By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
Newcastle United will compete in the first ever Schalke 04 Cup this summer as part of their pre-season preparations.
Over the weekend of Saturday, 2nd August, and Sunday, 3rd August, the Magpies will join hosts Schalke 04, Spanish outfit Malaga CF and one other club in the four-team tournament at Gelsenkirchen´s famous VELTINS-Arena.
The stadium hosted the 2004 Champions League final and five matches in the 2006 World Cup. It has a capacity of 61,482, a retractable roof and retractable pitch.
Each day of the Schalke 04 Cup will comprise of two regular matches, with a special points system in place.
Three points will be awarded to the winner of a match, while if a game ends in a draw, it will go straight to a penalty shoot-out, for which the winner will receive two points.
Whoever accumulates the most points in two matches will be declared tournament champions.
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew said: "This is a fantastic opportunity to play in such an excellent tournament as the Schalke 04 Cup.
"We will be facing top-quality opposition and hopefully it will form part of a successful pre-season for us ahead of the 2014/15 season.
"I am very pleased it has been organised and announced early for the sake of our fans.
"This will give them the opportunity to travel in great numbers - as they always do - to enjoy a fabulous city and the football that will accompany it."
Alexander Jobst, member of the managing board, marketing at Schalke 04, said: "Bringing together four internationally renowned participants, the Schalke 04 Cup will be a footballing highlight of the summer break.
"The VELTINS-Arena provides a brilliant infrastructural set-up. We look forward to staging this tournament together with Kentaro, one of the world's leading sports rights agencies."
Details about ticket availability and prices will be announced on schalke04.de and ticket-aufschalke.de prior to the start of sales on Wednesday, 2nd April.
There will be day passes, which include both matches of a single day, as well as tournament passes, which are valid for all matches during both days.
For both options, family-friendly pricing models have been created, with prices ranging from €10 to €49 depending on the category.