Gateshead

Gateshead International Stadium

Capacity: 11,800
Address: Neilson Road, Gateshead, NE10 0EF
Telephone: 0191 478 3883
Fax: 0191 440 0404
Pitch Size: 100 x 66 yards
Club Nickname: The Tynesiders or The Heed
Year Ground Opened: 1955
Home Kit: White and Black

Tyne and Wear Stand
Tyne and Wear Stand
East Stand
East Stand
South Stand
South Stand
North Stand
North Stand
Main Entrance
Main Entrance

The 11,800 capacity all-seater International Stadium is located in the east of Gateshead near the River Tyne. First built in 1955 it is primarily an athletics stadium that also houses the town's two major sporting clubs; Gateshead Football Club and Gateshead Thunder Rugby League Club. Until recently the only covered accommodation was in the Tyne & Wear Main Stand but a roof was constructed on the the adjacent East Stand during the summer of 2010. Behind both goals remain open and are usually unused on matchdays, although they have been utilised on big occasions. The stadium, which has a bowl-like effect, has a playing surface surrounded by an international standard athletics track   

The Tyne & Wear Main Stand on the west side is a large all seated covered stand, which has a capacity of 3,227. The angle of the stand is quite steep and it has windshields to either side. Although some distance from the pitch, the sight lines are very good. On one side of the Tyne & Wear Stand there is a covered Press Box while a new building was added to the south end of the stand in 2011. This incorporates a new stadium entrance, large cafe/bar area and, upstairs, new corporate and board room facilities. Opposite the Tyne & Wear Stand is the 4,044 capacity East Stand, which is another large sized bank of seating that is now under cover. Both ends of the ground are comprised of smaller banks of seating that are open to the elements. The stadium is completed by a set of four tall floodlights though further development will see this reduced to three.  

The International Stadium, while well appointed, is not a traditional British football stadium having the feel more of a European venue.

The Club have announced their intention to build a new purpose built stadium on the former site of the North Durham Rugby & Cricket Club in the centre of Gateshead opposite the Civic Centre.  The stadium will be covered on all four sides and of Football League standard, with a 7,000 capacity, including a 2,000 seated Main Stand. The stands on each side will be all seater with terracing behind both goals However no firm timescales have been announced as to when this might happen. An artists impression of how the new stadium will look can be found on the official Gateshead FC website.

Away fans are located in the large East Stand on one side of the stadium. This stand has a capacity of 4,000, more than ample for most conference teams away followings! The stand is covered, free of supporting pillars and so fans have an unobstructed view of the playing action. The facilities inside the stand are good, as well as the catering which offer a selection of Pies (£2.40), Pasties (£2.40) and Sausage Rolls (£1.70), plus Hot Dogs, Burgers and a range of hot and cold drinks at reasonable prices. However, the East Stand is well set back from the pitch, with eight lanes of the athletics track to contend with, before reaching the playing area. Plus with the home fans located in the opposite Main Stand, atmosphere can be at a premium, unless a large visiting contingent is in town.

Adam Hodson a visiting Stockport County fan adds; 'We sat in the East Stand, which I thought was pretty good with no obstructions and plenty of leg room. To get to the East Stand, walk anti-clockwise around the stadium from the main Tyne & Wear Stand, turn left and follow the pedestrian track until you get to the visitors entrance'.

There is a bar located inside the Main Stand, called the 'Stadium Bar' but unfortunately this is for home fans only. Probably the closest pub is the Schooner, which sits on the Banks of the River Tyne. Continue down Neilson Road, away from Park Road and towards the Tyne, cross Saltmeadows Road and head down South Shore Road, and the pub is down this road on the left. It's only a few minutes walk away. If arriving by train then it maybe a better idea to drink in the centre of Newcastle and then get the Metro out to the Gateshead Stadium Metro. Please note that alcohol is not made available to away fans in the East Stand.

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From the South (Quickest route):
At the end of the A1(M) Junction 65, take the A194(M) towards South Shields. At the end of the A194(M) take the A184 towards Gateshead. The stadium is situated three miles further along this road on the right hand side.
From the South (Taking in the Angel of the North):
Leave the A1 at the A167 turn off and take the A167 towards Gateshead South. You will pass the Angel of the North on your left hand side. On reaching the large roundabout at the junction with the A184, turn right onto the A184 itself. The stadium is further down the A184 on the left hand side. 

There are three free of charge car parks on the stadium site.

The stadium has its own Metro stop called Gateshead Stadium, which is a five minute walk away. This stop is around a ten minute journey away from Newcastle Central railway station, which is also the nearest mainline station. Adam Hosdon a visiting Stockport County fan informs me; 'Metro trains for Gateshead Stadium are bound for South Shields or South Hylton'. Whilst Jonathan Beverley a visiting Southport fan provides these walking directions; 'As you come out of the  Metro station, turn right, and just after you pass over the railway line turn right again onto a footpath which takes you straight through a new housing estate. Keep going straight ahead until you reach the main road, and the ground is just on the other side of the road over the pedestrian crossing'.

Remember if travelling by train then you can normally save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.

Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can save on the price of train tickets.

Click on the trainline logo below:

All areas of the Stadium*
Adults: £15
Over 60's: £10
Under 18's/Students £8
Under 16's £3

* Tickets purchased online get a £1 discount on the above prices.

Official Programme £3

Blyth Spartans and Darlington.

Gateshead FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website)

Record Attendance
11,750 v Newcastle United Friendly, August 7th 1995

Average Attendance
2015-2016: 949 (Conference Premier)
2014-2015: 1,179 (Conference Premier)
2013-2014: 886 (Conference Premier)

Gateshead v Chester
National League Premier
Saturday 6th August 2016, 3pm
David Williams (Chester fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Gateshead International Stadium?

The game was the first competitive of the season and an opportunity to see if those players who had pulled Chester away from relegation at the end of last season could maintain their form. It was also a chance to visit Newcastle. Unusually, I wasn't much looking forward to attending at a new stadium, as I've heard all about it and have seen games at athletic stadiums before.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I'd driven up the day before. Gateshead is about a three and a half hour drive from Chester, depending on road conditions, and the cross country rail journey costs an arm an a leg. I've previously rejected the supporters coach journey over the thought of the long drive back in the dark (probably dejected too, as Chester rarely do well there). So the journey to the ground was very simple. Just a matter of jumping on the Metro by the Grey monument and getting off three stops later. The ground is about 10-15 minutes of walking through a modern residential area then along an arterial road and over a footbridge. This seems to be a popular spot for taking distance photos of the stadium. It was an opportunity to reflect that we don't do modern stadiums very well in this country; presumably the athletics facilities attract a world audience, yet the Metro Station is a fairly basic place and not particularly close to. The walk is awkward and anonymous with nothing celebratory or distinctive about it.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

There seem to be no refreshment facilities in the immediate area, apart from the stadium kiosks and a McDonalds sign in the distance. Luckily central Newcastle is well provided, to say the least, with pubs and eateries and we spent lunchtime before the game in the Lord Grey overlooking the Monument.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Gateshead International Stadium?

The ground on first sight looked to be a typical identikit modern stadium. The away fans are housed at the side furthest from the road; the trek to get there and the sparseness of the crowd meant there was little chance to interact with the home fans. I'm sure this would have been enjoyable; throughout the weekend the legendary Geordie friendliness was very evident. The turnstiles give out to a wide concourse on which are sited the clean and modern toilets and the refreshment kiosks. I would have tried a pie at half-time, but by the time I got there they had sold out!

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The stewards were friendly enough. They had an outbreak of pyrotechnics to deal with, and did it tactfully. It is difficult for an atmosphere to build. The stand we were in holds 4,000, and there were 256 Chester fans. A tentative game resulted in a 3-0 loss for Chester, so there was little to get excited about. There were 741 Gateshead fans in the similar stand opposite, and they had a similar problem. However, I suspect that the steep pitch of the stands and the nature of the roofs might amplify the sound if things get going. certainly their cheers after the goals came over loud and clear. Watching the game was not as bad as I thought it might be. The chief problem is distance from the pitch (as well as the running track the away fans have the long-jump pit to contend with), but the depth of the stand means that it is possible to have a high vantage point. The leg room of the seats is better than most football grounds, and it was quite pleasant sitting there on a warm sunny day. I wouldn't like to be there on a cold damp Tuesday night in January though. Are Gateshead still planning to move grounds? They seem to struggle to build up the fanbase with what is generally a successful side, and it may be that the nature of the ground has a lot to do with it.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

The crowd of 991, the open site of the stadium and the nearby main road and station meant that the crowd dispersed very efficiently.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

The day was enjoyable enough, taking into account the result, but really the experience of match-going was enhanced by the proximity of Newcastle city centre rather than by the stadium and its surrounds.

Gateshead v Grimsby Town
Conference National League
Saturday 30th January 2016, 3pm
Kevin Dixon (Grimsby Town fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Gateshead International Stadium?

It is usually a good game between these two clubs, plus the Gateshead Stadium is another ground I have not yet visited.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Simple drive from Grimsby, across to Ferrybridge, and straight up the A1. Distance about 160 miles, but dual carriageway/motorway all the way. The last little bit into Gateshead itself was a bit slow, but easy enough to find the stadium. There is a decent sized free car park for away fans just behind the ground, which is a bonus.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly? 

I'd already had a sandwich at Durham Services, so didn't need to eat. As I turned into the road alongside the ground, the Police were escorting our fans from the station, and there was a large Police presence with horses and dogs. There is a bit of bad blood between the clubs for some reason, which is unusual in this league, most places being very friendly. Unfortunately it seems that the better we are doing, the more idiots come out of the woodwork.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Gateshead Stadium?

Being an athletics stadium first and foremost, it does not lend itself very well to football. The athletics track around the pitch means you are a long way from the action. Our fans were housed in the East Stand, which is an all seated covered area holding up to 4000, although the outer ends were closed off to us. The home fans sit in the Tyne and Wear Stand opposite, which appears to hold a similar number. The ends are both open seating areas which were not in use for this game.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

It was a very blustery cold day, which was not conducive to good football, and the pitch was a bit bumpy. Gateshead scored after three minutes, and that turned out to be the only goal of the game. Having seen some really good games between us over the last few seasons, this was a big disappointment, spoiled mainly by the weather.We had a great turnout of 1,004 fans in a total of 2,174, comfortably their biggest attendance of the season. There was plenty of noise from both sides of the stadium, although the stands are so far apart that the atmosphere generated is not like a normal football ground. The stewards and Police outside the away turnstiles were friendly and chatty, obviously a different bunch to those described by a previous Grimsby reviewer. There was a massive queue for food, so lucky I had already eaten. It looked like standard football ground burgers and pies. There was also a huge queue for the toilets, which again I didn't require.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

A bit of a wait to get out of the car park, and then back onto the main road at the traffic lights, but I wasn't in a hurry, so not a problem. Steady drive home, with a quick coffee stop at Wetherby Services, back in Grimsby at 8.30 pm.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Not a stadium I would be in a hurry to visit again.I prefer the smaller enclosed grounds much more, but at least I can tick another one off the list.

Gateshead v Grimsby Town
Conference Premier League
Saturday August 23rd, 2014, 3pm
Glynn Sharkey (Grimsby Town fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

It's across the water from Newcastle, a fine city well worth exploring. A day there really isn't enough but I've had the pleasure of the place many times and I was strapped for time off work. We also owed the "Heed" as Gateshead FC are called, for our play off nightmare last season, if only I had known what was to come....

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

A cheap timed ticket for seven notes saw me catching the 6.10am from Doncaster arriving in Newcastle at 7.30am. Metro card bought, that was me ready for the day.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

I had a walk down to the riverside then crossed the Tyne to Gateshead via the Redheugh bridge where I  found a Wetherspoons, The Tilly Stone. It was only 8.30am and was told they didn't serve beer until 9am so I settled for a bacon roll and cuppa. I then walked back to Newcastle over the Tyne Bridge (a truly magnificent structure)  and descended a myriad of steps to the quayside where funnily enough is a Wetherspoons called The Quayside. Being 9.30 I called in to order a pint, but it seems each side of the river have different opening times - 10am in Newcastle! I cut my losses and headed back into the city centre.

Newcastle Quayside

Newcastle Quayside

Just after 10am I met my mate Dave in the Union Rooms Wetherspoons for brekky and a few pints. We had a great deal of amusement watching the "homeless" beggars get on their mobile as soon as the heavens opened, shortly followed by a white van to pick them up. After the deluge we hit a few more pubs then made our way to Gateshead on the Metro.

Newcastle is notorious for stag dos but I had to take my hat off to the lad in the green dinosaur onesie, he was still wearing it when I saw him again on the Sunday evening!

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

It's a ten minute walk to the ground from the stadium Metro stop, through a small housing estate but well signposted. Although I have been here many times I'm not keen on the ground. It's an athletics stadium after all and in my opinion not perfect for football. Oval shaped in a bowl with a wide running track around the pitch, the side stands are far away from where you are sat. If you are unlucky enough to be in the ends behind goal (like we were last season for the play off game) it is even further away due to all sorts of athletic jumps.

The first time I came to this stadium was for a Rod Stewart concert and I was a lot closer to the pitch, probably around the centre circle.
                  
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The stewards always seem a little over zealous for my liking, the locals seemed a little unfriendly with the usual I can smell fish comments and the odd barge into you when passing. There seems to be a bit of rivalry developing between the two clubs for some reason. Walking to the Metro there was a fair few police running full pelt back towards the stadium and I heard there had been a bit of handbags. But anyhow a 6-1 win to Grimsby didn't really make up for last season especially since we could and should have had at least double that. We weren't that good, it was Gateshead that were so poor.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Straight back to the Metro and onto the Centurion at Newcastle station, some of the lads eventually drifted off on their trains and a few of us nipped into town. I was meeting my mate Neil in the Centurion at 10pm and staying at his in Sunderland, He'd got me a ticket for the Sunderland v Manchester Utd game the next day. So it was a pub crawl from Seaburn Metro station to his place rounding off a long day.
                  
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Roker seafront to clear my head first thing Sunday morning followed by a smoked salmon and champagne brekky set me up for the day. Neil and I dragged his girlfriend for a few pre-match beers then onto The Stadium of Light.

Less than 1,800 at Gateshead the day before compared to a large sold out stadium is as far apart as it gets but I really didn't see much difference in the quality of the football. Maybe I'm just biased.

I got home about 11pm that night and crashed out after a brilliant weekend of mates and football. Gateshead should be a must do for anyone, if not for the ground then definitely for the delights of the North East.

Why not write your own review of the Gateshead International Stadium and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

Updated 23rd August 2016

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