St James Park and the fans that fill it, have been the only constant area of pride for Newcastle supporters year after year.

However, even that is about to take a massive blow as many of our Premier League rivals overtake Newcastle United’s capacity.

Only Manchester United with 75,000 had a bigger capacity than  Newcastle United’s 52,000, until Arsenal opened the 60,000 capacity Emirates Stadium in 2006.

However, Manchester City will take third spot for the coming 2015/16 season when their capacity reaches 54,000 midway through their major building work.

The overall picture looks like this, with the Premier League clubs and their new look capacities in the next few years.

2015 Man City 52,000

2015 Man City 61,000 West Ham 54,000 Liverpool 54,000

2018 Tottenham 65,000

Just so long as all clubs remain in the Premier League, you will see NUFC having the fourth biggest capacity in August 2015, then sixth biggest by August 2016 and seventh largest in August 2018.

By  August 2018 the pecking order is set to be:

75,000 Manchester United

65,000 Tottenham

61,000 Manchester City

60,000 Arsenal

54,000 West Ham

54,000 Liverpool

52,000 Newcastle

Meanwhile, Mike Ashley is going ahead with the planned sale of a lease on land opposite St James Park, which if then fully developed, would remove the only remaining realistic chance to develop the NUFC stadium further.

It is possible that Newcastle United’s capacity could rise to over 60,000 if the Gallowgate End was developed to its full potential.

The 2014/15 season saw United average fifty thousand crowds yet again, despite only surviving relegation on the last day of the season.

Just imagine what the demand would be with any hint of success…

Another potential option to help more Newcastle fans to be able to see their team in the future, and at more affordable prices, comes with the news that Celtic have being given permission to trial a safe standing area.

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  • jack1x

    Gallowgate end should be developed to expand capacity , it’s a pity the asset stripping of land wasn’t used to expand capacity

  • StevePassmoor

    You think Man City will fill that when they don’t fill what they have now, West Ham? Hmm potentially yes, they could fill it, but still think they won’t, only spurs and Liverpool could consistently fill their grounds, so who cares what the capacity is, if, like the mackems at the sis, you don’t and haven’t ever put the sold out signs, then it doesn’t matter

  • Rowla

    Spurs to fill a 65K stadium?! Maybe a handful of times a season

  • AlphieIzzet

    StevePassmoor   Man City 98.8% average occupancy or PL home games (exc away fans section) in 2014/15 (ground capacity 47,310). 8000 on waiting list for season cards now buying the added capacity of 6750 seats
    so will probably sell out or close to the new capacity of 54,000 (not
    52,000). May find it harder to sell out the next stage of 6750 in 2016
    though.

  • StevePassmoor

    So whatever figures you throw at it, they still don’t sell out and you admit they won’t when alterations are complete, so is my point still valid and correct?

  • Paul Cruddas

    doesn’t matter what size it is if it is full of shite players….

  • AlphieIzzet

    StevePassmoor – don’t be silly! They do fill in now, they might not fill the last tranche in 2016 but then again they might.
    Being 10% right still makes you 100% wrong kiddo!

  • IntravenusMP

    jack1x Why? we rarely sell out. If seats were added to the Gallowgate end, they’d be the least attractive and most difficult to sell yet the rebuilding of that end would be very expensive. 

    The selling of the land does not negate the ability to extend, the club has never owned the land that where the rebuilding would take place.

  • AlphieIzzet

    IntravenusMP jack1x Absolutely.
    It’s the squad  that needs investment and rebuilding, not the ground!
    A few quid for a mentality transplant for the owner wouldn ‘t  go amiss!

  • tino o

    Man City and arsenal fans come disguised as empty seats!

  • IntravenusMP

    AlphieIzzet StevePassmoor City will sell out a few times a season but it’s not often a full sell out. They will fill it as they are quite generous with ticket prices (as are NUFC)

    The Ethiad was designed to be expanded and the increase in seats are all along the side of the main stand with good views. 

    Expanding SJP was always difficult due to the East Stand and the height required at the Gallowgate end as the slope of the hill is quite steep.

  • IntravenusMP

    The problem all clubs have is that once scarcity is taken away, ST sales fall away and demand falls. Spurs want to tap into the day-trippers that are far more prevalent in London and Manchester than Newcastle where the number of flights are far better at the former.

    In short, if we fill SJP every week, we’ll be doing well, IF we really care about being in the top 5 capacity stadiums, it’s fairly easy to squeeze in more seats but frankly, we don’t sell what we have. 

    If anything, it may be cosmetically easy to put more seats in the Gallowgate / Milburn corner, lifting the roof on the Gallowgate and add a large corporate box area instead of L7 seats with a continuation of Lower Level 7 seats below.  It would add around 2,000 seats but far better corporate income possibilities and do away with the lop sided look that makes the place look at bit silly on the telly.

  • Morpethmag

    Yes it will negate the ability to extend.
    it’s being developed as student accommodation, (passed by the council) what are you going to do knock it back down after they have built the accommodation, once it has been developed there is no way to extend St James.

  • Alsteads

    City don’t fill stadium fella. End of.

  • Drumbo

    TV money is much more important than the fans will ever be now. The PL is the golden goose and the fan income is the brucie bonus.

    I think teams such as West Ham, Liverpool and Spurs have missed the boat a little bit, they should have done it years ago. Liverpool and Spurs will take years to pay of the building debt. West Ham will have to pay rent.

    For once NUFC had the foresight to expand years ago to meet the fans demand. Shame that is not the state of play now. But uncle Mike is so happy that his little asset is coining in the top TV wedge for another year.

  • jack1x

    We are a one city club , and with success you could add Another ten thousand , when I first started going 60;000 was quite common

  • GToon

    And the ground is half empty with ten minutes to go regardless of the score or importance of the game. Worst fans in the league.

  • v0ices

    IntravenusMP AlphieIzzet StevePassmoor if ashley invested in the side he could easily fill the ground and have a waiting list for tickets, actually extending at the gallowgate never presented any issues until ashley sold his rights to the land over the metro.

  • LeazesEnder

    IntravenusMP What the hell are you blithering on about now you daft bat?

  • v0ices

    IntravenusMP jack1x you could still extend the gallowgate but instead of a easy solution it would now require a much more complex stucture at much greater cost.

  • v0ices

    LeazesEnder IntravenusMP hes inventing extra space in the stadium just like he invents extra costs to try and help mikey balance the books.

  • IntravenusMP

    GToon I don’t think that’s fair, the AO.com are idiots but those who go, they support the team.

  • Drumbo

    LeazesEnder IntravenusMP It might be easier to lower the pitch by 30 metres, but we’ll have to make sure we don’t bump into the metro…

  • LeazesEnder

    v0ices LeazesEnder IntravenusMP She!

  • IntravenusMP

    v0ices IntravenusMP jack1x Not sure what you mean. Its always been difficult due to it would be prohibitively expensive to extend the Gallowgate stand to mirror the Leazes end due to the Metro and the depth of foundations needed to support a stand of that size. Expansion could still happen, the space required is mainly owned by the local authority and would require building an access for the road. The land that the club owed was once going to be a a hotel/conference centre which does not support the increase the ground capacity, I think it was only acquired in order to appear attractive to investors but I’m sure most realised the options were limited.

  • IntravenusMP

    Drumbo LeazesEnder IntravenusMP you may be onto something there, before the West stand and leazes was rebuilt, it may have been cheaper to turn the pitch 90 degrees and sink it a bit to allow an additional bottom tier on the East stand and Gallowgate.

  • GToon

    I’m on about man city not us!

  • v0ices

    IntravenusMP v0ices jack1x nope no major issues with foundations and the metro as far as i know, a stand extension over the road would have been a fairly simple proposition, to be honest i dont even blame mikey for taking the fast buck selling his option on the land a extension would be part of a plan to grow the club not just milk what exists. the option was originally obtained to enable further growth but the idea was dropped in favour of other options a long time before ashleys arrival.

  • DownUnderMag

    Having the stadium size is one thing, filling it is something entirely different.  let’s see if West Ham especially can fill that stadium, having more empty seats than other clubs isn’t exactly something to celebrate…

    Also, when was the last time Man City sold out a Champions League game as it is, without adding extra seats to not be used?!?!

    I couldn’t care less about stadium size, I guarantee you if the likes of Liverpool, Spurs, City and West Ham were in the same situation as we are with our owner and failure to even approach mid-table mediocrity then their stadium would be less than half full.  We just need to keep pushing the club forward….as it stands why would we need extra seats anyway?!?!

  • mrkgw

    Its a shame this. Nevertheless, there is still surely some capacity to make extensions here and there. At the same time, new build stadiums are evolving and before too long, St James will become outdated. Hope that I’m wrong but I can see a new stadium upon the Town Moor – something that has been proposed previously. Either way, our club will continue to be well supported. Of that, we can all be intensley proud.

  • whickhamrobbie

    Look it doesn,t  matter what the capacity is . Fans dont win titles players do .Our 50,000 badge of honour is getting boring thats why other teams fans hate us as we blabber on about attendances when the trophy room is bare.
    Spend money on players, coaching facilities ,or simply reducing prices . SJP is well big enough and we dont want to relocate as the location is perfect right in the toon centre .

  • IntravenusMP

    v0ices IntravenusMP jack1x In that case, I agree, the selling off of the land had no impact on the ability to increase capacity at St James’. It simply meant that we would not be incorporating other businesses & facilities. 

    As for the foundations, I’m not going to claim greater knowledge but a civil engineer pal seemed to think it was more difficult and he suggested this is why SJP may have been expanded in the way it was rather than a smaller  upper tier on for Level 7 extending right around to the Gallowgate end. He also suggested that the Gallowgate could be developed with less problems if it were exec suites rather than stands and the Gallowgate corner at the West stand could accommodate a decent additional number of seats. 

    Nevertheless, even in the Robson days, were ere not short of seats so I doubt it’s a pressing concern for anyone.

  • v0ices

    IntravenusMP v0ices jack1x certainly of no concern under the present regeims enough to keep making money for ashley with no investment policy. strange i talked to several civil engineer friends one of whom had knowledge of the soil conditions in the area and they could not see any possible issues. its just a pity to see the clubs future expansion limited due to ashleys quick profit on the land.

  • IntravenusMP

    v0ices IntravenusMP jack1x but it’s not, that’s the point. It can be expanded a little more but even if the Leazes end was replicated, we’re not talking a massive increase in the number of seats, with the biggest increase being the corner. 

    A look at the stadium plan on the official site gives you a good idea.