With almost three months to go before UEFA Euro 2020 kicks-off, reservations on the viability of hosting a continent-wide football tournament has put Newcastle and Sunderland’s stadiums on standby.
UEFA have maintained they’re keen to press on with their original plan to host seven games at Wembley, as well as games in Glasgow, Dublin, Amsterdam, Bilbao, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Munich, Rome, St Petersburg and Baku.
Question marks over travel restrictions and border control this summer have put those plans in doubt.
The governing body are also committed to their pledge that fans will be inside venues for matches and have said they will confirm the schedule next month.
With England leading the continent on Covid vaccinations the government have opened the door to the country playing a greater part in the tournament.
If England were to stage the Euros in full, stadiums reportedly being lined up to host matches are Old Trafford, Villa Park, the Etihad, Anfield, the London Stadium, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and the Emirates.
St James’ Park and the Stadium of Light are part of that elite list too. Both are state of the art arenas, each have the necessary hotels, transport links and training facilities in proximity and each have a history of hosting international football.
St James’ Park hosted Euro games the last time the tournament was held in England 25 years ago, and also catered for a number of international football teams during the London 2012 Olympic games.
The re-arranged Euros are due to officially begin on 11 June with the final on 11 July at Wembley.
St James’ Park and The Stadium of Light would be able to host capacity crowds from 21 June as per the Government’s roadmap when restrictions are scheduled to be lifted if all criteria is met between then and now.
We are likely find out next month if the North East be welcoming international football in June.
Do you welcome the prospect of Euro 2020 potentially coming to the North East in June?