St James Park - The Games Venue Guide
The London 2012 Olympic Games will bring nine football matches to Newcastle’s iconic St James' Park stadium, the series of fixtures including quarter-finals in both the women’s and men’s tournament.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) have selected a number of new and established venues across London and around the rest of Great Britain in order to make the Games more accessible to the general public. The size of the stadiums selected and the number of fixtures involved in the Olympic football competitions in particular will give plenty of fans a chance to attend the Games.
St James’ Park is one of six venues hosting the London 2012 Olympic Football tournament, the others being Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, the City of Coventry Stadium, Hampden Park in Glasgow, Manchester’s Old Trafford and Wembley Stadium in London.
The ground has been home to Newcastle United since 1892, although football has been played on the site since 1880, with Newcastle Rangers and Newcastle West End the tenants before Newcastle East End moved in and changed their name to United.
Since then St James' has been the subject of many battles with the local council as the football club have tried to increase the capacity of the stadium. One such row cost Newcastle the chance to be a venue for the 1966 World Cup. However, when Euro 96 came along, there were no such problems and St James' hosted three group games.
It has also staged seven England internationals and numerous pop concerts.
The stadium was recently renamed the Sports Direct Arena after owner Mike Ashley's company while United look for a ground sponsor, but that move did not go down well with Newcastle fans, who still refer to it as St James' Park - and that will be its title during the Games because of the International Olympic Committee's sponsorship rules.
Public facilities: The Games Mobility service will be present, plus there is a London 2012 Shop. There will also be London 2012 information points for venue and sports information, transport updates, lost and found services and pushchair and wheelchair storage.
History: The ground has been home to Newcastle United since 1892, although football has been played on the site since 1880.
What’s on? Football (July 26th, 29th, 31st, August 1st, 3rd and 4th)
How do you get there? Newcastle Central station is a 15 minute walk from St James Park and the station has direct rail from London King’s Cross, Birmingham and Edinburgh.
If you are using the metro Monument and Haymarket are the two closest stops, at about ten minutes walking distance from the venue. St. James’ Park is also well served by local bus links. Park-and-ride is also available for the stadium.
Location – in relation to other venues: In the centre of Newcastle, St James Park is around 280 miles north of the Olympic Park in London.