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Old March 8th, 2010, 05:57 PM   #81
Newcastle Historian
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Newcastle United FC : New Stadium Plans.
No. 1 - The 1997 Proposals . . .


There have been many proposals over the years (and over the centuries!) for Newcastle United Football Club to either build a new stadium at St James' Park, or to build a new stadium elsewhere.

These various proposals are clearly ideal "Newcastle as it might have been" articles, for inclusion on this thread.

Just to be different, this time I thought I would start with the most recent set of unrealised plans, and work my way backwards.

So, here is No. 1 . . . the 1997 proposals to build a new stadium a few hundred yards away from St James' Park, on "Castle Leazes Moor".


To get a CLEAR idea of where this stadium was to be built. At the top of this aerial photo, Castle Leazes Moor and St James' Park, can both be seen . .



Here are the clubs plans (seen from above) for the new stadium on Castle Leazes Moor on the left, with the (St James' Park cut-in-half) St James' Centre, shown on the right . .



A view of the proposed new stadium, at the 'South East' corner, nearest to Leazes Park lake . .



Another view of the proposed 'Castle Leazes Moor' stadium . .



This sketch shows the proposed 'Leazes Way' walkway through the enlarged Leazes Park, that would have lead from the new "St James Centre" (proposed indoor stadium on site of St James Park) to the new stadium on Castle Leazes Moor . .



Another sketch of the proposed stadium, from Leazes park . .



The "ST JAMES' CENTRE" . . . was an important part of the overall plan. This was to be an indoor stadium on the site of the current St James' Park. The South Stand and South West corner would remain as they were, the East and Milburn stands would be demolished, and the Sir John Hall stand and corners would be dismantled and re-erected closer to the remaining 'South Stand', to form the indoor stadium . . as shown, with the building over Strawberry Place linking to the 'new build' over St James' Park Metro Station . .



One of the envisaged advantages of the 'reduced size' St James' Park/Centre, to the immediate area, would be the extended Leazes Park, as shown here where it is overlooked by Leazes Terrace, at the point where the demolished 'East Stand' used to be . .



Now, the above plans and proposals, in the clubs own words at the time, from their "Newcastle United Football Club VISION STATEMENT" . . .









Interesting stuff, eh . . ?
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Old March 8th, 2010, 06:51 PM   #82
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I'm a little disapointed it was never built to be honest (though I was uder the impression that it would of been a 75k stadium.

With the new stadium, and SJP being converted into what would be an arena it would of been a great little entertainment centre for the city. Also it wouldn't of taken up much land, and whatever it did take up it would of given back through the curret arena site. It would also mean that those terraced houses would of been able to of had a free view aswell. On top of that the arena would be close to a metro station aswell it would of been good for public transport.

All in all though, NUFC never wanted to really build it, it was just a way of getting NCC to accept their plans to expand SJP via the level 7.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 08:22 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newcastle Historian View Post
Newcastle United FC : New Stadium Plans.
No. 1 - The 1997 Proposals . . .


There have been many proposals over the years (and over the centuries!) for Newcastle United Football Club to either build a new stadium at St James' Park, or to build a new stadium elsewhere.

These various proposals are clearly ideal "Newcastle as it might have been" articles, for inclusion on this thread.

Just to be different, this time I thought I would start with the most recent set of unrealised plans, and work my way backwards.

So, here is No. 1 . . . the 1997 proposals to build a new stadium a few hundred yards away from St James' Park, on "Castle Leazes Moor".


To get a CLEAR idea of where this stadium was to be built. At the top of this aerial photo, Castle Leazes Moor and St James' Park, can both be seen . .



Here are the clubs plans (seen from above) for the new stadium on Castle Leazes Moor on the left, with the (St James' Park cut-in-half) St James' Centre, shown on the right . .



A view of the proposed new stadium, at the 'South East' corner, nearest to Leazes Park lake . .



Another view of the proposed 'Castle Leazes Moor' stadium . .



This sketch shows the proposed 'Leazes Way' walkway through the enlarged Leazes Park, that would have lead from the new "St James Centre" (proposed indoor stadium on site of St James Park) to the new stadium on Castle Leazes Moor . .



Another sketch of the proposed stadium, from Leazes park . .



The "ST JAMES' CENTRE" . . . was an important part of the overall plan. This was to be an indoor stadium on the site of the current St James' Park. The South Stand and South West corner would remain as they were, the East and Milburn stands would be demolished, and the Sir John Hall stand and corners would be dismantled and re-erected closer to the remaining 'South Stand', to form the indoor stadium . . as shown, with the building over Strawberry Place linking to the 'new build' over St James' Park Metro Station . .



One of the envisaged advantages of the 'reduced size' St James' Park/Centre, to the immediate area, would be the extended Leazes Park, as shown here where it is overlooked by Leazes Terrace, at the point where the demolished 'East Stand' used to be . .



Now, the above plans and proposals, in the clubs own words at the time, from their "Newcastle United Football Club VISION STATEMENT" . . .









Interesting stuff, eh . . ?

To answer your points, Chris . .

The new stadium was specifically designed for possible (planned) expansion to hold 75,000 people, but was initially being built to hold the mentioned 55,000.

Yes, what you describe (with the two stadiums grouped together) as an 'entertainment centre for the city' was pretty much what was intended. It was part of the "Sporting Club of Newcastle" plans.

Certainly, the Leazes Terrace view over Leazes Park would have been much better, but the 'temporary match-day parking' on other areas shown in the plans as nicely landscaped, was a concern to me. This may not have looked as good in reality, as the plans showed it to.

I certainly do not believe that NUFC "never intended to build it". It was the SJH board that planned the new stadium, and the Shepherd board that planned the 'extended to 52,000 SJP'. Both were serious plans at the time, one succeeded.

There are many who were vehemently against these plans (often because they mistrusted SJH) and of course there were many in favour of them.

I certainly did not (and do not) regard "Castle Leazes Moor" as the most precious area of Town Moor land, but you have to be very careful before giving up a major open space like that.

The Town Moor thread often mentions the need to make better use of parts of the Moor, and (on balance) I think this would have done that.

From the perspective of our then 'big thinking' football club, I would have liked to see this development happen. But (personally) I just cannot tolerate the small minded thinking of our clubs current owner, so re-reading the very positive thoughts about our clubs place in the football world (in the club document that I got these scans from) has made me quite nostalgic for what I considered to be the "natural" way of thinking about NUFC, at the time . . .
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Old March 8th, 2010, 09:20 PM   #84
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Wow I have never seen them plans before, very interesting! Thanks for posting them NH!
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Old March 8th, 2010, 09:35 PM   #85
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would have been a fantastic site built on lets face it essentialy waste ground which is only used as a short cut by students and grazing for a few dozen cows, but the plans were scuppered by the small minded liberal blue rinse brigade (you know who you are),and shame on them for ruining a potentially very exciting "regeneration" of a VERY shabby and underused area.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 11:51 PM   #86
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Something else that was going on in the background at the same time was that NUFC were promoting alternative locations away from the City Centre. One of the sites that was actively considered was an area of land between Seghill and Annitsford - which at that time was in Blyth Valley Borough Council's area i.e. not the Newcastle City Council boundary. There were probably other sites in the mix too.

I'm fairly sceptical about how realistic these proposals were. I suspect the 'out of town' proposals were being used tactically to persuade the City Council and other interested parties to take a more sympathetic approach to the Leazes Park proposals i.e. to keep the club (and revenue) in the City.

There does seem to be a fear that Newcastle United may want to move out at some point. And I feel that it does add to the atmosphere of the City Centre that the football club is based there. One of my favourite cliches about Newcastle was quoted to me when I first came up here as a student:

"In most cities they build the cathedral on the highest ground, in Newcastle that's where they put the football ground"

(though I was intrigued by a comment on the retail thread that when Newcastle play at home on a Saturday it has a bad effect on the retail takings).


Edit - and by the way, great post again NH!
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Old March 8th, 2010, 11:56 PM   #87
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Their is still foundations somewhere in Byker of where they were going to build a stadium, also Gateshead was a possible location. On top of that they once proposed an 80,000 seater stadium in Washington that would of been shared with Sunderland.

I used to live in Castle Park in Backworth, and locals there say that the field behind the house I live in was once considerd as a possible location for a stadium, and the stadium would actually of been called "Castle Park". That field is right next to the A19 aswell, so maybe their was some trueth in it, though I very much doubt it.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 12:15 AM   #88
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Quote:
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Their is still foundations somewhere in Byker of where they were going to build a stadium...
I'd be intrigued to know where the potential site was in Byker. Any more info Chris?

It's not T Dan Smith's 'City Stadium' is it? (though I know that's nowhere near Byker as it's above the Ouseburn Culvert, so apologies if that's a silly question).

Coincidentally, where I live in Heaton is pretty close to one of the original football grounds of the two clubs that made up Newcastle United. Newcastle East End's ground was opposite the Chillingham Arms on Chilli Road i.e. the site that's now occupied by some horrible Persimmon Homes flats.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 01:14 AM   #89
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Very interesting proposals - thanks for sharing NH. I was familiar with the idea for a new stadium to be built BUT i dont recall seeing any images for it so its great to see.

The actual idea at the time interested me and i was hoping it would go through - the reason being i thought it would have improved that area overall, far better than it is now.

Also i absolutely love that the Stadium is in the city centre, its quite unique. A lot of people that visit newcastle and havnt visited the stadium before are always in awe when they go past it, they are surprised that it is basically in town and obviously its such a dominant structure
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Old March 9th, 2010, 01:19 AM   #90
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Also in the designes the two arches that you can see over the stadium are there to represent the river Tyne having world renouned bridges and are a symbol of the bridges.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 01:44 AM   #91
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I have to admit that I wouldn't be too upset to see a new stadium built on that site, personally... I wouldn't want to see Leazes Park ruined though so it would need to be pushed as far into the open field as possible.

Either way the stadium really must stay in or on the edge of the city centre...
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Old March 9th, 2010, 01:53 AM   #92
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Acording to my step father who told me about the stadium in Byker, based on his description that he gave me, and google maps, I have came to the conclusion that the stadium would of been built on a brown field site next to Foos Way and Turnstall Avenue, though I maybe wrong.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 01:57 AM   #93
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it was where Chillingham Garden Village is now, I think
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Old March 9th, 2010, 01:57 AM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigchrisfgb View Post
Acording to my step father who told me about the stadium in Byker, based on his description that he gave me, and google maps, I have came to the conclusion that the stadium would of been built on a brown field site next to Foos Way and Turnstall Avenue, though I maybe wrong.
I remember a newspaper article that listed, with photos, all of these potential ('red herring') sites.

Now, all I have to do is find it!!
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Old March 9th, 2010, 02:06 AM   #95
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Thanks for the feedback Chris. It would seem that it's near the B&Q at the top of Shields Road or next to Brough Park greyhound track. There's a lot of scrubby undeveloped brownfield land there which could have contained a stadium.

The idea that there are foundations in there for a stadium is interesting - I doubt it, but it's an interesting rumour. Stranger things have happened!
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Old March 9th, 2010, 11:01 AM   #96
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the leazes park proposals were amazing and im still a bit disappointed it never happened, even though i do like the current SJP. i remember the images posted on the door of our geography classroom in school. from what i recall the vast majority of people i knew were in favour. some of the opposition was a bit hysterical, and i seem to remember newcastle councillors who held season tickets being barred from deciding on this case, which to me was grossly unfair. as for other sites, gateshead stadium was considered, and maybe somewhere near the metro centre? also, newburn was another site looked, the 'lemington gut' area now a business park and HQ of one north east.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 11:35 AM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brybat View Post
would have been a fantastic site built on lets face it essentialy waste ground which is only used as a short cut by students and grazing for a few dozen cows, but the plans were scuppered by the small minded liberal blue rinse brigade (you know who you are),and shame on them for ruining a potentially very exciting "regeneration" of a VERY shabby and underused area.
I'm so glad these plans did not happen. It's not a "VERY shabby and underused area", it's one of the city's best assets! Newcastle has bags and bags of real 'waste' brownfield land, of which many sites could easily accommodate a new stadium. The presence of such a sizable green wedge extending from the edge of the city centre makes Newcastle really quite unique. I agree that these green spaces could perhaps be more extensively used, but as green spaces NOT development sites! I also think the use of these fields for cattle is actually really good for the city as well, so many people living in cities have no connection to or knowledge of agriculture whatsoever, this is one way of helping educate people. I'd actually like this to be capitalised on more.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 03:01 PM   #98
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Haven't you noticed a much larger green space about 200 yards to the north east of castle leazes?


Plenty room there for dog walkers and cows. I totally dissagree that castle leazes is not shabby it's extremely shabby and not needed at all,while i love leazes park now i think these plans would have really transformed that area and made the park a proper focal point for the city. Yes Newcastle is very lucky indeed to have so much green space but i for one would not have mourned the loss of probably the worst bit we have.i'm sure nobody would complain if they wanted to extend the park into castle leazes because we all know what a state it is in.

Do you mean HUNTERS MOOR?

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Old March 10th, 2010, 12:39 AM   #99
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I remember a newspaper article that listed, with photos, all of these potential ('red herring') sites.

Now, all I have to do is find it!!

Unfortunately, I couldn't find the newspaper article I was looking for, that listed all the sites that were said to have been considered.

I remember the 'headline' in the paper was "Howay the Lads to Gateshead!" (or something like that).

Anyway, I DID find this interesting article about a possible (but "unlikely") new site to build a new NUFC Stadium.

The proposals by the club (that we are currently discussing) are from June 1997, and the below plans are from the same era (December 1996) . .




.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 01:20 AM   #100
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As for that Gateshead-based stadium, it looks like someone got hold of an early version of AutoCAD and thought they'd have a laugh with it! Admittedly it'd be sad to have NUFC outside of the city of Newcastle, but Gateshead is hardly far and it might be quite cool to see fans streaming over the bridges to get there...

I can't really say what I think of the design though, it looks pretty rough there but 3D modelling packages were pretty poor in those days and I'm guessing it's little more than a concept. It has a vaguely cathedral-like look to it, which if done right could be pretty interesting.

Imagine a football stadium with spires and gargoyles! If it'd fit anywhere, it'd be Newcastle...
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