Newcastle United make huge breakthrough to increase St. James' Park capacity

Newcastle United form a TIFO prior to kick off of the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Everton FC at St. James' Park on October 19, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
(Image credit: George Wood/Getty Images)

Newcastle United are set to expand St. James' Park after buying the land behind the stadium.

That's according to a report that states that the Magpies are to continue their stunning rise in fortunes and capitalise on the superb atmosphere at their Tyneside home with plans to extend the ground further. The feel-good feeling inside the stadium has been credited as a key reason for the team's success on the pitch lately.

Newcastle were bought by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia in 2021 and have since escaped relegation comfortably under Eddie Howe, while this season, they are in contention for Champions League football and through to the League Cup final.

Newcastle West Ham

Newcastle are enjoying a wonderful season – and things could improve further (Image credit: Getty)

Now, The Mail (opens in new tab) says that there are plans to make the 52,305-seater St. James' Park even bigger, by purchasing the Strawberry Place land behind the ground to extend the stadium. 

The Strawberry Place plot was sold to developers (opens in new tab) Helios Real Estate and Marrico in 2019 for £9 million, as part of former owner Mike Ashley's stripping of the club's assets. The new owners of the plot planned to build student flats and hotel but lost their public funding last week. 

A spokesman for the Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust claimed at the time that (opens in new tab) Ashley selling the land was proof of the high-street tycoon making "short-term decisions that are in the interests of the owner, rather than the long-term future of the club."

Newcastle United purchased a 125-year lease of the site in 1998 before that was transferred to Newcastle United Holdings Ltd in 2004. The site was then leased to Newcastle City Council at a £82,400-a-year rate before that agreement ended in September 2014. Bidding for the location opened at the end of 2013.

Former Newcastle owner Mike Ashley

Former Newcastle owner Mike Ashley sold the plot of land that the club have just bought back (Image credit: PA)

According to the Mail's report, "co-owner Mehrdad Ghodoussi has led negotiations over the past 12 months to purchase the key plot, and a deal – said to be 'good for both parties' – was finalised this week."

Newcastle may yet install a fan zone behind the Gallowgate End with the expansion of the stadium, which opened 130 years ago, a longer-term project. 

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Mark White
Staff Writer

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.