Old Trafford, Santiago Bernabeu, Camp Nou, The Allianz Arena… When we hear the names of those well-known stadiums a true football fan cannot help himself to associate them to the team who calls them “home”. The home stadium of a team is a part of their personality, a part of the team and a fortress, teams would do anything to defend.
But what if a team does not have a home stadium? That was the case with Tottenham Hotspurs ever since May 2017, when they abandoned the White Hart Lane and had to play their home matches at the famous Wembley Stadium. However, the wait for a new home is over. This week it has been announced that a new stadium opened its gates in Northern London under the name of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
A long wait is finally coming to an end for Tottenham, who were without a home ever since they left White Hart Lane which was demolished at the end of 2016/17 season. But the wait is finally over with the finished product standing proudly in Northern London, waiting to host its first match in April of 2019. The new multi-purpose Tottenham Hotspur Stadium truly is a work of art, with the world’s first dividing, retractable football pitch, which reveals a synthetic turf pitch underneath for NFL London Games, concerts and many other events that could take place here. With a capacity of 62.062, it is one of the biggest Premier League stadiums and the biggest one in London. While we talk about record-breaking numbers, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is also the 2nd most expensive English football stadium (behind Wembley Stadium) and 9th most expensive stadium in the world, with Its cost estimated to be around £1 billion. While there is no official presentation video of the stadium out yet, the following video shows how the newly implemented retractable pitch works, how will it be used and how it was designed.
But enough about how great this stadium is, and let’s answer the main question; When will we be able to see Tottenham play on it? The club has made an official statement on March 17th, setting a date for the first match on the new stadium to be April 3rd:
»We can confirm that the first Premier League match in our new stadium will be against Crystal Palace on Wednesday 3 April«
So, it’s settled, April 3rd is the date when we will see Tottenham Hotspurs play against Crystal Palace as a part of the 31st round of EPL. Only 6 days later, the new stadium will also host its first European game, when Manchester City visits Tottenham in the first leg of Champions League quarterfinals. But there is one thing that could potentially set back the grand opening of the new stadium (once again).
The match against Crystal Palace will mark the first official game, however, there will be two test events taking place at the new stadium days prior. On March 24th the U18 Premier League match between Tottenham and Southampton will be played, with around 30.000 people attending the event. Only 6 days later a “Legends match” will take place, where we will see Spurs legends playing against Inter legends, which is expected to have around 45.000 spectators. The two events need to be played without any problems for Spurs to receive a safety certificate, which will allow them to host matches and finally get a new home ground after a long wait and numerous delays.