Newcastle United have made a significant step forward in its plan to expand St James’ Park with the purchase of the land directly behind the stadium.
The Strawberry Place site is now owned by the club and they will explore options to increase the stadium’s capacity of 52,300.
The demand for tickets has skyrocketed since the Saudi-led takeover in 2021, and the club plans to transform the area behind the Gallowgate End into a fan zone. A long-term goal is to develop the site in coexistence with the stadium, but modern technology may allow for alternative solutions.
The club’s owners were determined to buy back the land that was sold by Mike Ashley to private developers for £9 million four years ago, and a deal was finalized this week after a year of negotiations.
The goal is to improve the fan experience and ultimately get as many supporters as possible inside St James’ Park, which has sold out for every game this season.
Fans are waiting to find out if they have been successful in securing tickets for the upcoming Carabao Cup final and thousands are expected to travel to the capital even without tickets.
The acquisition of the Strawberry Place site is a significant victory for the club, as it returns control of a historically important part of the club back to its ownership.
The co-owner Mehrdad Ghodoussi led negotiations over the past year to secure the purchase, and sources have emphasized its importance for enhancing the fan experience.
Despite the current excitement surrounding the club, the ultimate aim remains to get as many fans as possible inside St James’ Park for games.
The club’s first final in 22 years has generated a buzz among supporters, with the Carabao Cup final at Wembley expected to attract thousands of fans without tickets to enjoy the build-up and watch the game against Manchester United.