2012 Summer Olympics Venues: St. James' Park

Abstract: The 2012 London Summer Olympic Games will take place at a number of different locations. One of the key Olympic venues is St. James’ Park. This article provides some background information on the Olympic site.

The 2012 London Summer Olympic Games will (officially) run from July 27 through August 12. The Olympic competitions will take place at a number of different venues located throughout Britain. One of the key Olympic sites is St. James' Park.

About St. James' Park

St. James' Park was designed to host soccer games and is currently the home stadium of Newcastle United, a professional soccer team. However, per Newcastle United's official website, St. James' Park is also equipped to support other sports, such as rugby, as well as rock concerts. It can hold 52,387 people and is Britain's sixth largest soccer stadium. According to The Stadium Guide, St. James' Park is known for its cantilever (free standing) roof, which is the largest in Europe.

St. James' Park: A Venerable History
St. James' Park - north stand (1)

According to the London Summer Olympics' official website, St. James' Park is the oldest soccer field in northeast England. Locals have been hosting soccer matches at the site since the 1880s, and it has been the home of Newcastle United since 1892. The site has seen some major changes over the course of its existence. Per The Stadium Guide, the first stands were erected in 1899 and, by 1904, the stadium was large enough to hold more than 60,000 people. Its capacity was reduced to 37,000 seats during renovations in the 1990s. However, Newcastle United (the stadium's owners) quickly realized that the renovated stadium was not large enough to house all of its fans and soon authorized the construction of an additional 15,000 seats. That project was completed in 2000.

St. James' Park or Sports Direct Arena

According to The Telegraph, the stadium and field have been called St. James' Park since becoming Newcastle United's home turf in 1892. The club's owner broke this tradition, and angered many fans, in 2011 when he renamed it Sports Direct Arena. While Newcastle United's website might refer to the stadium as Sports Direct Arena, the organizers of the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games call it St. James' Park.

The Location of St. James' Park

Per The Stadium Guide, St. James' Park is located in Newcastle upon Tyne, in northeast England. A MapQuest search indicates that the soccer field is approximately 276 miles from London by car. The London Summer Olympics' website estimates that it will take an individual approximately eight hours to reach St. James' Park from London's Heathrow Airport if he or she uses public transportation.

St. James' Park and the 2012 London Olympics

According to an article in The Telegraph, St. James' Park will host six men's and three women's Olympic soccer contests. The first two soccer matches will take place on Thursday, July 26, which is one day before the official start of the Summer Olympics. The remaining matches will occur between Sunday, July 29 and Saturday, August 4.

1. Photographer: EG Focus
    Date: June 25, 2010
    Title: PAI Newcastle trip 2010
    Location/Permission: Wikimedia Commons - Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license
    (click on the title or caption to see the photo, credits, and permissions).

-- Anthony Hopper

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