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Newcastle to trial safe standing at St James’ Park next season

A 1,800-capacity section will be enabled at SJP for the 2023-24 season

Southampton v Newcastle United - Premier League - St. Mary’s Stadium Photo by Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images

Newcastle United announced on Monday that the club will trial safe standing at St James’ Park for the 2023-24 season starting next August.

According to the official release, the Magpies will enable a 1,800-capacity section for fans to enjoy games standing at SJP from next season on as part of a trial. This new section will be located in the southeastern corner, while a similar area will be opened for away supporters in the Leazes End.

The news arrived after other Premier League clubs already opened similar sections this season, including Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham, Wolverhampton, and Brentford.

This is a trend that is only growing by the day, with the Spurs leading this type of trial by creating a safe-standing area back in the 2021-22 season along with Chelsea, and later joined by multiple other organizations around the Premier League landscape. In fact, UEFA itself announced a trial for safe standing at the start of this season with clubs from England, Germany, and France already participating in it.

The club’s release also informed about a survey taken by over 4,000 fans to discuss this proposal. It also revealed that 75 percent of those polled voted in favor of enabling a safe-standing area at SJP.

Supporters with tickets in the section will be given the opportunity to opt out of the trial if that’s their preference.

Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge became the first top-flight ground to allow licensed standing in almost 30 years as part of a trial in January 2022, followed by Tottenham shortly after.

Since 1994, grounds in England were banned from featuring standing crowds and thus required by law to have all-seater stands in their stadiums. No need to mention that is all because of the Hillsborough disaster from 1989 when 97 fans died following a crush.

Newcastle won’t feature these areas until next season, though, with their next pressing meeting a match against Carabao Cup winners Man Utd next Sunday, Apr. 2nd, after returning from the international break and the warm-weather training camp the rest of the lads are currently at.