Yesterday saw the NFL return to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the first time since the the Carolina Panthers took to the field against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in October 2019.
The coronavirus pandemic put pay to the NFL double header taking place in North London last year, however the London Series returned with the Atalanta Falcons defeating the New York Jets.
Daniel Levy’s redevelopment of White Hart Lane saw the new £1billion stadium house two pitches inside the same bowl and the world’s first dividing retractable football pitch.
The real turf football pitch sits 1.6metres above the NFL surface and is in three pitch-long trays, each weighing more than 3,000 tonnes, while there are also dedicated facilities for its American Football use with dedicated locker rooms (Evening Standard).
The NFL’s vice president of game operations Matt Joyce has been speaking of their partnership with Tottenham Hotspur in which he claimed that the relationship between the two organisations extends way beyond the use of the stadium.
In 2015, Tottenham signed a ten-year agreement with the NFL for a minimum of two games per year to be played at the venue.
Joyce told The Athletic: “We have a commercial relationship with Tottenham, not just hiring facilities but a partnership with them,”
“The two brands work very closely from a commercial and marketing perspective. It goes a long way beyond just the hiring of the stadium.
“Growing the fanbase and sharing the NFL is really key to us. There’s no better way of experiencing the sport than coming to a live match and that’s key to growing the fanbase in the UK. We’ve been doing this for 14 years and there’s a real momentum with these games.”
With coronavirus restrictions having been lifted in England, the stadium is certainly beginning to serve its needs as a multi-purpose venue having recently hosted the Anthony Joshua boxing bout, the NFL and a host of events are in the pipeline.
While some fans will call for the revenue generated to be re-invested into the playing squad, the fact that the stadium is being so frequently used can only be of benefit to local business in the Tottenham area.
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