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
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Tynesiders or The Heed
Year Ground Opened: 1955
Undersoil Heating: No
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 stadium is primarily an athletics stadium that also houses the town’s two major sporting clubs; Gateshead FC and Gateshead Thunder Rugby League Club. 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 two storey structure which includes a large cafe/bar area, plus corporate and boardroom 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. These ends are normally not used for football matches.

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 in the National League! 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 offers 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, the 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. It has up to six real ales on tap and serves food too. To find this pub then continue down Neilson Road (to the left of the main stadium entrance), away from Park Road and towards the Tyne. Then 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 may be 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. 

Car Parking
There are three car parks at the stadium which are free to use.

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'.

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All areas of the Stadium
Adults: £15
Newcastle United/Sunderland Season Ticket Holders* £10
Over 60's £8
Students £5
Under 16's £3
Under 12's Free**
Family Ticket (2 Adults + 2 Under 16's) £25

* Doesn't apply to cup games
** Under 12's need to be accompanied by a paying adult.

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
2017-2018: 853 (National League)
2016-2017: 910 (National League)
2015-2016: 949 (National League)

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Gateshead v Leyton Orient
National League
Saturday 25th August 2018, 3pm
Graeme Whitton (Leyton Orient)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Gateshead International Stadium?
 
I've followed Orient for many years but now live in Edinburgh, so I was looking forward to an away game fairly close to home as well as visiting a new ground.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
Really easy to find. Train to Newcastle, then two stops on the Metro and a 10 minute walk to the ground.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I had a couple of beers in Newcastle City Centre first. There are loads of bars near the station and then a short trip to Gateshead. I didn't really have any contact with home fans but, from a distance, they seemed a fairly mellow bunch
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Gateshead International Stadium?
 
It was pretty much what I expected. The seating area for away fans was good with excellent sight lines but the distance from the pitch was a bit off-putting. Plus some of the seats could've done with a good clean!
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The game was okay. Dull in patches but overall a decent game. The atmosphere was a bit lacking. Catering facilities were pretty good, a decent selection of hot snacks and drinks and they didn't run out. The stewards were excellent, friendly and chatty.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Easy to find the ground and equally easy to get away afterwards. A short walk back to the Metro station.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Overall, a pleasant day out at a nice location though because of the athletics track it's always going to be difficult to generate much atmosphere.

Gateshead v Dover Athletic
National League
Saturday 11th August 2018, 3pm
Brian Scott (Neutral)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Gateshead International Stadium?
 
I’d been leaving a visit to Gateshead for a number of years, hoping to see them in the Football League, but they haven’t been able to make it. So I decided a visit was needed this season.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
My train journey up north from Ipswich went very well and I arrived in Newcastle at 12 noon. With time to spare I took the tram out to the coast at South Shields. I had my sandwiches sitting looking over the Tyne towards North Shields. It looked a nice place.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
Back on the tram, and I arrived at the ground at 2.15. I’d expected to pay £10 for a senior but it was only £8. Everything was very relaxed with no problems. I could sit in any seat except the padded ones.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Gateshead International Stadium?
 
Over the last year or two I’ve been to some quite small non-league grounds, so this was quite large by comparison. Although it is an athletics stadium I didn’t feel it made any difference so I hope that the idea of a new ground is put ‘on hold’ permanently. The 31 Dover fans were easily accommodated in the East Stand. Considering it’s the start of the season I was disappointed in the condition of the pitch at the north end apart from the goalmouth which had recently been re-turfed.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The home fans made a good amount of noise despite going a goal down after 25 minutes when Dover scored with a header from a corner. 9 minutes later Gateshead equalised with a very similar goal. They got all three points by scoring in the 86th minute. The attendance was 693.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
The walk back to the Metro is very straightforward and I was easily in time to catch the 17.25 back to Peterborough and then into East Anglia.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Another National League club ticked off the list. Newly promoted Salford should be next.

Gateshead v Motherwell
Pre-Season Friendly
Saturday 8th July 2017, 12noon
Christopher Godwin (Motherwell fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Gateshead International Stadium?
 
I was looking forward to this match as it was my first opportunity to see how well Motherwell were shaping up for the new season. I was born in Gateshead and my family moved up to Motherwell way back in 1986 when I was only two, so I have a soft spot for them. I've always admired Gateshead as a whole club and area because of the reasons explained above and I couldn't wait to make the trip.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
I made a weekend of it, leaving Motherwell at 2pm on the Friday arriving at Gateshead for just after 5pm which wasn't too bad. I spent the Friday with family before staying in the Hilton Hotel in Gateshead which is only a five minute drive to the ground. The Gateshead International Stadium is easy to find as it is clearly signed posted within the local area. On nearing it you will see a McDonald's / traffic lights continue then you'll be at the ground. Gateshead have about four free car parks for people to use I was made aware the night before that you need to get there early because they are full within no time.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
Before the match, I bought a match programme and used the cafe facilities at the club reception which sold cheap grub. Then I went to the Schooner which is a local pub near the stadium which was very welcoming towards the Motherwell fans.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Gateshead International Stadium?
 
Gateshead International Stadium is better than I expected especially with it being an athletics stadium. I thought it looked good.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The atmosphere was okay. It wasn't full voice but it was friendly so was expected. The stewards and club staff: were also friendly towards all fans and you could sense the family atmosphere straight away which is a main factor in attending a football match. The facilities were good for a non-league side I've seen worse at bigger stadiums I've attended over the years such as the local clubs in the North East area as well as Scotland. It has to be up with some of the best grounds in the British game.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Easy, honestly, no trouble or nothing. I would go again.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
I loved it even though got beat 3-2! I would happily pay to go again it was well worth the money.

Gateshead v Bromley
FA Trophy Semi Final 2nd leg
Saturday 24th March 2018, 3.10pm
Simon Lawson (Newcastle United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the ground itself?
 
Even though Gateshead is my home town club I had never been able to get there to watch them play. All I've ever been able to do is listen to the odd heed army podcast here and there because of work commitments. I am also a season ticket holder at Newcastle United so getting the time to watch Gateshead comes very rarely.
 
This match was massive not only for the club but for the area and the same applied to Bromley because it was a perfect opportunity to take the advantage of seeing your team walk out at the national stadium Wembley, which is a proud moment for any football fan. I have visited Gateshead International Stadium many times as they have a cafe there as well as hosting other events.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
As Gateshead is my local side I already knew how to get to the stadium, but for any fans going to Gateshead International Stadium for their very first time I would suggest to get to the ground early and soak in the atmosphere. If driving you can use any of the on site car parks for free.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
Before the match, I visited family members who live directly opposite the stadium for a cuppa and walked back over to the ground for some grub and a match day programme before I went into the ground. Before I bought some merchandise at the club stall, I followed some youths up into the ground made all the noise straight away I could tell they were the "clothesline" the passion/pride was high for both sets of fans and I never came across anyone that wasn't polite.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?
 
My first impression of seeing the ground from pitch side was how are not Gateshead in the Football League? I've waited for this moment for awhile now and was amazed by the structure of the stadium, I know that a majority say that there's a running track but It did not spoil the experience for me anyway. I was sat in the main Tyne & Wear Stand near to the press area, including the BBC Local Radio commentator, which I could hear at sorting points within the match. The crowd level was way above average, with over 2,000 fans in attendance, when Gateshead usually get 800 is impressive I just hope that those who went on the day go back again in the near future.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The match didn't go as planned for Gateshead going 1-0 down inside the first five minutes, Bromley stuck to their game plan while it looked as though Gateshead didn't have a plan B. The fans were fully behind the team for the whole match and Gateshead came out at halftime a completely different side and Scott Barrow scored the best goal I've ever seen at any level and that includes the Premier League. Nice tidy bang into the net the crowd went wild. All of the staff at the ground from the programme seller to the steward's you couldn't fault them very helpful and even made me want to go back again the near future enjoyed the full match experience even though we lost.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
I've never been to a game where I could get straight out of the ground without being pushed and shoved. Getting away from this ground was easy.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
It was my first match before long it will be my second and so on, because I'll be back I've seen enough to make me want to go back before the match even kicked off. Gateshead should not be in the Conference and the future looks bright under Steve Watson.

Gateshead v Solihull Moors
National League
Tuesday 13th March 2018, 7:45pm
Jamie (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Gateshead International Stadium?
 
I was looking forward to this match because I have a very keen interest in non-league football and have watched many non-league sides. Gateshead was a club which I have never had the chance to go and watch, I know that Gateshead has a proud history. The stadium is something which I have heard good and bad things about some say it looks like a European stadium more than an English football ground. I had to find out for myself.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
The journey was fairly easy it took about two hours to get from Yorkshire. The Gateshead International Stadium is easy enough to find as it is signed posted as well as been near to the town centre. Car parking was excellent. Gateshead provide free parking for all fans which was a credit especially when you make a very long journey.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I traveled up to the North East at lunchtime and got there for roughly two o'clock. As Gateshead is only on the opposite side of the water to Newcastle I spent most of the time there before I made the journey into Gateshead itself. The home fans were excellent even though the majority seemed to be local youths who were a credit to their club, making the noise didn't cause any trouble etc..
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Gateshead International Stadium?
 
My first impression of seeing the ground was that I could straight away tell it is an athletics ground it has that look about it from the outside. As I walked around to the away end you could see the sports college. My first impression as I entered the stadium I was taken back because it looked excellent compared to what I had heard.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The match was bang average the referee made some harsh choices sending Greenwood off for the home side after just 11 minutes. It certainly didn't look a red card to me. The atmosphere was decent Gateshead made most of the noise as it looked as though Solihull only had roughly 20 fans. Still a good following for a long midweek  Tuesday night non-league game. The stewards at Gateshead were decent. I didn't have any food as I had food at McDonalds beforehand although the food which Gateshead were selling look liked standard burger van grub. The facilities were what you would expect from a non league side.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
After the match, the crowd went there separate ways creating noise. Once I had got back to my car it was easy enough to drive away from the stadium.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
I would go again and hopefully, more will follow great stadium to watch football great fans great atmosphere. I would go again if I had the chance, Gateshead fans are a real credit to their club and should be proud.

Gateshead v Leyton Orient
FA Trophy 4th Round Replay
Tuesday 6th March 2018, 7.45pm
John Watson (Leyton Orient fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Gateshead International Stadium?
 
I was looking forward to this match because I was at the previous game between the two sides, which was a really entertaining match, ending in a 3-3 draw and hence this replay. I was looking forward to visiting the Gateshead International Stadium as it was a stadium which I have never visited before and have heard good and bad things about. With the stadium being close to Newcastle I also planned on going there too.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
A long journey there, but finding the stadium was very easy as it is clearly signed posted, as well as being near to the town centre of Gateshead. The car park was way better than expected as it was straight on site.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
Before the match, I visited Newcastle. I spent some of the day discovering the city and then going on a stadium tour of St James Park. I also went to the Discovery Museum, as well as paying the Quayside a visit. As it got closer to kick off I bought a hot dog from the stadium which was well worth the money. The Gateshead fans were excellent even when Leyton Orient were getting beat 2-0, so a credit to their club. Orient did pull it back to 2-2, before the home grabbed a third to win the match.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Gateshead International Stadium?
 
The ground is different as it is an athletic stadium. This is different to the stadiums which I have paid a visit to other the years. How aren't they in the Football League? The stadium and fans I'd highly rate.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The feeling of a cup tie was in the air atmosphere was bouncing from both sides home and away. Stewards were excellent had time for all the fans.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Getting away from the stadium was easier than I expected fans seemed to disappear quickly.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Gateshead deserve to be in the Football League. I would easily go again and well worth it even if Leyton Orient did lose 3-2 the better side won on the day. I hope Gateshead go on and win the trophy! I now have a massive respect for the Gateshead club and fans.

Gateshead v Leyton Orient
FA Trophy 4th Round Replay
Tuesday 6th March 2018, 7.45pm
Duncan (Neutral fan)

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

I was looking forward to visiting Gateshead International Stadium because it's different from all other grounds in the National League with it being an athletic stadium. I was looking forward to this match because I've been keeping a close eye on Gateshead because their manager Steve Watson was one of my favourite players growing up and also because I've heard how great this club is as a family club.

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

Finding the ground was easy especially since I only live less than 30 minutes from the ground. As I had gathered from the majority of fans that you have to get down there ground early to be guaranteed a car parking bay.

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

Before the match, I went to a few of the local pubs in the area soaked in the atmosphere and went to get some grub from McDonald's. The majority of my friends support Newcastle and Gateshead so I went to the match with them and the home fans were excellent towards everyone. The younger fans were really polite towards the away fans pointing them in the right direction and also making the noise in the stadium. Gateshead deserve to be a Football League side gathering more and more crowds instead of the majority being teenagers.

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

I have been to the Gateshead ground before to use other facilities but have never seen the pitch. When watching the match you seem to be miles from the action but can see everything in detail. The ground I would describe as being modern compared to most lower league grounds.

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

The match was an excellent typical cup match had all the action from goals to laughter. The atmosphere was good with great chants from start to finish from both sets of fans. Gateshead provided excellent services for the fans making it one of the affordable teams to go and watch in the North East everything is at a low price from tickets to food. the steward's at Gateshead are also very great towards the fans making sure everything is running smoothly.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away from the stadium was busy but once I got out of the car park at the ground it was a smooth journey back home.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Would go again.Gateshead are a very good affordable club for all fans. Its a shame that more fans don't go through the gates on a match day.

Gateshead v Maidstone United
FA Trophy 3rd Round
Tuesday 6th February 2018, 7.45pm
Geoff (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Gateshead International Stadium?
 
I was looking forward to the match as I am a very enthusiastic fan of non-league football, so it was also an excellent opportunity to visit Newcastle and see many iconic destinations such as the Quayside, Tyne Bridge, St James Park etc. Plus the fact that the Gateshead International Stadium would be a new ground ticked off the list as I had never been there before.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
I had about a three hour drive from Chorley, the traffic on the A1 was moving to what I would call an expected pace. When driving up the A1 you see the Angel of the North to your right which I had to pull over to get an excellent glimpse. The Gateshead International Stadium is easy to find and cheap as it gets as is parking free, in the clubs car park.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
Before the match, I visited the Angel of the North, St James' Park and the Quayside. I was really impressed by what I saw. When it got closer to kick off I drove into Gateshead and parked at the stadium itself. I then quickly went to McDonalds which is less than five minute walk from the stadium. I came across a few home fans which I found to be very polite as the match kicked off the noise level got louder and louder especially from the Gateshead supporters.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Gateshead International Stadium?
 
Being an athletics stadium, it is different to all other football grounds and does not lend itself to football very well. The athletics running track around the pitch means you find your self a distance away from the pitch compared to most other league grounds which makes it unique.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
It was a very blustery cold night on Tyneside, which was not conducive to good football and the pitch was also a bit bumpy. Gateshead scored three goals, and that turned out to be the hammering goals which Maidstone suffered, spoiled mainly by the weather. 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 stadium turnstiles were friendly towards both sets of fans There was a massive queue for food, so lucky I had already eaten. It looked like standard football ground burgers and pies like the ones off a cheap burger van.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Getting away from the stadium was reasonably decent considering it was a dark Tuesday night it didn't really take to long to get moving especially considering some football grounds I have visited other the years. I stopped off at Durham Services to use their facilities and got home for just after midnight.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Gateshead should be a most for any fan whether it's for the football or just the fact of the local sightseeing spots. The song 'Ths Fog On The Tyne Is All Mine' rings through your head when you are walking along the Quayside.

Gateshead v FC Halifax Town
National League
Monday 28th August 2017, 3pm
Mike Finister-Smith (FC Halifax Town)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Gateshead International Stadium?
 
I was looking forward to a match that involved Halifax's old manager Neil Aspin and two ex-Halifax Town forwards, so a bit of added spice to the game. I have never been to the Gateshead International Stadium before so it was an enjoyable Bank Holiday adventure.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
I went by train to Newcastle Central station (a direct route from Birmingham where I live), before taking the Metro to the Gateshead Stadium station which is two stops away. It took around seven minutes. The walk to the ground is around 10 minutes from the metro stop.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I decided to first try out a couple of pubs near Newcastle Central Railway Station as there are a few choices as soon as you leave - there was a nice micro brewery called the Newcastle Tap just a few yards down the road from the station. I never saw any home fans other than a few I saw on the Metro but there were no issues.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Gateshead International Stadium?
 
The Gateshead International Stadium was better than I expected as you got a good view of the pitch without obstruction. It was a nice day but the ground is exposed so there was quite a strong wind which didn't help the players to play much football
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
Considering the distance from the pitch, due to the athletics track, we managed to still have a good atmosphere and so that was fine, The catering was poor, in terms of lack of choice, they had run out of most stuff even though there were only 200 away fans and the service was incredibly slow.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
A straight forward walk back to the Metro Station and back to Newcastle Central for my 5.30 train to Birmingham.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
It was a 0.0 draw and not much quality although we hit the post twice and were down to 10 men for the last half hour. The referee was awful - for both sides and spoilt the game really. There were around seven yellow cards and one red in a match where I didn't see a bad tackle all afternoon.

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 13th September 2018

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