Premier League 2018-19: What will the new White Hart Lane stadium mean for Tottenham Hotspur and its fans?
On 3 April 2019, Tottenham Hotspur will finally play their first competitive game at the impressive new White Hart Lane stadium, ending a wait of 201 days from when the original curtain raiser was due to be played.
After the original opening game against Liverpool was moved to Wembley, Tottenham fans have had to ensure months of uncertainty as to when they would finally be able to go back home after almost two seasons at the national stadium. With one test event already out of the way and another to follow this weekend, the wait is almost over.
With many fans excited for the future, what will the new stadium mean for the club?
Bigger crowds equal more revenue
The primary reason for building the new stadium was so that the club could aim to compete with other top clubs in terms of finances. Playing every other week in a stadium which could only hold 36,000 spectators was preventing the club from moving to the next level.
Tottenham fans have often had to endure disappointment at seeing stars such as Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Dimitar Berbatov move to other clubs which could pay substantially more wages than the North London club. With a 62,000-seater stadium now, it is hoped that the club will be able to pay its top stars enough to keep them, as well as entice other top players from Europe and South America.
The stadium may be built but it still needs paying for
Although bigger crowds mean bigger revenue, the club still need to pay for the stadium. With the final cost expected to exceed £1billion, it is clear that not all revenue will be ploughed back into the playing squad.
It will be vital that the Tottenham board do pay close attention to what is happening on the field rather than just concentrating on the financial side. They only need to look the other side of the Seven Sisters Road to see how near neighbours and bitter rivals Arsenal fared shortly after moving into their new stadium.
If Tottenham can get the balance right, there is no reason why the stadium couldn't be paid off whilst significant investment in the team also takes place simultaneously. Allowing at least two NFL games to be played at the stadium on a different pitch to football could be seen as the masterstroke which pays off the debt in double quick time.
The matchday experience will be something special
Football in the 21st century is not all about the 90 minutes on the pitch. Clubs need to cater to the fans from the moment the turnstiles open to the time they vacate the stadium after the game.
The new Tottenham Hotspur stadium boasts some of the most impressive amenities ever seen in a sporting stadium anywhere in the world. The Goal Line bar is the longest in Europe at a staggering 65 metres in length.
All bars in the stadium will have automatic bottom up dispensing, which does not require any intervention from bar staff. This will allow a quicker turnover of customers as the system only takes approximately five seconds to pour a full pint.
With multiple eating establishments also scattered around the stadium, there is going to be something that caters to every fan's needs.
If you have time to kill before or after the game, the new Spurs shop will be well worth a visit too. At 23,000 sq ft, the Spurs shop is the largest retail store of any football club in Europe.
Both the club shop and stadium are completely cashless, making for a more fluid experience.
Getting tickets could be tricky
The new Tottenham Hostspur stadium has generated plenty of interest from fans, so tickets for the remainder of the 2018-19 and probably the early part of the 2019-20 seasons are going to be at a premium. Unless you are a season ticket holder or a member, you are going to have to be patient, as supply is sure to be heavily outnumbered by demand.
What is certain however (if spectators at the initial test event are to be believed), is that anyone lucky enough to visit the stadium is in for an amazing experience at possibly one of the best sporting venues in the world. All that is required now is a home win!Published 28 Mar 2019, 01:58 IST