St James's Park's altered capacity revealed as Newcastle and Premier League rivals eye crowd returns
St James’s Park could see its capacity altered as Premier League clubs eye the return of crowds to stadiums at the beginning of the 2020-21 season.
Newcastle United and their Premier League rivals are pushing for stadiums to be at 40 percent capacity for the start of the 2020-21 season, as they continue to try and get supporters back amid the COVID-19 crisis.
A report in The Independent also states face masks could become mandatory for match-going Magpies, with and electronic ticketing set to be introduced to aid the track and trace system.
Top tier clubs are working with government, with the latest mooted plans could lead to seeing crowds back at close to half capacity.
The return of fans to football stadia is seen as crucial for teams in the lower leagues, who rely so heavily on matchday income to function.
According to the report, the current plans involve at least a seat between each person, with discussions revolving around fans sitting behind each other, rather than diagonally, which would pose a greater risk of catching the virus.
However, but there are some logistical issues to be worked out, with clubs with older stadiums likely to find it more difficult to implement social distancing measures, with seats more tightly packed together.
St James’s Park currently has room for 52,388 supporters – under the proposed new 40 percent rule, Newcastle could see approximately 20,952 spectators pass through the turnstiles.
The 2020/21 Premier League campaign is expected to start on September 12, in line with UEFA’s European calendar.