September 1, 2018
A new stadium is being built, which will be a new home for the Esh Group Eagles Newcastle basketball team – the North East’s most successful sporting team, and the most successful franchise in British basketball history – and for its award-winning Eagles Community Foundation (ECF).
The multi-million pound, state-of-the-art development, off Scotswood Road in Elswick, has been in the planning for many years. Construction got underway in November last year and – although there have been some delays as a result of the severe weather in February and March – the Eagles are targeting an opening before Christmas.
The 2800-seater stadium will allow the Eagles to have their own home for the first time, having previously been based at Sport Central at Northumbria University, and will allow the club to pursue its long-term dream of competing on the European stage.
It will also be the focal point for the ECF and its engagement with the wider community.
While the Foundation will continue its work with local schools and groups across the region, the stadium will become a base for its work and will welcome local sports clubs and organisations of all age groups and abilities – becoming a focal point for leisure and grassroots sport in the West End of Newcastle.
The stadium development is a partnership with Newcastle City Council, the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Sport England and Newcastle College.
Law firm Sintons has been legal advisor to the Eagles throughout the project, overseeing the extensive negotiations prior to construction work beginning.
A specialist team at the Newcastle law firm, led by partner Adrian Dye, handled a range of matters including funding and securing lease of the site.
Paul Blake, managing director of the Eagles, says: “This is a very exciting time for everyone associated with the club and the foundation, we have waited a long time for our stadium and completion is now on the horizon. We are hoping to be in before Christmas and then we will be able to open our doors for basketball and for engagement with the wider community. We will play a handful of games in the new season at Sport Central and then transfer over to our new home.
“There is a really good feeling around at the minute among everyone – players, supporters, season ticket holders, sponsors – you can feel there is genuine excitement about us moving into our stadium. We’re grateful for all the support we continue to receive from everyone who has been on this journey with us.”
Sintons partner Adrian Dye, alongside senior associate Emma Pern, handled the corporate and commercial aspects of the Eagles stadium deal, as well as the funding. Consultant Claire Morgan and partner Mark Dobbin oversaw the real estate matters.
Adrian says: “This is one of the biggest and most significant new sports developments in the region for many years, and the dedication of Paul and his team to making it happen has been outstanding.
“We are delighted to have been involved in bringing this impressive new development to fruition. The negotiations we engaged in prior to construction beginning were highly complex, but we were able to bring them to a successful conclusion for all parties, and particularly for our client. We wish Paul and everyone associated with the Eagles every success in their new home.”