|Newcastle United 1 v 1 Leeds United|
Barclays Premier League
Friday, 14th April 2017 Kick-off 19:45
Wednesday, 12th Apr 2017 18:59 by Tim Whelan
Our visit to Newcastle United is on Good Friday with kick-off at 7.45, and it’s live on Sky Sports.
You’ll find St. James' Park on the north-western edge of the city centre. It has limited parking but is well served by public transport, with the main line railway station being about half a mile away on the other side of the city centre.
If you’re driving in you need to follow the A1(M) till the end, then continue on the A1 and then the A184 towards Newcastle. Continue along this road, bearing left onto the A189. Continue over the River Tyne on the Redheugh Bridge, from which the ground can be clearly seen. Carry on straight up the dual carriageway (St James Boulevard) and you can’t miss it.
As the ground is central there are a number of pay and display car parks in the area, but the best bet for street parking is along the A189 Barrack Road, heading out to the northbound A1. Another option will be to park south of the river in Gateshead and cross the city by the Tyne and Wear metro. A direct line leads to Monument station, which is only a short distance away, though you can change onto the other line and travel one station further to St. James', which as the name suggests is right outside the stadium.
It will be possible to get the train back to Leeds afterwards, as there is one from Newcastle Central Station (which is about half a mile from the ground) at 9.55pm and another at 10.48pm. To get there you need to across the two zebra crossings outside the station and then head up the pedestrianised Pink Lane. Then cross Westgate Road at the top. Then up pedestrianised Bath Lane with the old city walls on your right. Turn right on to Stowell Street (Chinatown). At the end of Stowell Street bear left up St Andrews Street by Rosie’s Bar, under the ornate Chinese arch. Then left up Gallowgate. St James is on your right.
The best pubs for away fans are usually the ones around the Station, including the 'A Head Of Steam' 'The Lounge' and 'O'Neills'. But some of these bars will only admit fans if they’re not wearing colours, and it remains to be seen if they will be open for our visit. There is also a Wetherspoons called ‘the Union Rooms’ nearby, while hardcore real ale fans can head for the CAMRA listed ‘Bodega’ on Westgate Road. Alcohol is usually served within St. James’ Park, but again we’ll have to see if they do so while we’re in town.
For the first few years after going all-seater the capacity was only 32,800 and the home areas were sold out to season ticket holders, with a waiting list of 10,000 others, yet when the club wanted to build a larger new stadium on the nearby Leazes Park a protest group ensured they were denied planning permission. This left them to develop St. James' Park at a cost of £42m, putting huge extra tiers on top of two of the stands, including the largest cantilever structure in Europe, bringing the current capacity up to 52,401.
We have an allocation of 3,200 seats on level 7 at the top of the Sir John Hall Stand. Getting there invoices a climb of 14 flights of stairs and you end up a long way from the action, so it’s not recommended for anyone who suffers from short-sightedness, vertigo or problems with climbing that number of stairs.
On the plus side there is plenty of legroom and a good selection of pies from the tea bars. Ticket prices are £32 for adults, with different categories of concessions at £26 and £16. Fans under 13 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Our tickets were sold via the ‘attendance tracker’ scheme, and it’s no surprise that they have already sold out, as indeed have the tickets for all the home stands.
The Club have announced plans to re-develop the Gallowgate End of the stadium. The plans which also include the construction of a new conference centre, hotel and residential apartments, would see the overall capacity of the ground increase to around 60,000. The plans are subject to local authority approval and as of yet no formal timescales as to when this might take place have been announced.
Some of this stuff came from www.footballgroundguide.com .
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