St James Park, home to Newcastle United FC, is a part of footballing history. The scale of the stadium is breathtaking and the atmosphere within the venue – echoing still with the roars of fans and legendary players gone by – is palpable.
Situated on what was once moorland, the stadium overlooks Newcastle’s Chinatown, its beautiful cobbled streets and, in the distance, the gleaming River Tyne. The stadium itself is an impressive building of glass, steel and concrete – a definitive and iconic piece of architecture within the Tyneside skyline, and an events-venue that expresses the passion and ambition of this great Northern city.
A brief history
St James Park is one of the oldest association football grounds in England, with matches played on-site since Victorian times (the first practice match took place here in 1880). Simply named after the area in which it’s situated, St. James Hospital, St. James Chapel, St. James Street and St. James Terrace all pre-date the stadium and are its’ humble namesake. A spooky reference to both this era and area is Gallowgate End – the Southern part of the stadium, named after city's once infamous hangman’s pole.
Newcastle United FC was formed a little later, in 1892, and was a marriage between two heavyweight football clubs at the time: Newcastle East End and West End FC. It was after this blissful union that the ground's first major development took place. The seating capacity was doubled, from 30,000 to 60,000, and the venue was endowed with a swimming pool (!) alongside other state-of-the-art features.
Since then, St James Park has seen many more developments; floodlights were added in the 1950’s - the biggest and best in Britain – so games could be played in the evenings; The Milburn Stand - named after legendary NUFC forward Jackie Milburn – was erected in the 1980’s and remains the only stand named after a player at St James Park; and an impressive expansion occurred in the 1990’s that gave the stadium its famous silhouette. Modernisation of the venue continues still, maintaining St. James' Park's reputation as one of the greatest arenas in football, and as a prestigious, contemporary events-venue.
The players and the fans
Named after the players’ black and white striped football jerseys, Newcastle United fans are of course known as the Magpies. A symbol for luck and lasting fortune as well as trickery and deception within the animal kingdom, NUFC have a well-earned reputation for outfoxing (or outmagpie-ing) the other team.
This is due to the many great players that don Newcastle United’s Hall of Fame. Some well-known examples are Kevin Keegan - one of the first footballing “superstars” - and Alan Shearer, who still holds the Premier League goal-scoring record. In fact many of the stadium’s event-spaces are named in honor of the club’s top players, such as Milburn Suite, Sir Bobby Robson Suite and Moncur Suite. Dining halls and conference rooms that represent the footballing grandeur of the men they’re named for.
St James Park brings over a century of sporting heritage to events, conferencing and celebrations with Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events. From hosting an interview in a box, to large-scale conference in one of the stadium’ suites, the footballers’ winning drive and team-spirit is infectious and felt by all who visit. A unique venue, the stadium’s scale and outstanding facilities are matched only by the wonder and exhilaration this setting inspires in its guests. Be part of NUFC’s Sporting Legend by hosting your next event at St James Park.
For more information on St James Park, contact The Hub on VENUES&EVENTS.PRESTIGE.UK@SODEXO.COM or call 0845 6055 699