St James' Park design concepts have already emerged as Newcastle United learn expansion fate

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Newcastle United are set to focus on expanding St James’ Park rather than build a new stadium.

Newcastle United are reportedly set to progress with plans to expand St James’ Park into a 60,000-seater stadium after completing a feasibility study.

Last year, the Magpies called on some of the world's best to conduct a study to discover ways to increase the stadium's 52,000 capacity. Six months on, and the results have confirmed good news for CEO Darren Eales and Co.

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Speaking in January, Eales said: "St James’ Park is amazing, the location. 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.

Newcastle United are set to announce a deadline day signing. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)Newcastle United are set to announce a deadline day signing. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Newcastle United are set to announce a deadline day signing. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) | Getty Images

"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.”

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The Telegraph has described the multi-million pound redevelopment “one of the most ambitious stadium rebuilds seen in this country”, although stressed any expansion is subject to the club extending its ground lease, which has 70 years to run, with Newcastle City Council.

It’s understood there is still some way to go with the blueprints for the expansion unlikely to be made public anytime soon. But a recent video by Bondibot - a YouTube channel dedicated to looking at future stadiums through 3D animation - has already captured the imagination of Newcastle fans.

Bondibot proposed two options to expand St James’ Park but there are doubts over how feasible the designs are.

The first option involved expanding the Gallowgate West Corner and Gallowgate Stand to the same level as the Milburn and Leazes Stands, as well build onto Strawberry Place, the land Newcastle re-purchased last year.

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Meanwhile, the second option involved raising the St James’ Park playing surface and moving the pitch north west to allow more space to expand the East Stand and Gallowgate Stand. This would ensure all four stands are of a similar height.

There are, however, restrictions to consider, including the Grade One listed buildings on Leazes Terrace, the stadium's proximity to the Leazes Conservation Area and major city-centre thoroughfares.

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