An already huge build-up to the 2019 NRL season is only going to get bigger over the next fortnight as Newcastle gears up for a potential 25,000-plus crowd for the season opener against the Sharks at McDonald Jones Stadium.
A big rise in memberships is reflective of the buzz around town but not everything has gone to plan for the club during the pre-season.
The Knights look like starting the season without a main back-of-the-jumper sponsor after betting agency Ladbrokes ended their association after just one year due to financial reasons.
Negotiations with several "interested parties" has not been made any easier, according to Knights boss Phil Gardner, by the massive storm that's been stirred up because of the poor off-field behaviour of players.
The good news for the club is the Knights have not lost one existing sponsor because of all the drama and major backer nib is tipped to renew their deal when it expires at the end of the season.
It's no secret former Storm prop Tim Glasby has made a massive impression on the club and the playing group since arriving at the Knights.
So much so, he will be part of an expanded leadership group, to be headed by the likes of Mitchell Pearce, Jamie Buhrer and Aidan Guerra, when the Knights launch their season at NEX on Wednesday night.
Do you fancy sitting down for lunch with Mitchell Pearce and his dad Wayne?
The pair will be among the special guests at a James Squire Tales and Ales event in Honeysuckle on Saturday, March 16, the day after the Knights take on Cronulla in the premiership opener at McDonald Jones Stadium.
It kicks off at midday with Frank Barrett as MC. A number of Knights' Old Boys will also be there with the Sharks game certain to be a hot topic of conversation.
You can get tickets for the event on the James Squire website with fundraising proceeds from the lunch going to the Mark Hughes Foundation and to assist Knights' cancer sufferer Scott Dureau.
There will be a real NRL feel to the Group 21 premiership up the Valley in 2018.
We can reveal former Knights and Raiders hooker Adam Clydsdale has agreed to terms and will play with Scone, his junior club, this season in what is a major coup for the Thoroughbreds.
Clydsdale, who was the Newcastle player of the year in 2018 while playing with Maitland, told Pickers president Frank Lawler and coach Luke Dorn of his plans during the week.
Clydsdale is in the throes of buying a house in Scone after landing a mining job in the Upper Hunter and just could not commit to the training and playing requirements of the Pickers.
We understand he may miss one game a month due to his work commitments.
Ironically, Clydsdale will come up against a former teammate when he makes his senior debut for the Thoroughbreds.
Singleton has signed another former Knights hooker in Chad Redman while the Greyhounds pack will also boast ex-Canberra Raiders and Sydney Roosters forward Frank-Paul Nu'uausala.
Losing Adam Clydsdale hasn't been the only bad news for the Maitland Pickers over the off-season.
We told you several weeks back new recruit Tyrone Amey was trialing with Brisbane Easts in the Queensland Cup. He has since been granted a release, as has fellow prop Lincoln Smith, who will now play with Cessnock.
Needless to say the Pickers are in the marketplace, looking for a replacement or two.
That's my boy
A host of primary schools in the Upper Hunter played off for the Steve Simpson Cup on Wednesday, named in honour of the former Newcastle Knights backrower who is now living and working in Scone.
Proving once again that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, the player of the day in the Under 12's was St Marys' Scone student Roy Simpson. And yes, he is a tall, rangy backrower, just like his dad.