Luzhniki2008 visited St James' Park on 18/02/1990
Game watched: Newcastle United 2-3 Manchester United
Newcastle United have played at this stadium, right in the city centre of Newcastle, since the 19th Century. Between 1992 and 2000, in phases, there was a huge expansion of the stadium taking it up to its current capacity of over 52,000 and making it one of the biggest stadiums in the country. In the mid-1990s, the club did consider moving to the neighbouring Leazes Park. This was due to the difficulty of further expansion on 2 sides of the stadium, until it was rejected for planning reasons. Newcastle were promoted to the Premier League in 1993-94 season and with the exception of one season back in the Championship in the 2009-10 season, have been there ever since. There were plans to further expand the Gallowgate End, taking capacity to over 60,000. However, new owner Mike Ashley and his team have not followed this up. Ashley’s biggest impact on the stadium itself has been putting up huge advertising hoardings, particularly on the stadium roof of his company Sports Direct. He has also used naming rights, with the stadium being known as SportsDirect.com@St James Park. To football fans, it will always be St James Park though. United fans used to be given a corner section of the stadium until the last stage of redevelopment. Since 2000-01, season our fans have been given a section in the high top tier of the Leazes End.
For me, I personally enjoyed visiting St James Park the most in the 1990s, before the last big stadium expansion, when the stadium was enclosed with the roof being the same level all the way round - fantastic atmosphere as all the crowd noise was amplified with that stadium layout. At that time it was my favourite away ground. The advantage to the bigger stadium layout though has been more away tickets, going from approximately 1800 tickets in the 1990s to 3,000 in the 2000s thanks to the increased capacity.
The stadium is located right in the City Centre, so is easy to reach by train and Metro, plus car parking in the City Centre too. Newcastle is a great city to visit as well, so this is a good away trip to do.