Alan Shearer makes St James' Park claim as major Newcastle United news awaited

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Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer has weighed in the St James' Park debate.

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer has stressed the need for St James' Park to remain in the city centre, whether that be extending the current capacity or building a new stadium 'next door'.

Last year, the Magpies launched a feasibility study to discover ways to increase the 52,000-seater capacity with the site currently restricted by the Grade II listed building behind the East Stand.

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That said, United did re-purchase the leasehold land at Strawberry Place 12 months ago to renew hope of expanding the Gallowgate End, but there are no immediate plans to do so with a fan zone set to be there for the next three years.

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) | Getty Images

If the expansion of St James' Park is not feasible then CEO Darren Eales has vowed to consult supporters over the possible next steps. When a question on the subject was put to Shearer, he told the Rest is Football podcast: "I think one of the best things about St James’ Park is its position, that it’s so close to the city centre.

"Extend it? Fine, but if they were going to build a new one I think it has to be pretty much next door or really close because that’s why we generate such a great atmosphere. It’s so iconic and in the city centre so if it is going to be a new stadium then it has to be pretty much next door to where it is, or certainly not far away." Speaking in January, Eales said the club "should be hearing in the next few months" in terms of the feasibility study. Eales wants to remain at St James' Park, but he also has his eye on getting more fans into the stadium and maximising matchday revenue.

"St James’ Park is amazing, the location," Eales said. "We have all spoken about that on the record. It is part of what makes Newcastle United special. We are that cathedral on the hill. It is why we are doing the stadium feasibility to see what is possible.

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"Genuinely, if we have got that ability to be able to stay in this location and to drive the revenues, and to drive capacity and to give what we’d love to, which is to give more fans the ability to watch Newcastle United that’s what we’d like to do.

"That’s why we’re doing the feasibility study. It’s not to second guess the process. We need to see what we can do and once we get that, we’ll be able to consult with fans and say okay, here’s are the options we’ve got, is this something we are all joined together and makes sense and the hope would be to stay at St James’ Park, if that’s possible.

"We have to be cognisant, we need to drive revenues and increase capacity and is that possible is the question we have put to the experts.”

St James' Park is the seventh biggest stadium in the Premier League behind Manchester United, West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool. Tickets for Newcastle matches have became like gold dust since the change of ownership in October 2021.

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