NUFC – St James Park capacity could expand to over 57,000
At a meeting between Newcastle fans and city centre developers, it has been revealed that United could increase the St James Park capacity by 5,000 or more more seats, despite proposed building work opposite the Gallowgate End.
Mike Ashley’s controversial sale of the lease on land at Gallowgate, was expected to curtail any possible expansion of St James Park at the south end of the stadium.
With both the Milburn and Leazes unable to be extended any further and listed buildings preventing development on the East Stand side, the Gallowgate is the only realistic option for extending the stadium capacity.
Clearly future demand would almost certainly be there with any relative success or ambition shown, despite the depression surrounding Newcastle United under Mike Ashley and the mainly poor standard of football, United have still regularly posted fifty thousand crowds this season.
At this week’s meeting between the developers Tolent and representatives from NUST (Newcastle United Supporters Trust), the Newcastle fans were shown technical drawings demonstrating how a cantilever structure could still be possible despite the building of student accommodation, shops and hotels opposite the Gallowgate End.
Tolent claim at least 5,000 extra seats could be added if the club ever chose to increase the ground capacity.
The Gallowgate development sees Tolent looking to apply for and get planning permission by May this year with work on the site beginning in October, if everything runs smoothly.
The expected completion date is sometime in 2017.
Whether there would be the possibility of an even bigger increase of capacity if not for the hotel/student accommodation is unknown.
What does appear clear though is that there is unlikely to be any intention from Mike Ashley to use any of the massive extra TV millions to allow more Newcastle fans to get into the ground.
Whether he allows any significant investment in the squad this summer also remains to be seen.
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