Planning under way for Strawberry Place fan zone

Newcastle United have commenced the planning application process for a brand new fan zone at Strawberry Place in partnership with STACK and the club’s front-of-shirt partner, Sela.

An initial planning application has now been lodged with Newcastle City Council, with a proposed fan zone to be constructed in two phases to extend the site over a ground floor and first floor.

The fan zone will not only introduce a thriving food, drink and entertainment option for supporters visiting matches at St. James’ Park, it will also create a bustling midweek leisure and social destination that has become synonymous with the STACK brand.

Built using repurposed shipping containers around a central plaza and main stage area, the new site will attract people of all ages, with carefully curated events and attractions designed for families.

Delivering an immersive experience

The main stage, complete with a big screen, will be designed to deliver an immersive experience for live entertainment and broadcasting sporting events, while there will be six bars and ten street food units.

Newcastle United’s Head of Supporter Services, Sarah Medcalf, is one of 40+ industry executives sitting on the ALSD International Advisory Board and will be joining us for the event this October.

Newcastle United Football Club is continuing to work with STACK through the planning process, with Sela – the club’s front-of-shirt partner and a world-class events and experiences company – providing expert guidance.

Subject to planning and licensing being granted, it is hoped the fan zone will be open before the end of the year, with an initial lifespan of three years as the club explores potential uses for the site.

The fan zone will complement recent development projects around the Strawberry Place site, which sits in the shadow of the stadium’s Gallowgate End. The land, which was recently acquired by the club, was previously a car park and was most recently used to accommodate materials for nearby construction projects.

Economic and employment opportunities

It is anticipated the fan zone will create a host of economic and employment opportunities for the city centre, attracting local businesses as both vendors and suppliers, and stimulating additional footfall for neighbouring businesses and services.

The site will also create 150 full-time and part-time jobs, with Newcastle United Foundation’s employability programme – NU Futures – forging links with the fan zone to give local people new opportunities.

NU Futures is a powerful collaboration between Newcastle United Foundation, North of Tyne Combined Authority, leading local businesses, schools, and other high-quality education and training partners. It supports young people to develop the skills and attributes needed to progress and succeed in the world of work and the fan zone will provide a key pathway for young people to secure employment.

ALSD International 2023 will take place at Manchester City Football Club’s Etihad Stadium, October 9-10. Optimising revenue through New Builds, Renovations & Service Expansions is the key focus of this industry-leading event, with architecture & design, fan experience, hospitality, premium sales & service, sustainability and technology taking centre stage.

A community consultation process will begin in due course, giving supporters and the wider public an opportunity to see the plans in detail.

Enhancing the experience

Newcastle United’s Darren Eales said:

Our fan zone is aimed at enhancing the experience not just for supporters visiting matches and big events at the stadium, but for people visiting the city centre seven days a week.

Submitting initial plans is just the first stage and there are a lot of steps in the process, but we are excited to continue working with our commercial and city partners to create something that will really add social and economic value to the location.

Neill Winch, CEO of STACK, said:

The joint venture with Newcastle United to create a fan zone in the city centre is exciting for many reasons, not least of which is the coming together of two great North East brands.

We believe this development is going to be a huge asset, not just to the club and its amazing fans, but to the city as a whole.

While STACK is now growing to become a national chain, the fact that our very first venture was in Newcastle means it has a special place in our affections.

We are delighted to be working with the club and Sela to provide a ‘best in class’ experience for fans and the community, not only on match days, but every day of the week.

Source & imagery, courtesy: NUFC

Sports Venue Business organises and delivers ALSD International – the leading event and 365 community for the Premium Seat & Hospitality sector – on behalf of the Association of Luxury Suite Directors (ALSD).

ALSD International 2023 is taking place at Etihad Stadium this October, with venue tours complimenting the high-level conference, exhibition and networking events. This year’s edition will feature the inaugural Tech Symposium and a Fan Experience breakout being delivered by IIFX.

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