Stifler Posted July 14, 2009 Share Posted July 14, 2009 Not only that but turns it into a NUFC vs SAFC debate which it is not, on a Newcastle&Gateshead developement forum. I don't usually humour such risible bait but on this case I have to make an exception. Not to make this a club vs club issue, but I had hoped that the reality of playing at Scunthorpe might have punctured the arrogance of the NUFC contingent. To claim that the NewcastleGateshead (try finding that place on a map) bid is better "in every aspect" is contemptuous. On the most important aspect of any bid - the ground itself - there is no comparison. Yes, two sides of SJP are world-class, and happily so. Sadly though, the other two are far from it, and it's understandable when their age is considered. SoL on the other hand is world-class on all four sides, and is generally recognised - ahead of SJP - as one of the best stadia in the United Kingdom. The ridiculous lop-sided nature of SJP, while an impressive sight on the skyline, does no favours to the atmosphere within the ground, and thus the volubility of passion amongst the fans (which I don't doubt matches any club in the country) is diluted to a quite significant degree. With NUFC in their current predicament, there are no signs of these flaws being mended any time soon. Last year, many on Tyneside probably couldn't see "for the life of them" why large-scale stadium concerts would be hosted at Sunderland rather than at Newcastle. One year on and Take That have opened their tour at the SoL and Oasis played a leg of their tour a few days later. A very close second in importance, both now and at the time of the games, is the administration, organisation, stability and commitment of the management of the hosting club and hosting stadium. I hardly think I need elaborate very much upon this point; a straw poll of Sunderland and Newcastle fans/residents and their esteem for their prospective chairmen would tell you all you need to know. (The prospect of a Mike Ashley Children's Centre or Derek Llambias Paediatric Wing at the RVI is beyond hilarious.) The nuts and bolts of organisation and management (and economics) go a long way towards explaining why the stadium concerts were staged on Wearside and not Tyneside. They will also go towards explaining why, if the FA decide upon only one host city in this region, Sunderland will be chosen ahead of Newcastle. As for the issue of hotel beds and cultural attractions; to eyes in London and eyes abroad, Sunderland is regarded as a major feature of the larger South East Northumberland/North East Durham urban area, and as such the distance of the Hilton (Gateshead, Co Durham), Sage (Gateshead, Co Durham), Baltic (Gateshead, Co Durham), Angel (Gateshead, Co Durham), Millennium Bridge (Gateshead, Co Durham) and other attractions north of the river, albeit closer to SJP, are still regarded as very close to the SoL by historical standards and comparisons to other countries and cities that have hosted games. It goes without saying, of course, that such issues weren't an insurmountable problem in 1966 when Roker (not Middlesbrough's Ayresome, as Lebowski erroneously states) Park hosted the World Cup matches in the region. Like Chris, I regard it as desirable and important that both cities host World Cup games. It would be a major boost to the prestige and recognition of the region, and a fitting testament to the history of this area as a hotbed of football and a hotbed of sport. Unlike Chris, I don't see "NewcastleGateshead" as the superior bid, far from it in fact, and if it does have to come down to a decision for one successful North East host, then I'd bet all the money in my pockets against all the money in your pockets that it will be SAFC who win the day. Link to post Share on other sites More sharing options...
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