St. James Park, Newcastle upon Tyne

 

 

St. James Park is home of Newcastle United Football Club and the following pictures illustrate how it has evolved from a simple pitch with earth banking around its perimeter to a 56,000 all seater stadium. The stadium is in the centre of the city and is adjacent to Newcastle University. In fact, a constraint on its development is Leazes Terrace, one of Newcastle University's halls of residence.

The above picture shows the Leazes End stand on the evening of the World Cup qualifying game between England and Albania on 5th September 2001.

 

The picture below shows the concreting of the original terracing at the Leazes End of the stadium. Note the formwork system used to ensure the vertical faces of the steps remained true. Note also the reinforcement.

Until the construction of the concrete cantilevered East Stand, the stadium was unprotected except for a simple cover at the Leazes End and the timber West Stand constructed in 1905 and designed by Archibald Leitch, renouned sports stadium architect of the early 20th century. The picture below shows the stadium in the 1960's. Note how the floodlight pylons protrude through the Leazes End roof.

 

Below, the East Stand (1973) and the West Stand (1988) have transformed the stadium - both have been incorporated into the present stadium. The East Stand (furthest away) looks imposing but is now the embarrassingly small part of the stadium. It cannot be extended rearwards because of the University's Leazes Terrace.

 

Below, in 1996 the West Stand roof is being extended forwards to cover the forward terracing which is being converted from standing to seating. (Standing in the cold rain is unpleasant, but sitting in it is even worse.) At the far end, the Leazes End has been transformed into a major all seating structure and a similar structure is being constructed at the Gallowgate End in the foreground. Also, the two corners at the Leazes end have been covered.

 

 

The West Stand has been extended and the Leazes End has been further developed, with the inclusion of a multi-storey car park (note the circular vehicle ramps). The East Stand now almost disappears. The cantilevers are some of the worlds longest. Future expansion will depend upon planning and physical constraints and upon the popularity of the team.