A Look At the New £1 Billion Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
After months of waiting, the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is set to open next week. The Old White Hart Lane closed down around two years ago and the team have spent 680 days in exile at Wembley Stadium. The stadium cost around £1 billion to build and it has opened six months late, but finally the first of two official test events took place last weekend with Spurs’ U18 side beating Southampton 3 – 1.
The new stadium has a massive 62,062 seats and almost 29,000 fans went to the first test event, which saw J’Neil Bennett score the first goal at the new stadium. This weekend the second test event takes place, a Tottenham Hotspur legends team will be taking on Inter Milan and then Spurs will host Crystal Palace in the Premier League for their first competitive event on April 3.
The club submitted planning permission for the new stadium in 2009 but it wasn’t until 2015 that they finally received the go ahead and construction could begin.
The stadium has already impressed those who are lucky enough to have visited with some supporters describing it as “out of this world” and “absolutely superb”. Built at such a great cost, it truly is a state of the art facility and the attention to detail in its design and construction is extremely impressive.
During the first test event Maurizio Pochettino, the son of manager Mauricio, came on as a second-half substitute. His father, who has been instrumental in the team’s improvement over the last few seasons, addressed the fans at halftime.
Clearly feeling emotional he said, “We all feel the same, so excited. I got the same feeling when we left White Hart Lane on the last day, we were crying and now in the first day in the new stadium we feel the same emotion. We need to cry because our dream became true.”
Pochettino went on to acknowledge the vision of club chairman Daniel Levy, who in his programme notes had described the day as a historic one for the club he has been running for eighteen years.
The unveiling of the new stadium was clearly an emotional experience for many. The Sky Sports News reporter Jeremy Langdon was at White Hart Lane for the first event and said, “It was like going home for the 30,000 lucky Spurs fans who flocked to their new stadium and were back at White Hart Lane to see a team in white play for the first time since May 2017.”
“Many were standing in the sunshine outside simply gawping in awe, their mobile phones and tablets held high. Some even said they were shaking. Others spoke of their emotion. One was nearly in tears afterwards. All spoke of their pride and that, with a 62,000 capacity, Spurs’ new home is bigger than Arsenal’s. Inside, the stadium itself is incredible and now the second biggest Premier League venue. The sweeping curves are spectacular and pleasing on the eye. The high and tight steep stands are surely what a proper football stadium should be. There are echoes of the old White Hart Lane here. Note to West Ham — this is how it should be done. Chelsea will be green with envy. The NFL will be drooling too.”
An In-House Brewery
The club has tried to think of everything that could possibly needed in the new stadium, and even built a micro-brewery, alongside housing, a school, a hotel, a museum, and a supermarket sized shop.
There are state of the art beer dispensers dispersed around the stadium to reduce the amount of time fans will have to wait for a pint. The stadium is also home to a 65-metre bar that runs the length of the goal line, called The Goal Line Bar, it is the longest bar in Europe.
Those who like a drink will be pleased to hear that club intends to keep the bars in the stadium open for a few hours after matches to give fans the chance of having a few drinks together. In addition to The Goal Line Bar, other facilities include The Taproom, which is home to craft beers from Beavertown Microbrewery, and The Shelf Bar, which has been built using salvaged bricks from the old East Stand.
Plenty More Facilities
While the much talked about VIP cheese room was abandoned, there are many more facilities worth visiting. There are numerous hospitality and catering offerings, with food options to suit every taste ranging from burgers and steak sandwiches to Asian street food.
The new stadium is also home to a 180-room upscale hotel. At the hotel Michel Roux Jr, Chris Galvin and Dipna Anand have all be named as part of the chef line-up for the stadium’s Michelin-starred restaurant.
There is a public square outside of the stadium, which the club has described as a “focal point for supporters and community”. It has space for fan-themed events and events that will be run by the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.
Visitors can also enjoy a “Sky Walk”, a special attraction that gives fans the chance to climb the exterior of the stadium to a height of 40 metres. The plan is for the stadium to be open every day of the year with a museum and tour available as well as retail experiences and facilities for conferences and banqueting.
Something that many are looking forward to is seeing the scaled up replica of the famous Golden Cockerel on the top of the South Stand. The replica is 4.5 metres tall and it is at the edge of the roof. It includes every bump and scratch that was present on the original, including the dent caused by Paul Gascoigne with an air rifle.
Fans will also want to visit the South Atrium where the club has marked the position of the old centre spot, giving fans the chance to stand where 2,533 matches started. The Park Lane penalty spot will also have a plaque.
Those who are into football history will want to visit the Tottenham Hotspur Archive in the Grade II listed Warmington House. There you can have controlled access to records and artefacts and the Club Museum is located in the same building.
The club have tried to integrate history into every aspect of the new stadium. Woven into the concrete of the new stadium is part of the old stadium. The builders crushed aggregate remaining from the demolished stadium and put it into the mixture for the flooring to ensure that the old is permanently mixed with the new.
A Huge Amount of Space
In the original plans, the stadium was to have a capacity of 58,000, but it was increased as the plans evolved. In the end, the stadium has space for 62,062 people, far more than the old White Hart Lane, which could hold 36,284.
The capacity includes a single-tier ‘Kop’ style stand that has 17,500 seats. It is meant to be similar to Borussia Dortmund’s ‘Yellow Wall’, which has helped the team create one of the best match day atmospheres to be found.
There is just five metres between the single tier and the goal line, so fans will be able to get closer to the action than at any other newly developed Premier League stadium. In fact, the new stadium is the second-largest club ground in England, second only to Manchester United’s Old Trafford, which can hold 74,994. Importantly for fans, the new stadium also has a larger capacity than Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, which can hold 60,260, as well as West Ham’s London Stadium, which can hold 60,000.
Other Plans for the Stadium
At present, the stadium is known simply as “Tottenham Hotspur Stadium” and the plan is to sell the naming rights to the stadium in the near future. In the meantime, the club has a 10-year partnership with the NFL, which means that the new stadium is a dedicated home for the sport in the United Kingdom.
Incredibly, the grass football pitch is retractable and it is on top of an artificial surface that will be used for NFL games, concerts, and other events. It is the first stadium in the United Kingdom to use this system of two pitches.
At present, the NFL is planning to hold two games at the new stadium this year. In order to accommodate the NFL there is a special entrance on the east side of the stadium, dressing rooms, media facilities and more.
There is no doubt that the new stadium is a hugely impressive feat, and something that the club’s fans will be enjoying for years to come. The only question that remains is whether the stadium can inspire the team to new heights and finally reward Pochettino with a trophy.