Tips For A First Football Experience In Newcastle
Newcastle is home to one of the most historic football clubs in all of the United Kingdom. That club, Newcastle United, was founded way back in 1892, and has often resided in the top flight of English football in the century-plus since. It’s a club with a great deal of tradition and history behind it, and that makes experiencing a live match one of the best things you can do when visiting Newcastle.
With that in mind, we wanted to go over a few notes and tips for anyone who might be eyeing a first experience at St. James’ Park, where Newcastle plays its home matches.
Nail Down Logistics Early
Attending a Premier League match isn’t always as simple as just picking up a ticket and driving to the stadium. For one thing, the ticketing process can be complex. You may find seats through an online, secondary market, but to ensure you’ll have a spot at a match during your trip, you’ll want to start looking around early. You may have to become a “member” of the club before you even have access to purchasing options (though this is largely an inexpensive formality).
Aside from tickets, you’ll also want to consider how you’re going to get to the stadium, particularly if it’s your first time. Directions and parking can be a little bit difficult, so it’s worth doing some advance research and figuring out a plan, even if it’s not the most enjoyable part of the process.
Learn Some Club History
Knowing some of the club history is always fun if you’re getting ready for your first match in person. It’s not as if anybody is going to be quizzing you on this history, of course (unless some local supporters decide to have a bit of good fun indoctrinating you), but the experience can still be all the richer if you’ve bothered to learn about the club you’re watching. You might read up on the star players of Newcastle’s past, or the most successful managers the club has had. You might learn when in its lengthy history the club was best, and when it’s struggled. Altogether it can add some nice context to what you’re witnessing, and explain some of the passion you’ll see among supporters.
Study The Tables
Just as it can add context to what you’re seeing to understand some club history, you’ll also want to do some brief research on the tables around the time that you’re actually attending. For instance, as of this writing, you would look and see Newcastle on the lower end of the middle of the Premier League standings – which, incidentally, means the club’s last few matches won’t be particularly meaningful.
Generally though, eyeing the tables can enhance the event for you. You might learn that the club is attempting to break into the top 10, for instance, or that it’s attempting to stave off relegation (which is when a club is sent to the lower leagues for the following year after a bottom-three finish). Looking even more closely, you might also find some interesting information such as how the club has performed lately, or how it may have done in a previous match against the opponent. It’s all helpful if you want to have a good grasp on the action.
Place A Bet
This is, of course, an optional idea, and not something you should do if you aren’t comfortable with it. However, betting is a fairly big part of the UK’s adoration of football (and sports in general), and the country’s online bookmaking services offer just about every conceivable bet one might be interested in. It’s all pretty easy to handle if you’re interested, and if you do decide to place a bet on the match you’re going to see, you may find that it makes said match that much more enjoyable. Nothing quite compares to what it’s like to have something personal riding on the outcome of the contest!
Pick A Pub
Finally, you should also think about scoping out the Newcastle pub scene and finding a match-day pub to enjoy before or after the match. This is fairly common practice among supporters, whether they get to attend live or they simply spend the day enjoying the festivities remotely. Nothing beats catching the action in St. James’ Park, but you can really extend the fun and get a better feel for the total British football experience if you also cap things off with a few pints at a local establishment.