Jump to content

St James' Park

Coordinates: 54°58′32″N 1°37′18″W / 54.97556°N 1.62167°W / 54.97556; -1.62167
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

St James' Park
'The Cathedral on the Hill'
Full nameSt James' Park
LocationNewcastle upon Tyne NE1 4ST
Public transitTyne and Wear Metro St James
Tyne and Wear Metro National Rail Newcastle
OwnerNewcastle United
Field size105 by 68 metres (114.8 yd × 74.4 yd)[1]
SurfaceGrass (Desso GrassMaster)
Renovated1986–1987, 1992–1995, 1998–2000
ArchitectTTH Architects, Gateshead

St James' Park is a football stadium in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It is the home of Newcastle United. With a seating capacity of 52,350 seats, it is the 8th largest football stadium in England.

St James' Park has been the home ground of Newcastle United F.C. since 1892 and has been used for football since 1880.[2] Throughout its history, the desire for expansion has caused conflict with local residents and the local council.[3] This has led to proposals to move at least twice in the late 1960s,[4][5] and a controversial 1995 proposed move to nearby Leazes Park. Reluctance to move has led to the distinctive lop-sided appearance of the present-day stadium's asymmetrical stands.[6]

Besides club football, St James' Park has also been used for international football, at the 2012 Olympics,[7] for the rugby league Magic Weekend, rugby union World Cup, Premiership and England Test matches, charity football events, rock concerts, and as a set for film and reality television.


The St James Metro station ticket hall carries artwork depicting a timeline of the history of Newcastle United

Early history[edit]

The site of St James' Park was originally a patch of sloping grazing land, bordered by Georgian Leazes Terrace,[8] and near the historic Town Moor, owned by the Freemen of the city, both factors that later affected development of the ground, with the local council being the landlord of the site.[3] Leazes Terrace was built c1830 by notable Newcastle residents, architect Thomas Oliver and builder Richard Grainger. Once the residence of high society in Newcastle, it is now a Grade 1[9][10] listed building, and, recently refurbished, is currently being used as self-catering postgraduate student accommodation by Newcastle University.[11] The site was also near the gallows of the city, last used in 1844, lending the Gallowgate End its name.[3]

The first football team to play at St James' Park was Newcastle Rangers in 1880.[12] They moved to a ground at Byker in 1882, then returned briefly to St James' Park in 1884 before folding that year. Newcastle West End took over the ground in 1886. West End were wound up in 1892 and effectively merged into their rivals Newcastle East End, who took over the lease of St James' Park and became Newcastle United later that year.[13] On 3 September 1892, Newcastle East End played its first game on the football ground.[14] Local residents opposition to football being played at St James' dated back to the first games in the Football League following the building of the first small stand at the Gallowgate End. A redeveloped Gallowgate and further stands followed in 1899, bringing the first official capacity to 30,000 (standing).[3]

While the stadium is now synonymous with the Black and Whites, Newcastle United actually played in red and white at St James' Park until 1904.[15] In 1905, a doubling of capacity to 60,000, with a main stand on the Barrack Road (now Milburn Stand), and major other stands, produced a state-of-the-art facility, even boasting a swimming pool.[3]

The second-ever rugby league test match, and first test victory by Great Britain, was played at the ground in 1908 against the touring Australian Kangaroos side on 23 January 1909.


An aerial view of the stadium in 1963

Between 1920 and 1930, plans were drawn up for a double-tiered stand by notable football architect Archibald Leitch. However, after planning disputes, all that was achieved was a small roof over the Leazes Terrace side (Sir John Hall Stand). Floodlights were constructed in the 1950s, with the first match played using them held on 25 February 1953 against Celtic.[16]

Up until the 1960s planning difficulties continued, culminating in lack of development of the ground being cited as the reason for failure of Newcastle United to secure the right to host a group stage of the upcoming 1966 World Cup following political disputes.[4]

In the late 1960s further attempts were made to develop the site, and the council proposed a multi-use sports development of St. James' Park. This was rejected as not financially viable. Plans were drawn up by the club for a move to a stadium in Gosforth,[4][5] or even a groundshare with Sunderland A.F.C. in a new stadium on Wearside.[5] These plans were withdrawn in 1971 after agreement to redevelop St James' Park was finally reached, after mediation by the then Minister for Sport, Denis Howell. In 1972, work started on the East Stand, 50 years after it was last permitted to be developed.[4] In 1978 the Leazes End was demolished, but relegation and financial difficulties meant the new stand was not built.[4]

Entrance to the pitch from beneath the Milburn Stand.

Investigations following the Bradford City stadium fire in 1985 identified a need to replace the ageing West Stand, which was demolished in 1986. Its replacement, the Milburn Stand, was named in honour of Jackie Milburn and opened in 1987.[17] Further development was again shelved for lack of finance.

Sir John Hall era[edit]

Until the early 1990s the ground had achieved only modest expansion under various owners, with plans dogged by disputes and lack of finance due to poor on-field performances. In January 1992 businessman Sir John Hall, who had led the Magpie Group consortium in a hostile takeover of the club, was installed as chairman. Sir John used his experience in property development to rapidly gain approval and invested heavily in the stadium[17] with finances gained from success under new manager Kevin Keegan.

1993 expansion[edit]

The Leazes End that had been demolished but not replaced was finally rebuilt, and opened as the Sir John Hall stand for Newcastle's debut season in the Premiership in 1993. The Gallowgate End was rebuilt, the Milburn Stand modified, and a new pitch, drainage and floodlights were installed. With all four corners filled in[15] with seating, by 1995 the stadium had reached a capacity of 36,610.[17]

Proposed Leazes Park development[edit]

The St. James' Park steps, outside the main stand on Barrack Road where many sports journalists deliver press reports about the club. The stadium main entrance is to the right of the steps (the blue structure).

As the expanded stadium still received full houses due to continuing success of the team led by the returning Kevin Keegan, in 1995, plans were submitted by the club to relocate to Leazes Park to the north. A new £65m[17] purpose-built 55,000-seat stadium would be erected, less than two pitch lengths away from the original, but rotated, which would be similar to the San Siro in Italy.[18] The old ground would be redeveloped to be used by Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club, as part of the wider envisaged 'Sporting Club of Newcastle', with basketball and ice-hockey teams purchased by Sir John Hall.

Leazes Park was historically part of the Town Moor, owned by the Freemen of Newcastle,[19][20] and protected by the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Town Moor Act 1988. The City council initially invited the planning proposal amid suggestions that the club might move to a site in Gateshead,[19][20] a 75,000-seat stadium next to Gateshead International Stadium,[21] but it led to political debate[20] and opposition. A pressure group "No Business on the Moor"[18][19][20][22] eventually gathered a 36,000-petition signature,[18][19] equal to the then-current stadium capacity. Opposition also came from a conservation group Friends of Leazes Park led by Dolly Potter.[23] The club proposed to mitigate the loss of the moor land with proposals for a land trade-off with landscaping of land freed up by scaling down of the existing stadium restoring the views of the historic park from Leazes Terrace.[18]

It became clear that the relocation plan would not gain planning permission without a potentially long-running public enquiry.[17][24] To quickly satisfy demand, the club decided to expand the current St James' Park instead.

Freddy Shepherd era[edit]

In 1997 Sir John Hall stepped down as chairman (remaining as a director until 2007, now life president of the club), and existing shareholder and board director Freddy Shepherd became chairman.

1998 expansion[edit]

Post 1998 expansion

Following the withdrawal of the Leazes Park plan, the club proposed expansion of St James' Park to over 52,000 capacity, through major construction of a second tier over the Milburn Stand, Leazes End and adjoining corner, adding to a structure that was itself just four years old.[24] After a refusal by the Secretary of State to take the application to an enquiry, permission was obtained in July 1998.[17] For minimal disruption to seating capacity during construction, the project required 3-day shutdowns of work on home match days. 750 seats were lost during construction.[24] During this expansion, executive boxes in the East Stand were demolished[15] and replaced by seating blocks from pitch level up to the existing rows, in a mirror image of the Milburn Stand. The executive boxes were transferred to the new Milburn/Leazes complex, with more added to the Gallowgate End. During development, the additional stand and roof was constructed while leaving the existing cantilever roof intact until the last possible moment[24] These developments increased capacity to approximately 52,143. The construction was completed in July 2000 at a cost of £42 million.[17][25] Ironically, after opposition from local residents to the relocation plan, the expansion of the current ground at the Leazes End has further reduced the view of Leazes Park from Leazes Terrace, although this is now student accommodation.

Save Our Seats campaign[edit]

The 1998 redevelopment caused controversy when the club informed 4,000 season-ticket-holding fans that their seat prices would be increased to corporate rates, with the option of paying these or being moved to seats in the proposed expanded sections. Half of these fans were 'bondholders', who had paid £500 in 1994 which they asserted guaranteed them an option on their specific seat for 10 years.[23] Some fans resisted, and after two high-court cases and a Save Our Seats campaign, the club was allowed to move the fans, under an exceptional circumstances clause. As a gesture of goodwill, the club did not pursue the fans for legal costs awarded over their insured limit.[26]

Casino plans[edit]

In late 2003, preempting the relaxation of the UK gambling laws, the club signed a deal with MGM Mirage to hand over the land above St James Metro station,[27] behind the Gallowgate End, in return for an equity investment, to build a jointly run complex centred on a 1,000-square-foot (93 m2) Super Casino.[28] These plans failed when the proposed number of super casinos was reduced to one in the UK, and in January 2008 £5 million was repaid by the club to MGM.

Gallowgate additions[edit]

Image of the East and Gallowgate Stands at St James' Park

In 2005 the Gallowgate was redeveloped, with a new bar being built beneath the upper tier of the Gallowgate End, named "Shearer's'" after Newcastle player Alan Shearer. During excavation underneath the stand during building work, the builders uncovered the original steps of the old Gallowgate End stand, which had simply been covered up when the stadium was fully renovated in 1993. These steps were removed for Shearer's Bar. The completion of the redevelopment of the Gallowgate saw the creation of Shearer's Bar, an expanded club shop, a club museum and a new box office.

2007 proposed expansion[edit]

It was announced on 2 April 2007 that the club intend to submit plans for a new £300million development of the stadium and surrounding areas, to include a major conference centre, hotels and luxury apartments.[29] The proposals also include a plan to increase the Gallowgate End, eventually taking the capacity to 60,000.

This expansion would be funded by the city council and linked to the redevelopment of the land behind the stand and over the Metro Station, which had previously been earmarked for the casino project. Expansion of the Gallowgate end involves difficulties due to the proximity of a road, Strawberry Place, and issues surrounding reinforcement of the underground St James Metro station.

Mike Ashley era[edit]

The 2007 redevelopment plans announced under the previous regime were put on hold following the takeover of the club and its plc holding company by owner Mike Ashley.[30] One of the first noticeable changes in the stadium in the new era was the removal of advertising mounted underneath the roofs (facing the crowd) for Shepherd Offshore and Cameron Hall Developments, companies associated with the previous regime. A large advertising sign for Sports Direct appeared on the lip of the roof of the Gallowgate, visible from the pitch.[citation needed]

A full review of the club performed by the new management team concluded that stadium expansion was not a priority. For the start of the 2008–09 season, the away section was moved from the corner of the Leazes stand/Milburn stand to the other end of the Leazes stand, where it abuts the East stand, at the same upper level. The area of seats designated as the family enclosure were expanded, and certain corporate areas saw increased pricing.

The first home game of the 2008–09 season, at 3 pm on a Saturday, saw the lowest-ever Premier League attendance at the expanded ground, of 47,711,[31] resulting in cash turnstiles.[clarification needed] It was speculated at the time that this was due to the credit crunch; however, with the shock departure of Kevin Keegan before the next home game, future changes in attendances would be hard to attribute to this alone. The first game after Keegan's resignation, a league fixture against Hull on 13 September 2008, registered a crowd of 50,242[32] amid protests against Ashley and Dennis Wise. This was followed by an attendance of 44,935[33] on 27 September in a league fixture against Blackburn Rovers, which followed a record low attendance of 20,577[34] on Wednesday, 24 September in a League Cup fixture, the lowest ever attendance for a competitive first-team match since the 1993 promotion to the top flight,[35] and a drop of over 4,000 from previous lows.

Although Newcastle's crowds inevitably fell in 2009–10 as a result of their relegation and the fact that Britain was still in recession, the Magpies still attracted a modern-day record average attendance for a club at this level with their attendance for the season averaging at 43,383. They also became the first club to attract a league attendance of more than 50,000 at this level in the modern era, and ended the season promoted as champions of the Football League Championship.

In October 2014, a scoreboard was installed in the far corner of the Sir John Hall Stand. The scoreboard was used for the first time on 18 October during a Premier League tie against Leicester City. However the game was delayed one hour, due to damage caused by strong wind to the paneling surrounding the scoreboard. Newcastle United later stated on their website: "Supporter safety was of paramount importance."

Renaming of the stadium[edit]

On 10 November 2011, Newcastle United announced that the stadium would officially be renamed Sports Direct Arena, as a temporary measure to "showcase the sponsorship opportunity to interested parties", whilst looking for a sponsor for possible future stadium re-branding. According to the club, the St James' Park title was dropped as not being "commercially attractive".[36]

Previously, in 2009, the club had announced plans to sell the naming rights for the stadium. After protests about the possible loss of the name of the stadium, which included the tabling of an early day motion in Parliament, the club clarified the following week that the move would not involve the loss of the name St James' Park altogether, citing the example of 'SportsDirect.com@StJamesPark' as a potential stadium rights package.[37][38] The following day, the club announced that the stadium would be known as sportsdirect.com @ St James' Park Stadium temporarily until the end of the season, to showcase the idea behind the package, until the new sponsor was announced.[39] The stadium's official renaming as the Sports Direct Arena, or SDA, caused considerable perturbation amongst supporters of the team.

On 9 October 2012, payday loan company Wonga.com became Newcastle United's main commercial sponsor and purchased the stadium naming rights. They subsequently announced that the St James' Park name would be restored as part of the deal.[40]

Saudi-led era[edit]

Following the takeover of Newcastle United, the new ownership would remove the Sports Direct sponsorship all over the stadium with co owner Amanda Staveley claiming she was "looking forward" to removing the Sports Direct branding to get new sponsors with the signs being removed on 6 December.[41][42] With the removal of the sponsor in the stadium former owner Mike Ashley would take legal action against Staveley and her husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi after Ashley alleged that both Staveley and Ghodoussi breached their agreement to continue to sponsor the stadium until the end of the 2021–22 season.[43][44]

Stadium description[edit]


Official names[edit]

The sign outside St. James' Park main entrance

St James' Park is spelt with James' featuring one s and an apostrophe mark, as seen on the signage of the St James' Park steps outside the entrance to the stadium, and signage inside the adjacent Metro station. The use of an apostrophe is in contrast with the name of the Metro station itself, which is signed as St James Metro station, and with the street signs[45] of the nearby St James Street[46] and St James Terrace.[47] Further, the use of one s and an apostrophe mark differs from the common convention of adding a second s to monosyllabic possessives ending in s, as is the case with the well-known public space in London: St James's Park.

The full stop after the St giving St. James' Park is both included and omitted by many sources, including the club's official website address information.[48][49]

Post-millennium it has been debated both whether the written name should include an apostrophe mark after St James,[45] and, if it does, whether the official written form should include an extra 's' after the apostrophe.[50] Pronunciation of the name with a second 's' sound or not differs between both the local public and journalists, and is similarly debated.[45]

In May 2008 BBC Look North examined the case for adding an extra 's', to denote the ground is "the park of St James".[45] The club stated that the ground is named after its neighbouring street, St James Street, which predates the ground,[45] although it was pointed out the road sign of that street, and that of the adjacent St James Terrace, did not feature apostrophes.[45] The BBC stated that both local newspapers The Evening Chronicle and The Journal write the name with a second 's', reinstating it partially in response to reader complaints after a period of publishing stories without it.[45]

The name of the Metro station as displayed in St James Metro station

The club insisted the name is pronounced without a second 's', whilst it was asserted by the BBC that older fans, in particular, pronounce it with two.[45]

A professor of applied linguistics of Newcastle University stated that if a second 's' was added to the name, it has to ultimately be pronounced in speech.[45] The BBC went on to state that according to the Apostrophe Protection Society, if the ground is named as the "Park of St James", the name of the ground is correctly written as St. James's Park, with the second 's' pronounced.

Commenting on the written form on Radio Newcastle a week after the BBC story, a different senior lecturer in applied linguistics also of Newcastle University stated that if the name is to denote "the park of St James", the written form should feature an apostrophe, but the use of an additional 's' after it is optional and both are correct.[50]

Match-day programmes printed up until the late 1940s have written the name as St. James's Park[citation needed]. According to the club historian, the oldest memorabilia in the club museum refers to the ground as being pronounced without a second 's'.[45] However, a match-day programme dating from 1896, reprinted in the match-day programme of a home match against Derby County[45] (23 December 2007[51]) depicts the stadium name as St. James's Park.[45]

Other sources also support the idea that the name should have no apostrophe as found in the name of the adjacent St James Street[52]


The stadium is known by its initials, SJP, or as St James'. In reflection of the early use of the site, it is also often referred to as Gallowgate, distinct from similarly unofficially named Gallowgate End, the name of the south stand.


The stadium has a rough pitch alignment of north easterly. The four main stands are as follows:

  • Gallowgate End (previously known as the Newcastle Brown Ale Stand and before that the Exhibition Stand), at the southern end of the ground, named unofficially for its proximity to the old City gallows, and officially after the long association with the club of sponsor Scottish and Newcastle Breweries;
  • Leazes End (previously the Sir John Hall Stand), at the northern end of the ground, named for its proximity to Leazes Park, and after the club's Life President Sir John Hall; The Singing Section was positioned in Level 7 of this stand.
  • Milburn Stand, the main stand, on the west side of the ground. Named after 1950s footballer Jackie Milburn
  • East Stand, whose name is self-explanatory, and the smallest stand of the four. Following the death of Sir Bobby Robson, a plan to rename the East Stand the Sir Bobby Robson Stand (or the Robson Stand) was drawn up. As yet, this has not been made official.

The unofficial new home of the singing section is located in the "Strawberry Corner" (South East Corner, located next to the Strawberry Pub) - between the Gallowgate End & East Stand.


View of the Gallowgate End through the Chinatown Arch

The stadium's location is close to the city centre, 500 m roughly north of Central station, the main railway station of the city. The stadium is bordered by Strawberry Place behind the Gallowgate, Barrack Road in front of the main entrance, a car park to the north and Leazes Terrace to the East. Further south is St James station, a terminus station of the Tyne & Wear Metro line to the east, although the main Metro interchange at Monument station, is situated only 250 m to the east.


The Milburn stand is the 'main' stand of the stadium, housing the main entrance, lifts and escalators behind a glass fronted atrium. The dugouts and player's tunnel is located in the traditional position of the middle of the main stand. Behind the seating terraces of the stands, the Milburn/Leazes structure contains four concourse levels, the Gallowgate End has three concourse levels, and the East stand has two concourse levels.[2]

Leazes End and north east Corner, showing height difference in new and old stands

The stadium has an asymmetrical appearance from the air[6] and from some angles from ground level, due to the discrepancy in height between the sides and ends of the ground. The height difference between the Leazes/Milburn complex and the East/Gallowgate stands allows views of the city centre from many seating positions inside the ground.[53] Further expansion of the Gallowgate End could potentially produce a more balanced horseshoe arrangement of equal height stands, similar to that of Celtic Park.[54]

The Milburn stand and Leazes end are double tiered, separated by a level of executive boxes; The East Stand and Gallowgate End are single tiered, with boxes also at the top of the Gallowgate. The three newest sides, the Milburn Stand, Leazes End and Gallowgate End are of structural steel frame and pre-cast concrete construction.[2] In common with many new or expanded British football stadiums, the traditional box shaped 'stands' were augmented in the 1993 expansion by filling in the corners to maximise available seating,[15] up to a uniform height. The Milburn Stand and Leazes End now rise higher than this level, covered by a one piece cantilevered glass roof. A further smaller stand section rises above this level behind the Gallowgate End.[2]

The 1998 built steel truss cantilever roof above the Milburn/Leazes complex is the largest cantilever structure in Europe[24][25] at 64.5 metres (212 ft),[2] eclipsing the 58 metres (190 ft) cantilevers of Manchester United's Old Trafford.[25]

Seating layout[edit]

The current stadium design offers an unobstructed view of the pitch from all areas of the ground. The Milburn stand is the location of the directors box and press boxes, and the main TV camera point for televised games.

Away fans for league matches were originally accommodated in the upper level, in the north west corner,[53] which can hold a maximum of 3,000 fans.[55] However, plans were made at the end of the 2007–2008 season to relocate the away supporters to the far end of the upper level of the Leazes End. This location has attracted criticism due to the poor view offered by being so far from the pitch due to the height of the stand, and the 14 flights of stairs to reach the upper level.[53] For FA Cup matches the lower section of the corner is also used.[53]

The traditional home of the more vocal fans is considered the Gallowgate End, in the same vein as The Kop for Liverpool F.C.[citation needed] The Gallowgate End was the end that the team attacked in the second half if they win the coin toss. In recent years there has been unofficial fan movement to create a singing section in the Leazes End upper tier, partly to counter the away fans, and partly to recreate some atmosphere lost since the recent expansion over 36,000.[citation needed] This group of fans call themselves the 'Toon Ultras'. Level 7 of the Milburn Stand houses the official Family Enclosure. Due to the expansion of the Family Enclosure, many fans from the singing section have relocated to the Strawberry Corner.

In 2013 a group began to help 'Bring Back The Noise' as St.James Park, this being branded as 'Division '92'. This group first began at home to Metalist Kharkiv in the Europa League. From that date the group began to move from strength to strength with new aims set to develop a singing section within the ground for all league games.


As well as the normal Premiership football stadium facilities, the stadium contains conference and banqueting facilities. These comprise a total of 6 suites with a total capacity of 2,050, including the 1,000 capacity Bamburgh Suite containing a stage, dance floor and 3 bars, and the New Magpie Room, on two levels with a pitch view.[56]

The stadium houses premium priced seating areas designated into clubs, each with their own access to a bar and lounge behind the stand for use before the match and at half-time.[57] The Platinum Club, Bar 1892, Sovereign Club and the Black & White Club are in the Milburn Stand, and the Sports Bar is in the Leazes End[53]

The Gallowgate End houses Shearer's, a sports bar and lounge, which is effectively another city centre nightspot in Newcastle, accessible only from the exterior of the ground. The bar is named after Alan Shearer. The Gallowgate also houses a large club shop, a police station.[2] The Milburn stand houses the main box-office. In the south west corner there is also a cafe and a club museum.

Statues and memorials[edit]

image subject location date artist
Jackie Milburn
South-east corner of St. James' Park 1991 Susanna Robinson
Bobby Robson
South-west corner of St. James' Park 2012 Tom Maley[58]
Joe Harvey
Gallowgate Wall 2014 John McNamee Jnr
Alan Shearer
South-west corner of St. James' Park 2016 Tom Maley[59]


Panorama of St James' Park

The stadium has a maximum seating capacity of 52,350,[60] making it:

Developments since 1993 have ensured the lower tier of seating of the ground still forms a continuous bowl around the pitch, below the level of the executive boxes. The club record attendance is 68,386[2] set in 1930 against Chelsea, when standing was allowed on the terraces.


Club football[edit]

Newcastle United have played their home league matches continuously at St James' Park. The stadium had not featured a scoreboard or big screen of any kind since the 1993 expansion displaced one from The Gallowgate end, although in 2007 bright red digital time displays were installed near the corner flags at pitch level. A big screen for the stadium was mooted as a possibility as part of a proposed new stadium branding exercise for 2010.[38] On 18 October 2014 a large scoreboard was erected onto the side of the Leazes End, adjacent to the Milburn Stand. The first day of its use in a game versus Leicester City saw a one-hour delay to kick-off over safety concerns around the screen due to high winds.

International football[edit]

Euro 96 game Bulgaria v Romania

The stadium hosted three matches during Euro 1996. Along with Elland Road it was assigned to Group B, which comprised France, Spain, Romania and Bulgaria.

The stadium was one of several venues used as temporary home grounds for the England team while the redevelopment of Wembley Stadium took place.[61]

St James' Park also hosted some football matches in the 2012 Summer Olympics.[7]

The stadium hosted two international friendlies in September 2023 between Saudi Arabia and Costa Rica on the 8th, and Saudi Arabia and South Korea on the 12th. [62]

England Women played against France in 2024, the first time The Lionesses have played at St James park

The stadium will host matches in UEFA Euro 2028.


Date Result Competition
18 March 1901 England  6–0  Wales British Home Championship
6 April 1907 1–1  Scotland
15 November 1933 1–2  Wales
9 November 1938 4–0  Norway Friendly
10 June 1996 Romania  0–1  France Euro 1996
13 June 1996 Bulgaria  1–0  Romania
18 June 1996 France  3–1  Bulgaria
5 September 2001 England  2–0  Albania World Cup 2002 Qualifying
18 August 2004 3–0  Ukraine Friendly
30 March 2005 2–0  Azerbaijan World Cup 2006 Qualifying
26 July 2012 Mexico  0–0  South Korea 2012 Olympics
26 July 2012 Gabon  1–1   Switzerland
29 July 2012 Japan  1–0  Morocco
29 July 2012 Spain  0–1  Honduras
1 August 2012 Brazil  3–0  New Zealand
4 August 2012 Brazil  3–2  Honduras
8 September 2023 Saudi Arabia  1–3  Costa Rica Friendly
12 September 2023 0–1  South Korea
3 June 2024 England  3-0  Bosnia and Herzegovina


For football use, the pitch has the maximum international dimensions of 105 by 68 metres.[2]

Rugby league[edit]

On 30 and 31 May 2015,[63] the stadium held the Super League Magic Weekend. St James' Park was chosen to host the event after the City of Manchester Stadium, which had hosted the event annually since 2012, became unavailable.[64]

The event was considered a success, with the 2015 event setting both single-day and aggregate attendance records for the event. The Magic Weekend returned to St James' Park in 2016,[65] breaking the aggregate crowd record in the process, and returned once again for 2017 and 2018.[66]

The magic weekend is set to return to Newcastle, in April 2021, for the 2021 Season, after previously been held at Anfield for the 2019 Season and being cancelled for the 2020 season.[67]

There have been two rugby league internationals played at St James' Park.[68] The stadium is due to host the opening ceremony and opening game of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup – Men’s tournament, the first rugby league international to be played at the stadium for 110 years.

England rugby league fans create an England flag ahead of the launch of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup at St James' Park
Test Date Result Attendance Notes
1 23 January 1909 United Kingdom Northern Union 15–5  Australia 22,000 1908–09 Ashes series
2 8 November 1911  Australia 19–10  Great Britain 5,317 1911–12 Ashes series
3 15 October 2022  England 60–6  Samoa 44,000 2021 World Cup

Rugby union[edit]

England national team[edit]

On Friday 6 September 2019, England defeated Italy in a warm-up match for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. This was England's first Test match in Newcastle and first away from Twickenham (outside the World Cup) since 2009.[69]

2015 Rugby World Cup[edit]

The stadium hosted three 2015 Rugby World Cup matches.[70] The first was a Pool B match between South Africa and Scotland on 3 October 2015, with South Africa winning 34 - 16 with 50,900 in attendance.[71] The second was a Pool C match between New Zealand and Tonga on 9 October 2015, with New Zealand winning 47 - 9 with 50,985 in attendance.[72] The third and final was a Pool B match Samoa and Scotland the next day with Scotland winning a close one 36 - 33 with 51,982 in attendance.[73]

Date Competition Home team Away team Attendance
3 October 2015 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool B  South Africa 34  Scotland 16 50,900
9 October 2015 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool C  New Zealand 47  Tonga 9 50,985
10 October 2015 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool B  Samoa 33  Scotland 36 51,982

European professional club rugby[edit]

In April 2017 the stadium was announced as the host for the 2019 finals of the European Rugby Challenge Cup and Champions Cup.[74]

Newcastle Falcons[edit]

On 21 November 2017 it was announced that Newcastle Falcons would take their Premiership Rugby match against Northampton Saints on 24 March 2018 to St James' Park. The match dubbed The Big One was the first Premiership game at the venue.[75]

The Falcons would return the following year to host Sale Sharks on 23 March 2019.[76]

Charity matches[edit]

As well as professional matches, the stadium has been the venue for several charity football matches, including testimonial matches for Alan Shearer and Peter Beardsley. The stadium was also the venue of the final of The Prince's Trust Challenge Trophy, on 14 October 2007, between the Duke of Northumberland and Earl of Durham teams.[77]

On 26 July 2009 St James' Park hosted the Sir Bobby Robson Trophy match, in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, in which the famous Italia '90 World Cup semi-final loss against West Germany, in which Robson's England team were beaten 4–3 on penalties after a 1–1 draw, would be replayed featuring players from the original World Cup squads and other special guests.[78][79][80]

Video games[edit]

The stadium has regularly featured on the popular football game series FIFA (video game series) and appears to be included on the global front cover of FIFA 13 with Lionel Messi in the foreground. The title sequence of FIFA Football 2004 featuring Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry and Alessandro del Piero was shot at the stadium.[81]


The stadium has hosted concerts for many famous artists, including The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen & E Street Band, Queen, Bob Dylan, Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart, Kings of Leon and Ed Sheeran. In 2023 the stadium hosted two sold out nights for Sam Fender.[82]

Film and television[edit]

The stadium has also been used as an audition venue for the television show The X Factor and also reality television show Big Brother. St James' Park has also hosted the final celebrity matches of the Sky television reality TV show The Match. The stadium was used extensively as a filming location for the film Goal!, as the film follows a fictional player Santiago Muñez who signs for Newcastle. There is also film footage showing a game between Newcastle and Liverpool FC from 1901.

Sir Bobby Robson tributes[edit]

Sir Bobby's thanksgiving service shown at St James' Park
Floral tributes laid for Sir Bobby at St James' Park

Sir Bobby Robson, a lifetime Newcastle fan who managed the club from 1999 to 2004, died of cancer aged 76 on 31 July 2009, five days after having been at St James' Park to watch the England v Germany charity trophy match played in his honour and in aid of his cancer foundation. Immediately after his death, St James' Park became an impromptu shrine to Sir Bobby, with thousands of fans leaving floral tributes, club shirts and scarves in the Leazes End for the following ten days. After a private funeral service on 5 August, a thanksgiving service held on 21 September at Durham Cathedral in Sir Bobby's memory was broadcast on two big screens for spectators in the Leazes End.


  1. ^ "Premier League Handbook 2022/23" (PDF). Premier League. p. 30. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 April 2021. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Newcastle United official site Stadium Information page
  3. ^ a b c d e Newcastle United official site Archived 30 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine St James' Park Story, Part 1
  4. ^ a b c d e Newcastle United official site Archived 24 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine St James' Park Story, Part 2
  5. ^ a b c toonarama.co.uk Archived 21 June 2017 at the Wayback Machine 1970–17 season, 'Stadia'
  6. ^ a b worldstadia.com St James' Park review Aerial photo of stadium and general info.
  7. ^ a b 2012 Official Site Archived 16 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine Football locations, retrieved 15 April 2008
  8. ^ streetmap.co.uk indicated location of Leazes Terrace (the building, not the street) in relation to St James' Park
  9. ^ Telford Hart Quantity Surveyors Archived 24 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine description of Leazes Terrace project
  10. ^ Howard Litchfield Partnership consultants Archived 14 February 2009 at archive.today description of Leazes Terrace project
  11. ^ Newcastle University Archived 11 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine Accommodation details for Leazes Terrace
  12. ^ Joannou, Paul. "The St James' Park Story". Newcastle United F.C. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  13. ^ Joannou, Paul. "The Formation of Newcastle United". Newcastle United F.C. Archived from the original on 20 March 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  14. ^ "A significant first at St James' Park, Newcastle, back on this day in 1892". Chronicle. Newcastle: chroniclelive.co.uk. 3 September 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  15. ^ a b c d Their fiercest rivals actually played at St James' Park before Newcastle or Either team that merged to become Newcastle United. The Mackems had been drawn in The Durham Cup to play Newcastle Rangers. Northumberland FA at this time did not exist stadiums.football.co.uk St James Park info containing a picture of the old East Stand with boxes, a picture of the infilled corner roof sections, and the red and white strip date.
  16. ^ "Celtic Beaten in Floodlit Match". The Herald. Glasgow. 26 February 1953. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g "Newcastle United official site] St James' Park Story, Part 2". Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 3 March 2008.
  18. ^ a b c d "Newcastle sign up for stadium battle". The Daily Telegraph. London. 29 March 1997.
  19. ^ a b c d The Land is Ours Archived 21 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine campaign group newsletter issue 9 July 1997
  20. ^ a b c d The Independent Newcastle divided as Toon army aim to camp on the moor, 20 December 1996
  21. ^ Sunday Mirror Barcelona, Man Utd, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Arsenal and Keegan's..., 13 October 2006
  22. ^ toonarama.co.uk 1996 season, 'Summary'
  23. ^ a b Conn, David (21 October 1999). "Newcastle's bond holders sacrificed on altar of profit". The Independent. London. p. 2.
  24. ^ a b c d e IStructE The Structural Engineer Volume 77/No 21, 2 November 1999. James's Park a redevelopment challenge
  25. ^ a b c The Architects' Journal Existing stadiums: St James' Park, Newcastle. 1 July 2005
  26. ^ "United waive fans' court costs". BBC Sport Online. 24 November 2000.
  27. ^ Stevenson, Rachel (15 June 2004). "Is this the future for UK gambling?". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 14 February 2009.
  28. ^ "MGM MIRAGE and Newcastle United plc Announce Joint Venture Agreement" (Press release). MGM Mirage. Press News Wire. 19 November 2003.
  29. ^ "Newcastle announce ground plans". BBC News Online. London. 2 April 2007. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
  30. ^ Walker, Michael (1 October 2008). "Ashley to slash Newcastle price". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 24 May 2022. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  31. ^ Walker, Michael (25 August 2008). "Newcastle United 1 Bolton Wanderers 0: Predator Owen strikes as reality bites at Newcastle". The Independent. London.
  32. ^ Newcastle 1–2 Hull BBC Sport, 13 September 2008
  33. ^ Newcastle 1–2 Blackburn BBC Sport, 27 September 2008
  34. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/league_cup/7626827.stm BBC Sport, 24 September 2008
  35. ^ Edwards, Luke (25 September 2008). "Newcastle United 1, Tottenham Hotspur 2". The Journal. Newcastle. Archived from the original on 15 October 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2008.
  36. ^ "Newcastle rename St James' Park the Sports Direct Arena". BBC News. 9 November 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  37. ^ "Stadium name row reaches Commons". BBC News. 3 November 2009. Archived from the original on 6 November 2009. Retrieved 3 November 2009.
  38. ^ a b "St James' Park name will not be lost altogether, insists Derek Llambias". The Guardian. London. 3 November 2009. Archived from the original on 7 November 2009. Retrieved 3 November 2009.
  39. ^ "Newcastle reveal new stadium name". BBC News. 4 November 2009. Archived from the original on 5 November 2009. Retrieved 4 November 2009.
  40. ^ "Newcastle United sponsorship deal with Wonga sees stadium becoming St James' Park again". Telegraph. Archived from the original on 10 October 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  41. ^ "Sports Direct sinage taken down at St James' Park". Sky Sports. 6 December 2021.
  42. ^ Caulkin, George (6 December 2021). "Newcastle removing Sports Direct adverts at St. James' Park".
  43. ^ Taylor, Louise (21 January 2022). "Mike Ashley takes legal action against Newcastle co-owner Amanda Staveley". The Guardian.
  44. ^ "Ashley suing Staveley for breaching terms of 10£ loan". Sky Sports. 21 January 2022.
  45. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "What's in a name: St James" (embedded video (length:5.02)). BBC News. 29 May 2008. Retrieved 11 February 2008. The apostrophe debate surrounding Newcastle United's football ground continues to get fans heading for their grammar books.
  46. ^ 54°58′33″N 1°37′12″W / 54.9757788°N 1.6199040°W / 54.9757788; -1.6199040
  47. ^ 54°58′33″N 1°37′13″W / 54.9758527°N 1.6202796°W / 54.9758527; -1.6202796
  48. ^ "Modern St James' Park in detail". Official club website, Club Factfile page. Newcastle United F.C. Archived from the original on 30 August 2008. Retrieved 11 February 2008. Stadium Address: Newcastle United Football Club: St James' Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 4ST
  49. ^ "Newcastle United". Official club website, Tickets section, St. James' Guide. Newcastle United F.C. Archived from the original on 7 September 2008. Retrieved 11 February 2008. General Info, Address: St. James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4ST
  50. ^ a b "St James' or St James's?". BBC Tyne. 4 June 2008 [30 May 2008]. Retrieved 11 February 2008. What's in a name? Should Newcastle United's stadium be St James' Park or St. James's Park?...The sign on the wall of the stadium reads St James' Park [this statement contradicts an image used in the article, in which a full stop is included after the St], but is that right?...The question about whether the Toon's stadium should be written as St James' or St James's is certainly a talking point...[Dr Alan Firth, senior lecturer in applied linguistics at Newcastle University]:..."We would say that the apostrophe needs to be there because it's the park of St James. But there's variability, It's optional whether you have s apostrophe or s apostrophe s. You can choose either and both are correct."
  51. ^ FastScore.com Head to Head between Newcastle United and Derby County, accessed 12 October 2020
  52. ^ Leslie, John; Jack Leslie (25 November 2003). "North of Blackett Street". Down Our Streets: Newcastle's Street Names Explored. City of Newcastle upon Tyne Education and Libraries Directorate, Tyne Bridge Publishing, www.tynebridgepublishing.co.uk. p. 27. ISBN 1-85795-191-3. The burgesses allowed part of this land to be used for building purposes from the 18th century and in 1895 the St James Park Football Ground was built on the Leazes for the newly formed Newcastle United Football Club
  53. ^ a b c d e footballgroundguide.co.uk Archived 2 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine General stadium info page with a picture of the view from the 'away' corner
  54. ^ File:Celtic Park New.jpg
  55. ^ Newcastle United official site Archived 7 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine Ticket section stadium guide
  56. ^ www.conferences-uk.org.uk St James Park conference venue information
  57. ^ Newcastle United official site Archived 7 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine Matchday Prices page
  58. ^ "Sir Bobby Robson statue unveiled at Newcastle United's ground". BBC News. 6 May 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  59. ^ "Alan Shearer statue unveiled at St James' Park". BBC News. 12 September 2016. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  60. ^ "History of our home". Newcastle United Football Club.
  61. ^ Fletcher, Paul (29 May 2007). "End of the road for England". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 May 2007.
  62. ^ Dixon, Ed (17 August 2023). "Newcastle United announce Saudi Arabia friendlies at St James' Park". SportsPro. Retrieved 17 October 2023.
  63. ^ "Rugby League Tickets". www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk.
  64. ^ "Magic Weekend 2015: Newcastle's St James' Park to host". BBC Sport. 10 September 2014.
  65. ^ "Magic Weekend returns to St James' Park for 2016 | Rugby-League.com". Rugby-League.com. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  66. ^ Southern, Keiran (19 May 2017). "Magic Weekend 2017: Thousands expected in Newcastle for Rugby League showpiece". nechronicle. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  67. ^ "Magic Weekend 2020 Cancelled". superleague.co.uk. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  68. ^ Ferguson, Shawn Dollin and Andrew. "St James' Park - Results - Rugby League Project". www.rugbyleagueproject.org.
  69. ^ "England to play at St James Park Rugby World Cup warm-up Test". 5 September 2018. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  70. ^ "England will host 2015 World Cup". BBC Sport. 28 July 2009. Archived from the original on 3 August 2009. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  71. ^ "Pool B, St James Park, Newcastle upon Tyne". Rugby World Cup. 3 October 2015. Archived from the original on 8 October 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  72. ^ "Pool C, St James Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, New Zealand v TONGA". Rugby World Cup. 9 October 2015. Archived from the original on 13 October 2015. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  73. ^ "Pool B, St James Park, Newcastle upon Tyne Samoa v Scotland, New Zealand v TONGA". Rugby World Cup. 10 October 2015. Archived from the original on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  74. ^ "Rugby Union: Champions Cup final heading to Bilbao in 2018". Yahoo! News. Omnisport. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  75. ^ "Newcastle Falcons to play at St James' Park". Aviva Premiership News. Premiership Rugby. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  76. ^ "The Big One Returns". Newcastle Falcons News. Newcastle Falcons. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  77. ^ www.princes-trust.org.uk Archived 18 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine Princes Trust Challenge Trophy details
  78. ^ Stewart, Rob (24 April 2009). "England Italia '90 team to re-stage Germany semi in aid of Sir Bobby Robson charity". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 27 April 2009. Retrieved 24 April 2009. Sir Bobby Robson is hoping to settle an old score after England and Germany players who contested the heart-breaking 1990 World Cup semi-final agreed to re-stage the epic game to boost his fund-raising efforts.
  79. ^ "Sir Bobby Charity Game @ SJP". Newcastle United F.C. 24 April 2009. Archived from the original on 26 April 2009. Retrieved 24 April 2009.
  80. ^ "England v Germany rematch to honour Sir Bobby Robson". Evening Chronicle. Newcastle. 24 April 2009. Archived from the original on 23 December 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2009. ...the match, which will take place on 26 July at St James' Park...As well as reuniting 1990 England players, Sir Bobby is also planning on calling on some other famous guests to add to his team. He said: "I'm very grateful to my former players who are coming up to Newcastle to help us raise money for my charity. I'm also very appreciative of the efforts of the German players who have so much further to travel.
  81. ^ "FIFA Soccer 2004". Games Database. Launchbox. Retrieved 18 February 2023.
  82. ^ Moore, Sam (7 September 2022). "Sam Fender announces second huge date at Newcastle's St. James' Park". NME. Archived from the original on 7 September 2022. Retrieved 8 September 2022.

External links[edit]

54°58′32″N 1°37′18″W / 54.97556°N 1.62167°W / 54.97556; -1.62167