Euros fan zone in Newcastle will NOT be streaming matches on mute

Work going on to get Newcastle's fan zone ready for fans Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A last-minute deal has been struck to let a Euro 2020 fan park on the Newcastle Quayside go ahead as planned.

Opening today (11 June), city council chiefs had been worried about "loud cheering and/or collective groaning" from England fans heading to Paddy Power's new venue outside nightclub Riverside to roar on Gareth Southgate's Three Lions in front of a giant screen.

The 'Paddy Park' could have been forced to broadcast matches on mute if Newcastle City Council refused to grant the site a new licence.

Big screen at Newcastle's fan park Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The fan park was expected to open today regardless of whether a new licence was granted or not - as Riverside's existing licence would have covered it, albeit with match commentary muted.

However, the licensing sub-committee hearing planned for Wednesday was called off after the council, Northumbria Police, and venue operator SSD Events hashed out a deal that would "resolve" concerns over the noise impact on Quayside residents.

A council spokesperson says, "Following a meeting and negotiations between the event organisers, Northumbria Police and Newcastle City Council a decision has been agreed to award a Temporary Events Notice to the Fan Zone at the Riverside.

"This notice allows commentary to be played for all European Championship matches and additional bar services at the venue. 

"We will continue to work closely with the Police to support venues showing football and will visit any venue that may need additional advice or support. 

"Residents should enjoy themselves safely and responsibly, following the Covid guidance in full, at all times." 

Expected to be extended

For now, the council has only approved a temporary licence for the fan zone which runs until 17 June, the day before England's second group stage game against Scotland.

However, a second application is expected to be approved next week that would cover the duration of the tournament up to 11 July.

Paddy Power announced on Monday that the fan zone will feature a VAR bar, handing out free pints to people who lose their beer while celebrating a goal that later gets disallowed.

According to SSD, the venue will have a 450 capacity at seated tables when it opens - but that could increase to 950 if social distancing measures are lifted by the government, though the prospect of that happening as scheduled on 21 June hangs in the balance.

In submissions to the council, the operator says, "The purpose of this event is to allow fans to watch every live game from Euro 2021 in a safe, vibrant and controlled experience for fans to enjoy. 

"Riverside is one of Newcastle's most well established gig and nightlife venues, and as of summer 2020 one of the largest beer gardens in the city. Located on the Quayside it has excellent transport links to the city center and beyond. 

"The site is already set to be one of the busiest beer gardens in the city, we plan to adapt the purpose of the site to become a fanzone for the Euros. In doing this we will increase security measures and staff already in place creating a safe and controlled environment." 

SSD said that match commentary will be played through "several small speakers" and only at the front of the building, in order to protect residents behind from being disturbed.