Why a new soccer stadium in England is disrupting the Premier League… and the NFL
- Tottenham Hotspur will play home games at Wembley Stadium until at least October because of construction delays.
- The cost of its new stadium at White Hart Lane in London is believed be around $1 billion.
- A Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders NFL game scheduled for October has also been affected.
Premier League soccer team Tottenham Hotspur has been forced to delay its move into a new 62,062 capacity stadium due to “unavoidable” issues surrounding safety.
Despite the soccer season in England having already started, the London club remains without a permanent home, despite having played home games for the past year at Wembley Stadium.
Tottenham’s White Hart Lane stadium was rebuilt at a cost believed to be around £850 million ($1 billion). Spurs last played at the old stadium in May 2017.
The club had scheduled its first competitive match, against Liverpool, in the new stadium for September 15. However, an announcement by Tottenham management on Tuesday confirmed that the team, which includes England’s World Cup Golden Boot winner Harry Kane, will head back to Wembley until at least October, with no new move-in date currently set.
“Your home form is the foundation for a good season,” former Tottenham and England midfielder Jermaine Jenas told CNBC. “It’s a disappointment that it’s not going to be ready, but I don’t see it as an issue and I’m seeing the positives, because eventually they will have this big new stadium. This is part of a transformation and in Tottenham’s mind, it’s still exactly as they planned.”
It’s a further blow for Tottenham, after it became the first team in Premier League history to not sign any new players during the summer transfer window, since the system was introduced in 2002.
The club hasn’t won a major trophy in a decade, but has made significant strides in that time. Not least, in terms of tying up the contracts of existing players like Kane and fellow England international Dele Alli.
“There has been a lack of movement in terms of players coming in, but their investment in youth is going to repay them now,” Jenas said. “They now need to shut everybody up and win a trophy.”
The announcement will not only affect Tottenham’s start in the Premier League, where it has finished inside the top three for the past three seasons, but also at least one fixture in the UEFA Champions League.
A club statement read: “Delays are common, certainly for builds of this size and complexity. However, we are hugely frustrated that this has occurred at such a late stage. Whilst we would have been able to mitigate other areas, we simply cannot compromise safety. This decision was unavoidable.”
The move also means that the debut of a state-of-the-art retractable NFL field, that was to be used for the first time for a Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders game scheduled for October 14, has been delayed. That game has also been switched to Wembley.
Mark Waller, NFL executive vice-president, international, said: “We totally understand the issue. We shall continue to work with them towards making our future games at Spurs a huge success. The new stadium will be an amazing venue for the NFL and we are very excited about our long-term partnership with Tottenham Hotspur.”
Source: Read Full Article