Eddie Howe weighs on St James’ Park relocation debate amid Newcastle United plans

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Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe has backed plans to extend St James’ Park’s 52,000 capacity.

Eddie Howe wants Newcastle United to remain at St James’ Park - rather than relocate elsewhere. The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia-led takeover last year has led to an unprecedented demand for tickets.

Thousands of supporters missed out on season tickets in the summer, while it is proving a challenge to buy tickets on a game-by-game basis due to the soaring demand.

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There have been calls to expand St James’ Park, with the majority of supporters dead against leaving the club’s 130-year home. Howe, asked about the debate, also wants the Magpies to stay at the city centre arena.

“When I look around the city you can see the football stadium at every turn,” Howe said. “That’s such a powerful thing and I wouldn’t want to change that. If we can enhance and alter matchday experience for fans, we are trying to do that, but that’s our home.”

St James’ Park, the home of Newcastle United. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)St James’ Park, the home of Newcastle United. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
St James’ Park, the home of Newcastle United. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Newcastle chief executive Darren Eales revealed earlier this week that ways of expanding St James’ Park’s 52,000 capacity were being explored.

However, that is easier said than done. Behind the East Stand are listed buildings and Ashley controversially sold Strawberry Place - the land situated behind the Gallowgate End - for a small profit in 2019. Eales & Co have been in dialogue with Newcastle City Council.

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Eales said: “It’s a champagne problem because we’re sold out and it’s not a situation like the past when you’re almost giving away season tickets to fill the stadium.”

“It’s an amazing location. I love the fact we’re here in the city with 108 pubs within half a mile. It’s the best ground to come to for away supporters in my view because of its location and atmosphere.

“The reality is, we are in a situation where we are limited in capacity. We’ll obviously be looking at if there are ways we can flex that and that’s one of the things we will be looking at over time.”

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