nufcfans270compA couple of lads were debating on Twitter last night as to whether the current upturn in attitude and feelgood factor will see Ashley consider extending the capacity at St James’ Park.

I know, we are a winning club in the Championship who’ve been on a high for 6 months. But it was actually a good point they made.

Personally I don’t see it happening as the return on such an investment takes time and Ashley is all about the quick buck.

However, if ever anyone needed proof of just how big this club can be, just look at how things are going right now off the field.

Over 50k every home game to watch rather average football against some poor/average teams.

A near 50k crowd for a midweek league cup tie. Unheard of ANYWHERE. Not just here.

Maybe in years gone by some clubs may have got good crowds for the later rounds, but never at this stage. See what the other “big” clubs throw up tonight and tomorrow.

Proof that a team and a club worth watching captures the imagination of the whole fanbase.

Get promoted and start competing again and the sky really is the limit for us. A capacity in the region of 60k would sell out most weeks. It also gives the option to reduce prices but generate the same income. After all, fans in the ground spend money, which ,makes profits in other ways.

Also, throw in the pending relegation for our local rivals. If they struggle to get back up, there will be thousands of kids in the border areas between the clubs who will look to support the best of the local sides. US. Should we be turning fans away?

To use the phrase one of the lads used last night, “If you build it, they will come”

All unlikely really and a bit of fantasy but certainly something that proves the interest in this club is certainly not on the slide. It’s healthier than its been in years and its killing other clubs fans having to admit it.

Well, unless your one of the so-called “best fans in the country” at Villa!!

What do you think? As ever, we would welcome your comments, opinions and views below.

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  • MickG

    The sad thing is that Sir John Hall wanted to build a brand new 60,000 stadium in Leazes Park way back in the 90’s – but was stopped by objections from local residents, not one of whom had a geordie accent when they were interviewed on the telly!
    So we ended up with our current lop-sided stadium.
    Sir John wanted to eventually expand the Gallowgate end but it looks like Ashley is just going to build shops n stuff there instead. Pity.

  • Watson williamson

    Would love to see it but not going to happen with Ashley in charge

  • SirLes9

    Its still quite easy to incorporate the basic foundations for expansion in to whatever Ashley has planned for Strawberry place.
    I also believe that the council have said that the planned development will not prevent expansion.
    Get the council to state at the planning application stage that the site is earmarked for future stadium growth and that there can be no complaint at a later date about development works etc.
    Student accommodation, yes, more of it, is what has been planned. That being the case, are students likely to be that bothered what is outside their window? They will spend a year or two here then move on. It won’t be a life long problem for them.
    It would be interesting to see a joint venture with both developments carried out at the same time, causing less of a problem than constructing when people are living close by.

    As for moving to a new stadium years ago, not for me.
    I would prefer a 60k SJP than a new meccano stadium elsewhere. Even if it will always be lopsided.

  • mactoon

    Without the Strawbwerry Place option the only other option is to extend the East Stand. Unfortunately it backs onto listed buildings which prevents this from happening, hence the lop sided appearance

  • SirLes9

    Has there ever been a figure put on the cost of redeveloping the Gallowgate end?
    I seem to remember years ago it was talked about as being a difficult construction task and costing somewhere in the region of £25 million. As I say, that was a fair few years ago. I would guess that cost would now be double.
    So assuming that would add an extra 6000 seats at £500 per season, it would take 17 years to pay for itself at the current ticket rate.
    Great for us fans who would like to see it happen, but I guess a non starter for someone only in it for profit.

  • MickG

    Think the construction “challenges” were to do with the metro underground tunneling being underneath and also straddling the road behind the Gallowgate whilst keeping it there in the long-term. But seem to remember Freddie Shepherd had the design work done and the plan was there.

  • SirLes9

    It’s only a 2 lane road so that can’t be a major obstacle. Look at the space beneath the Leazes End. Plenty room under there for 2 lanes I reckon.
    Understand the situation with the Metro, but again, its far from impossible.
    Construction techniques are amazing these days and there would be no problems at all.
    Also, if you look at the aerial view of SJP, there is a load of room behind the stand and it wouldn’t need to go anywhere near any planned developments. It wouldn’t even be near to the Strawberry Pub.