Newcastle Falcons will break new ground on Saturday, March 24 when St James’s Park hosts their Aviva Premiership match against Northampton Saints, a game which has been dubbed ‘The Big One’.
Newcastle United’s 52,000 capacity stadium will be the venue for a 5.30pm kick-off, preceded by a 3pm curtain-raiser between Newcastle University and Northumbria University.
Mick Hogan, managing director of Newcastle Falcons, said: “The Big One promises to be a major rugby occasion for the entire region to really get behind with adult tickets starting from just £10 and juniors from £5.
“We have set ourselves a target of 20,000 tickets sold for what will be a great day at a fantastic venue, one which has already shown itself to be more than capable of hosting top rugby events.
“The Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup in the morning will see more than 100 junior teams participating at Kingston Park Stadium before the focus turns to St James’s Park, which will host the city’s Varsity Match.
“That is a fixture which attracts a big following in its own right given the huge student population in Newcastle, and there will be a fan plaza outside the stadium with food, drink and entertainment.
“Newcastle Falcons’ Aviva Premiership match against Northampton will provide a fitting climax on what promises to be a massive day of rugby for a region which thrives upon staging these major events.”
St James’s Park successfully staged three matches during Rugby World Cup 2015, has hosted three Super League Magic Weekends and will be the venue for the 2019 European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals.
Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards spoke of his excitement at The Big One, saying: “St James’s Park is an incredible stadium and this is a fantastic opportunity for us to take a game there.
“The passion for sport in our region and the commitment from the public in supporting major sporting events is second to none, and it will be a memorable day which people will want to be part of.
“I was working at Harlequins when they began a similar initiative of playing a game at Twickenham every season, and they really are great occasions.”
As well as offering a day of top-class sporting entertainment The Big One will also raise funds and awareness for Doddie Weir’5 Discretionary Trust, following the recent Motor Neurone Disease diagnosis of the Falcons and Scotland great. Details of this will be announced in due course.
Newcastle Falcons season ticket members will be entitled to a free East Stand ticket for the day, with season car park pass holders eligible for free parking.
Falcons season ticket members wishing to access this ticket should contact the Falcons box office by calling 0871 226 6060, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting Kingston Park in person during opening hours.
Tickets will be on sale to the general public from December 1 via Newcastle United’s box office.
Falcons captain Will Welch spoke of his enthusiasm around The Big One, saying: “As a kid from this area I was brought up watching Newcastle United games at St James’s Park and experiencing the amazing atmosphere there.
“For us as Falcons players to now go play a game on that stage will be something truly special, and I’m sure our supporters and the wider public in our region will buy into it.”
Lee Charnley, managing director of Newcastle United, said: “We’ve earned ourselves an excellent reputation in recent years for hosting top class rugby events at St James’s Park.
“As a wonderful precursor to the Dacia Magic Weekend taking place in May, we’re delighted to play host to ‘The Big One’ as the Newcastle Falcons take on Northampton Saints on March 24.
“Of course the opportunity to watch the varsity match between Newcastle and Northumbria universities at the stadium beforehand is certain to provide spectators with a superb day of rugby and we are, once again, proud to be the venue of choice for yet another great occasion in the North East’s sporting calendar.”