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Around the Grounds: Newcastle Falcons
The home of rugby in the north east
Posted Jul 28, 2011 by Chris White
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When Newcastle Falcons moved into Kingston Park back in 1990, they had a dream of making the big time, reaching the bright lights of Premiership rugby. Since making that dream a reality, the club and the stadium look as though they have been part of top-flight rugby for decades.
Previously, and under the name of Newcastle Gosforth, the club played their home games at the Newcastle Chronicle and Journal Sports Ground in the Kingston Park suburb of the city. The 10,200-capacity stadium is owned by Northumbria University – who bought it from former club sponsors Northern Rock – and it is leased back to the club.
Newcastle became the first professional rugby club in the world back in 1995, under the stewardship of Sir John Hall, and the club were promoted at the end of that season to the Premiership. In their first season, Newcastle won the Premiership and have remained in the top flight ever since.
As the club improved, both on the field and financially, their facilities also needed a facelift. The West stand is the newest and most modern, playing host to the club’s corporate clients and Premier Club members. The press box and stadium control rooms are also located here. The bar on the ground floor of the stand runs the entire length of the field; meaning queuing at half time is often very short, or even non-existent.
The East Stand is where the club’s offices and changing rooms are located, along with the Hiding Place Sports and Lounge Bar, which is open to the public seven days a week. This was the only stand already on the site when the club made the move over, and still features the ticket office and club shop that were in place too.
The John Smith’s Stand is the sheltered standing end at the south of the ground, which has a vocal reputation, with the noise reverberating around all areas of the ground, particularly at the big games. The bar in the stand is one of the most popular with the supporters, of both the home and away sides.
The North Stand is the only uncovered area of the ground, providing the most easily accessible area for fans, with the cheapest tickets. Plans are in place to add a roof to the stand as part of the club’s continuing development of Kingston Park.
The ground remains the second smallest in the Premiership, and, unfortunately, the average attendance has been dropping in recent seasons, down to around 4,500. This is mainly due to the club’s fight against relegation, which hasn’t been helped by players such as Jonny Wilkinson leaving the club.
Ground Address: Kingston Park Stadium, Brunton Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE13 8AF