McDonald Jones Stadium is the home ground to the Hunter Region’s two flagship sporting franchises, the Newcastle Knights (NRL) and the Newcastle Jets (A-League). On the 1st April 2011 the responsibility of management changed hands from the Newcastle Knights, who had been running it since 1988, to today’s venue manager Hunter Venues.
The Eastern grandstand development commenced in 2003 and was finalised in 2005 and shortly after that redevelopment of the Western grandstand commenced. The redevelopment was completed in June 2011 and with top shelf Food & Beverage outlets, corporate facilities, upgraded venue space and the capacity to hold up to 33,000 spectators; Hunter Stadium is now competing on an international level. There are plans for stage four of the stadium redevelopment which would see the grassed hills at either end replaced by seating and additional facilities.
A record attendance of 32,642 turned out at the venue in July 1995 for Newcastle against Manly – when the majority of the ground was standing room except for the original 5,000-seat Western grandstand.