Newcastle has looked into increasing the capacity of its stadium, St James’ Park. However, that could come at a cost, both financially and socially. Currently, St James’ Park holds a maximum of 52,305, which makes it the seventh-biggest stadium in the Premier League.

With wealthy owners and an impressive performance in the most recent campaign, the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund owners are ready to invest more money to expand the club’s facilities. Club co-owner Mehrdad Ghodoussi has plans to bump the capacity up to 65,000. In doing so, Newcastle would have the second-biggest stadium in the Premier League based on capacity.

The most likely place for development would be the stadium’s East Stand. Even though Newcastle’s owners did purchase land behind the Gallowgate End sparked rumors of expansion on the south end of the stadium. Still, expansion is a very real possibility for the Magpies.

If expansion is to happen, there may be threats to the atmosphere around St James Park. As of now, fans are effectively right on the pitch, giving Newcastle’s stadium an edge over other stadiums.

Newcastle debates stadium capacity against game atmosphere

NewcastleWorld spoke to architecture firm Sadler Brown about the potential Newcastle has for stadium expansion. The group said any steps the club wants to take should err on the side of caution.

“Larger stadiums have different relationships between the pitch and the spectators,” Sadler Brown said. “Sometimes the tension of the close connection between players and fans adds to the sense of theatre and heightens the sensory experience and atmosphere which could be at risk if the stadium expands too much.”

Getting mood and atmosphere right is crucial according to Sadler Brown. Manchester United, Manchester City, West Ham and Arsenal all have massive stadiums. Yet, each has faced complaints over a lack of atmosphere because the fans are not as involved as they were before.

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