERY lucky to get tickets! It was absolutely mad, I got onto the NUFC ticketing site before 10.20am and as fast as I was trying to put tickets into my online trolley or whatever it is called, those tickets had been snapped up by somebody else.

I was so lucky to eventually secure our tickets and almost immediately St James’ Park was sold out, with even the ones in the family enclosure that tend to take a decent while longer (as you need to have at least one junior membership amongst your memberships to be able to buy them up there) even all disappearing what felt like only a few minutes later.

I hate to think just how many Newcastle United fans tried to get Leeds tickets today and failed. Just out of curiosity I tried the NUFC ticketing site a bit later and there was still a small queue to get access, and I was given a number of 200,000+, which I think is an ongoing total of how many have accessed the ticket site / queue that particular day.

I really really hope that our big Christmas present is going to be the Newcastle United owners announcing that they have now got plans in place for how they are going to significantly expand the St James’ Park capacity.

The Gallowgate End appears the most obvious place that could help in that potential expansion and hopes for some have been raised, with the sight of recently all the building materials having disappeared that were on the land opposite the Gallowgate, that Mike Ashley sold off to developers . The hope for Newcastle fans that the new NUFC owners have somehow managed to buy back control of that land.

So everything crossed that St James’ Park can be made seriously bigger, 65,000+ is for me the absolute minimum we need to have, still not enough in an ideal world, especially if we are ever actually successful again!

The alternative is something that feels impossible to contemplate…

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