St James' Park
|Address||Barrack Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK|
|Club||Newcastle United F.C.|
|Architect||TTH Architects, Gateshead|
|Average Attendance||51,896 (Season 2017 – 2018)|
|Record Attendance||68,386 (Newcastle 1:0 Chelsea, 03 September 1930)|
|Stadium Cost||Renovations in 2000 cost £42 million|
|Who is the owner of St James’ Park?||Newcastle City Council|
|Pitch Size||105 m × 68 m|
|Where is St James’ Park located?||51.50100° N 0.12583° E|
|Nickname||SJP, St James’, Gallowgate|
The story of Newcastle’s home is an exciting journey which lasts for over 135 years. The original name of the team that started playing at St James’ Park in 1880 was Newcastle Rangers but that team didn’t live long. Newcastle West End took over the ground in 1886. Six years later, they merged with their rivals, Newcastle East End. Since that time, Newcastle is United. Currently, St James’ Park is the seventh largest football ground in England.
The arena has a rough pitch alignment of north easterly. The shortside stands of SJP are known as the Sir John Hall Stand rebuilt in 1993 and the South Stand, which is more often called Gallowgate End, not to be confused with one of the stadium’s nicknames – Gallowgate. The longside stands of St James’ are the Milburn Stand, the biggest of four, and the East Stand, which is the smallest of all above mentioned.
The ticket categories are as follows:
- Platinum Club (the best seats at Milburn and East Stands);
- Category 1 (some good seats at Milburn and East Stands) and Sports Bar;
- Category 2 (mostly seats with a good view);
- Category 3 (lower tier behind the goals);
- Family Area (the second tier over the Milburn Stand).
Newcastle United’s average attendance is incredibly high but the tickets to St James’ Park are always available at StubHub. I love the fact that you don’t need to be a member to get those rare tickets – you go to StubHub and instantly get exactly the needed seat. And of course, they promptly deliver the tickets to my country, which is awesome because I don’t travel to Newcastle upon Tyne too often.
First priority tickets go on sale about five weeks before matchday. Those tickets are available for Season Ticket holders and Members. A week later the club starts the General Sale online. Three weeks prior to the kick-off, they start the Full General Sale, which means that the tickets are from then available to all customers both online and offline. There are a few more ways to purchase SJP tickets:
- The official website of Newcastle United F.C.;
- Call +44 (0) 344 372 1892;
- Go to the St. James’ Park Box Office which normally works from 10 am to 5 pm at SJP.
As usual, the pricing depends on the tournament, game status, the opposing team, and probably a few other factors. I know the approximate prices for the regular Premier League match at Gallowgate. Here they are:
- Platinum Club: £59+;
- Category 1 and Sports Bar: £46-54;
- Category 2: £35-46;
- Category 3: £35;
- Family Area: £25.
Hotels near St James’ Park
Newcastle is a relatively large city on the River Tyne in the United Kingdom. It’s known for its spectacular riverscape, awesome Victorian-style buildings in Downtown, and cruise ships connecting the capital of North East England with the major European ports. When it comes to hotels in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, I always go to Booking.com. This is probably the world’s best hotel aggregator and it can propose plenty of great properties in this beautiful English city.
As usual, I have a few hints for those who are looking for hidden gems in Newcastle.
- Grainger Hotel – this is an incredible bargain starting at £36 per night. Some of the best bars, restaurants, theatres, and Gallowgate itself are 15-minutes’ walk away. The room sizes are surprisingly good for the price. The rooms are always clean and the personnel are friendly and smiley.
- easyHotel Newcastle – this great boutique-style venue can be proud of its exclusive location allowing you to have quick access to the train stations, airport, Theatre Royal, and, of course, SJP. It’s a contemporary hotel with cosy and clean rooms starting at £43 per night.
- Waterside Hotel – is another great place to stay in Newcastle United FC’s stadium area for only £45. The football fans must love the 24-hour bar. The place and the surrounding area felt safe, friendly, and it was lovely in overall.
- Motel One Newcastle – is only 1 km away from St James’ Park, and you’ll surely enjoy staying at the calm and quite historic city centre close to restaurants, shops, marketplace, and vivid nightlife. Their beds are super comfortable as well. The single room costs £59, while the double room is £74.
- Crowne Plaza Newcastle – is an exceptionally clean and convenient hotel which definitely won’t upset you. There you’ll find a wonderful gin bar, the indoor swimming pool, large rooms, and stunning city views with magnificent sunsets. Even for £122 per night, it’s worth every penny of this sum.
- Hampton by Hilton Newcastle – is another brilliant property with one of the best possible locations in Newcastle. It’s very close to St James’ and the other important places of interest are also within walking distance of this hotel. Among such places are the Sage Gateshead, the Art Gallery, and the Metro Arena. Paying £75 per night is quite reasonable for such a great venue.
- Hotel Indigo Newcastle – is a unique, inspiring, and stylish 4-star hotel with the rooms costing £99 and up. You can easily walk from this hotel’s room to your seat at Gallowgate in under ten minutes. Rooms are spacious, and their restaurant alone is a lucky find.
How to Get to St James’ Park
As usual for the large stadiums, if you want to avoid a parking headache before the starting whistle, use the public transport instead of the car. The arena is located in the heart of Newcastle and therefore many visitors might be able to simply walk from their hotels to St James’ within 10 to 20 minutes. In any case, the further information should be helpful both for people arriving from the other cities in the United Kingdom and for the foreigners.
By National Rail – Virgin Trains East Coast, CrossCountry, TransPennine Express, and Northern services can bring you to Newcastle-upon-Tyne from almost anywhere in the UK. The distance from Newcastle Central Station to the ground is 1 km. Upon arrival, walk straight out of Central Station in North-West direction for about seven minutes and you’ll see the arena.
By Metro – St. James’s Park Underground Station is located right next to the ground. In fact, if your hotel is located at Newcastle Downtown, the quickest way to get there is simply to walk to SJP.
By Bus – Haymarket and Eldon Square are the city’s main bus stations. Most of the local and regional buses would stop at least at one of those two stations. It will take you five minutes to walk from Haymarket or Eldon Square to Gallowgate.
By Car – the ground is located in the centre of Newcastle and in close proximity to the A167(M). There are no public car parks near St James’ available on matchdays but you’ll have parking options at the places like MetroCentre and the Newcastle Racecourse.
By Plane – the most efficient way to get from Newcastle International Airport (NCL) to St James’ Park is to take a train. You can get to Haymarket in about 20 minutes. From there, it’s an easy 5-minute walk to SJP. Alternatively, you may take bus #131 from the airport. But the bus is slightly slower than the train, especially on matchdays.
Eating Out Nearby
When it comes to places to eat, Newcastle-upon-Tyne is always one step ahead of the majority of the other English cities. Newcastle’s food scene is vivid and you’ll find literally hundreds of great venues in every corner of the city. No matter what’s your choice for today – a cheerful pub grub, a refreshing seaside eat, a simple indoor market lunch, an exceptional fine dining, or a hipster party with burgers and craft beer, Newcastle won’t disappoint you.
Pubs, Bars & Cafes
- The Strawberry – how do you imagine a perfect football pub? The terrific atmosphere of the instant holiday, friendly staff, cheap and tasty menu? If you are looking for such a place right next to St James’ Park, look no more!
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- The Dog & Parrot – another wonderful pub which also boasts about excellent pool tables. For those who don’t play pool, it’s still a terrific venue to have a drink before the kick-off. They also have amazing indie and rock music playing all night, and a great crowd of different ages too.
- Moulin Rouge Cafe and Grill – if you like Middle Eastern and Persian food, that’s a nice and affordable place to enjoy it. This small café is located less than 1 km away from the arena. You’ll definitely appreciate quick and polite service, as well as great prices.
- The Earl of Pitt Street – is an awesome gastro-lounge with some great deals, such as three courses for £18 on weekdays and weekend lunchtime. It’s one of those rare places where I have a pleasant struggle what to choose because so many things on their menu are appealing. What’s also terrific: the venue is located just about 500 metres away from the ground.
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- George’s Great British Kitchen – is a very nice find for multiple reasons. Firstly, the portions are big. Secondly, their serving is like an art and the prices are reasonable for this level of service. Lastly, they serve excellent cocktails and doughnuts.
- Turtle Bay – this large venue has a good range of food and cocktails on offer. For example, they’ve got some interesting Caribbean dishes, sweetcorn fritters, and even goatburgers. Have you ever tried those? If no, it’s your perfect chance to do it after walking for only eight minutes from SJP.
Things to See at St James’ Park
The arena of the Magpies runs a wide range of very interesting stadium tours. Definitely, a new Helicopter Tour is the most incredible and unique experience available at Newcastle United F.C.’s arena. I haven’t tried this one yet but it includes Newcastle City Tour starting at Newcastle International Airport and finishing at the ground. Plus the Classic Stadium Tour and the lunch are included into that one-of-a-kind package. I’m sure this new tour will get the best reviews in the nearest future.
Football fans all around the world love to go behind the scenes of their favourite stadiums. St James’ Park is really a great arena and it’s reasonable to get acquainted with it better. Keep in mind that the SJP stadium tours are extremely popular, and especially the matchday tours. Therefore, make sure you book your tour in advance. Children under 14 are allowed but they must be accompanied by a paying adult. There are the following all-season tours available at Gallowgate:
- Classic Stadium Tour – £8-15;
- Rooftop Tour – £8-15;
- Classic Stadium Tour with Pub Lunch – £14-22;
- Helicopter Tour – £99-144.
The Magpies definitely love kids, and they have wonderful deals for children’s special occasions:
- Private Stadium Tour Party for a Kid’s Birthday – £13-20 (excluding meals);
- Christmas Tour with Santa – £10.
The price for any of the tours at St James’ Park is subject to change on matchdays. Disabled supporters get a free carer but pay the same price as all other visitors. Also, different tours have a different length. Christmas Tour with Santa is a special seasonal tour which usually lasts 1 hour. Among the most popular tours are Rooftop Tour and Classic Stadium Tour: both of them last 1 hour 30 minutes. You can book a tour or get additional information on this issue on Newcastle United F.C.’s official website. They have a very detailed FAQ there, as well as an email and a telephone number.
Many people tend to do shopping online these days, so if that’s your best choice, I’ll give you a link to the official store of Newcastle United. In fact, I haven’t found any references for the permanent fan shop functioning at the ground. In any case, the club definitely mounts some mobile pop-up shops available on matchdays.
Things to Do in Newcastle
Newcastle is a regional capital of North East England and each stay there is enjoyable. This friendly city is connected with a town of Gateshead by seven marvellous bridges. It’s a vibrant tourist destination with an impressive number of historical buildings, modern-day architectural pearls, great shopping malls, thriving nightlife, affordable hotels, and a number of world-class restaurants, homely pubs, and cosy cafes. What’s very convenient, Newcastle’s stadium is situated just in the centre of that glorious city. The town of Gateshead is certainly worth adding to your itinerary too, as its downtown is only about 3 km away from St James’ Park.
Since technically, it’s almost the same city, Newcastle and Gateshead have a combined hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour. It has 28 stops and some of them are true hidden gems. For example, you certainly don’t want to leave Newcastle without seeing a brilliant Tyne Bridge. Or you cannot skip the area of Central Station where you can walk along Bewick Street and enjoy the Victorian architecture and magnificent St. Mary’s Cathedral. Among the other atmospheric places in Newcastle is Market Street. It’s really a unique and neat area where you’ll feel the real spirit of old England.
Top 3 Places to Visit
Newcastle Castle – is a recently reopened medieval gatehouse of the city. Over £1.6 million was spent on restoration and the result is truly affecting. It’s a very special location with lots of enjoyable stories that you should hear and fantastic city views that you should see.
The Discovery Museum – is a free and extremely kid-friendly place to visit in Newcastle. It’s great that you can picture how the port city lived hundreds of years ago. For example, I enjoyed seeing the world’s fastest experimental ship for its time – it’s known as “Turbinia”. Many elder people seemed to like a military gallery, while the children appreciated water play, dinosaurs, and the gift shop. There is also a café at the museum.
Grey Street – is a true heart of the city. The lovely Theatre Royal, Grey’s Monument, Harry’s Bar, and the other stunning historic buildings make it a perfect calling card for the capital of North East England. Although the street is super busy at times, the walk there is always a pure joy. And have I already mentioned Grey Street has dozens of great places to eat? I hope you’ll have a great walk there!