Come On You Stadium

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

As we sit on the brink and enter into a journey of financial uncertainty, bureaucratic and political minefields as well as painstaking anticipation – a journey in which many a team have attempted and failed – the construction of our new home represents the next major step of the ENIC/Lewis/Levy project. But what can we really expect pre and post project completion?

Relocating is without doubt a step in the right direction for a club who has had to witness their fiercest rivals undertake the very same journey 10 years prior, but it’s the size of this step which is ever more daunting as time ticks by. The landscapes of the finance and construction industries have radically shifted in the last decade, due to the recession dramatically raising material prices and lowering investment options (to name a few) while building regulations and health safety laws continue to reduce the chances of any multi-million pound development project such as this being able to finishing ahead of schedule and under budget, sporting or not.

In the meantime, we face a waiting game and for some fans this can be painfully slow. We’ll continue to call White Hart Lane our home but will always be scouring ahead for greener grass. Couple this new development with our new, high-tech training facilities – widely regarded as one of the best in Europe – Spurs to will have a modern foundation set on traditional principles; the envy of rival clubs wanting more.

Having to groundshare may not be an ideal situation in the short term but this is a long term project and along with our ever-astute commercial agreements and continued fan base expansion, the plans offer the Spurs faithful renewed hope of attracting the footballing talent capable of achieving the sustained success the club craves. Seeing Arsenal’s new-ish stadium being crudely plastered as ‘the Emirates’ is modern football branding at its most cutting. Many fans certainly wouldn’t be surprised if the name of our new home ends up being the ‘UnderArmour stadium’ or the ‘AIA Arena’, but as is the norm in today’s game, this is merely a formality in getting Tottenham Hotspur to the ‘next step’ within world football. You only have to look at fellow top four contenders to identify a modern trend; Liverpool are rumoured to be selling the naming rights of an iconic Anfield to fund a £75m stadium expansion. Newcastle’s failed attempt to rename St James Park to the Sports Direct Arena highlights Mr Ashley’s business intentions (regardless of continued profits) but the fact remains; in modern times, the game has changed and so have most modern fan’s expectations.

The stadium represents a large percentage of the Northumberland Development project, with a further commitment to funding surrounding homes, a hotel, supermarket and a public event opening concluding the package. At this point cynical Spurs fans could describe these ‘add ons’ as a mere hoop we are required to jump through by Haringey council to achieve our final goal of an estimated £400m investment (£50m less than the Emirates I will add), but the fact of the matter is that the development as a whole is key for a rejuvenated community and atmosphere boost not to mention planned improvement to local public transport services. The resulting matchday experience will surely have a positive effect on the on-field performances.

Let’s not kid ourselves though; attending home games in a new, flush sports facility would be a unarguable upgrade on our current home – nostalgia aside – not to mention the obvious match day revenue increase. An improved home experience and heightened game atmosphere can, and should, result in attracting bigger financial sponsorships, higher calibre of player and even inclusive of hosting other large public events (NFL, potential international sporting tournaments, concerts etc). Some modern stadium designs place great emphasis on acoustic performance, an advantage the club can use against the opposition with the conceptual ‘one tier’ stand. This would replicate the feared Kop end or the Dortmund wall and the N17 stadium could dwarf local ‘libraries’ and gain a reputation throughout English football – and perhaps even Europe – for being an ever-cliched ‘fortress’.

In short, undertaking a challenge such as this in the current climate can only be described as a risk and depending on how the proposed 4/5 year completion date pans out, this can be the making of our current squad under our continental manager. Pochettino is undoubtedly the right man for our current needs and the right man we can attract, with faith and emphasis of the present, ever-blooming youth academy and prudent transfer market activity, its no wonder why our manager has been offered a 5 year contract by a chairman who has short patience and even shorter tolerance for anything but quick, tangible results. Regardless of the financial implications or a temporary relocation headache, many of our Premier League rivals would jump at the chance to be in a position to take a risk such as this.

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