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Focus On: Newcastle & North East

By February 13, 2019Features

Flagship sporting venues allow NewcastleGateshead to punch above its weight.

Natives from the North East of England are well known for being passionate about sport and venues across the region generate some of the best atmospheres in the world.

This reputation has led to NewcastleGateshead hosting a series of world-class sporting events, including Olympic football in 2012, Rugby World Cup in 2015, Rugby League’s Magic Weekend for four years between 2015 – 2018, British Transplant Games in 2015 and the world’s biggest half marathon every year – the Great North Run. The success of these events has led to more and more sporting events being held in NewcastleGateshead and there is plenty to look forward to. In 2019 the region will welcome the World Transplant Games, European Club Rugby Finals and, for the first time, an England rugby international.

In May St James’ Park will host the greatest weekend in world rugby when the European Club Rugby Finals head to the region. Friday night will see the European Challenge Cup played, with the eagerly anticipated Heineken Champions Cup taking place on Saturday afternoon. The action won’t just be centred around St James’ Park though, the city will offer a world class fan experience. The location of the stadium in the city centre will allow fans to enjoy the events in the official fan village, as well as the range of food and drink on offer, the city’s famed nightlife and its cultural attractions.

Bamburgh Suite at St. James’s Park

The Newcastle 2019 finals are a major sporting event in the world calendar and tourism business and will see the benefit of visiting fans with a predicted economic impact of over £30 million. In August, NewcastleGateshead will host the World Transplant Games with more than 3,000 participants, including athletes, from over 50 countries descending on the region. The games will take place from 17th – 24th August and be hosted at some of the region’s top sporting venues, including Gateshead International Stadium, Sport Central at Northumbria University, St James’ Park and the Sunderland Aquatic Centre. In September Newcastle will also play host to an England rugby international for the first time when St James’ Park hosts the Quilter International against Italy in the run-up to the Rugby World Cup 2019.

There’s plenty more to look forward to as well – the region’s basketball club, Newcastle Eagles, will open a brand new, purpose-built 2,800-seater arena this year and the city has also bid to be a host city in the Rugby League World Cup in 2021.

While they may be known for hosting major sporting events, the region’s sporting venues are also some of the most attractive conference and events spaces. Newcastle United’s home ground is unlike many other football grounds thanks to its position right in the heart of the city. St James’ Park can be seen from almost anywhere in Newcastle and is very easily accessible from both within the city and from outside the city limits. Inside the ground, the Bamburgh Suite is one of the largest dining spaces in the city, able to host up to 1,000 delegates, and there is a wide range of other meeting rooms and conference suites available.

Newcastle Racecourse

Moving sport to rugby union, Kingston Park – the home of Premiership rugby team Newcastle Falcons – has a range of executive boxes and spacious function suites. The ground is located close to Newcastle International Airport, well connected to the city centre and could be the perfect venue for up to 300 delegates. There is also now the option of holding an event in a marquee beside the ground.

Another brilliant sporting venue for conference and events in the area is Newcastle Racecourse, with plenty of opportunities to combine an event with a race day. Set in the 812-acre High Gosforth Park Estate only five miles north of the city centre, Newcastle Racecourse has an array of function rooms suitable for up to 500 guests. The venue also has more intimate spaces and can accommodate anything from conferences and exhibitions to board meetings and banquets.

Plans have recently been revealed for a multi-million pound redevelopment of the racecourse, including a large events centre, which will further enhance its offering as a venue.

Emirates Riverside

The North East as a whole has a number of other brilliant sporting venues, including Durham County Cricket Club. The Emirates Riverside has a number of conference and banqueting rooms with stunning views of the ground, Lumley Castle and the Durham countryside. If you are looking for a larger conference spaces, The Glass House boasts a capacity of 600 delegates theatre-style.

NewcastleGateshead has a growing reputation for hosting world-class sporting events at amazing venues. These venues are not just bringing people to the region to watch sport, they are also attracting some major conference and events as organisers look for iconic host destinations.

Newcastlegateshead.com/conferences