Although it seems like only yesterday we were unveiling our shiny new ground, this coming March will be the third anniversary of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Three years and counting without an official name and I thought it would be interesting to reflect on the stadium and its impact so far.
Many die-hard Spurs fans, including myself, will still instinctively refer to the ground as ‘The Lane’ rather than anything else, especially a mouthful such as ‘The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.’
And it does almost feel as if the stadium rebuild came at perhaps the best yet worst possible time.
At a time where Spurs were on the up, and Poch was starting to make us feel and act as a powerful club on the pitch, it seemed fitting that we moved into a big, new, intimidating stadium to suit the side we were beginning to put together.
But the question remains, is this big, new, and intimidating stadium impacting positively on the pitch as much as it is off the pitch commercially?
It goes without saying that commercially the stadium has and will continue to be a huge success, with the likes of boxing, concerts and NFL, it is sure to bring in extra revenue, which can only be a good thing.
However, has that extra revenue cost Tottenham Hotspur a part of its soul?
It felt like we were finally starting to build a proper fortress when ‘The Lane’ was knocked down, a final season unbeaten proves this.
And whilst this undefeated season may have just been the players trying to give the ground a proper send-off, it is no secret we were still playing like a top side, and it feels as if the form and atmosphere we had in that final year has never really translated to the new ground.
It feels as if the dip off has coincided with the movement of the stadium, including the disruption of spending a season at Wembley.
The old ground had a homely feel to it, and teams knew exactly who they were playing when they arrived.
This new ground is almost too nice, and I would argue opposing players may look forward to playing in such an impressive venue and therefore be more motivated to put in a top performance. Several rival players have already labelled the stadium as their favourite in the league.
This is not a good thing, despite what some may think.
Players should fear coming to your ground, not relish in it. And it isn’t as if the atmosphere at the ground is doing many favours in creating that fear factor.
The truth is the atmosphere at this mammoth of a stadium has never quite been the same, and although it is hard to truly assess the impact so far due to the empty seats during the pandemic, the games that have been played there have hardly set the world on fire from an atmospheric point of view.
Too many people treat the ground as a day out rather than a football match, and too many tourists are visiting the ground to take pictures, taking those seats from the Spurs fans who could fill that impressive single-tier stand, and make it something remarkable, like we briefly saw during the Champions League semi-final.
However, we haven’t been able to do this yet, and my fear is as more and more time passes we lose that essence of Tottenham Hotspur more and more every day and start to become a tourist attraction rather than an intimidating football side.
Hopefully, I will be proven wrong – and luckily, we, the fans, have the power to do just that.
Come on You Spurs!
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