A Champions League question for every Newcastle United fan.
That question is…
If you were all but guaranteed that Newcastle United would be challenging for the title and competing in the Champions League every season, would you be happy to see the club move out of the city centre into an 80,000+ brand new stadium?
Personally, and despite the sentiments I share with the vast majority of Toon fan regarding the “Cathedral on the Hill”, I would undoubtedly answer “Yes” to that question.
That is despite my being one of the lucky ones who still has my fabulous seat in the East Stand.
As things stand, especially with all of the listed building planning regulations surrounding Leazes Terrace, the likelihood of SJP being significantly expanded, to anywhere near the required minimum, is microbial – 60,000 tops and that at an enormously disproportionate cost to benefit.
So, moving would appear to be the only long-term solution which wouldn’t entail being groundless for at least a season, or at least a vastly reduced capacity.
Without taking years, we cannot possibly significantly increase our revenue streams and attract top talent (by paying top salaries) unless we move.
For that reason, I would favour a move.
HOWEVER! It may not have to come to this.
I believe that Newcastle should submit a planning application for an 80,000+ capacity stadium, with adjacent state-of-the-art training facilities and ground with (say) 5,000 spectator capacity like the Etihad, at an out-of-town location such as Gosforth Park – owned by the Reubens!
The application could involve details of how easily a Metro link to the area could be added from the City Centre and Airport and how the existing road system would need very little modification to enable it to handle the additional traffic required over and above what it currently handles on a busy race day.
There could be club-run and revenue-generating fanzones – I was SOO impressed by the Box Park at Wembley – and car parks for pre- and post-match events.
The “B” stadium could be used for pop concerts and the like and the whole infrastructure, which could include hotels and other revenue-generating ventures, could attract international conferences and exhibitions from all over the world – International Airport 15 minutes away!
If they were to do this, Newcastle City Council would have a meltdown at the potential loss of revenue to City Centre businesses.
They would very quickly realise that action was needed and take the lead in dealing with the Leazes Terrace architectural heritage question, to allow sensible expansion of the East Stand.
The club could then continue to build on the brilliant progress made thus far with almost no matchday interference – except to me and fellow East Standers ironically – and we could continue to enjoy our current, unique situation.
Over to you, NUFC development team!!
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]
Source : TheMag