Tottenham Hotspur has today (Wednesday) announced that it will remain at Wembley Stadium through to at least mid-February, stating that it needs time to schedule test events at its long-delayed new stadium.
The English Premier League football club has revealed details of its latest update from the contractors involved in the critical safety systems at the stadium. Spurs said the past month has seen remedial works take place, software issues resolved and corrected safety equipment installations increase.
Testing has also continued, but Spurs said it needs to liaise with the contractors and building control at Haringey Council to determine a schedule of commissioning, building test dates and building control sign-offs, along with formal test event dates.
The club said that due to the time required to deliver these and the test events, its Premier League matches against Watford (January 30), Newcastle United (February 2) and Leicester City (February 10) – and its UEFA Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund (February 13) – will take place at Wembley.
Should Spurs progress to the fifth round of the FA Cup and have a home draw, this game will also be played at Wembley on the weekend of February 16-17. The next scheduled home match is the North London derby against Arsenal on March 2, but The Guardian newspaper said there is no chance the new stadium will host this match with the Metropolitan Police and security personnel highlighting the risk involved.
This would leave the Premier League game against Crystal Palace as the next opportunity, although the date of March 16 could clash with a potential FA Cup quarter-final.
Spurs said the three Premier League matches will be refunded in one transaction and similarly all three games can be purchased together in one transaction. All three matches will be given Category C pricing from the 2017-18 season. The 51,000-capacity cap at Wembley will apply for the fixtures.
Daniel Levy, Tottenham chairman, said: “I should like to apologise to our fans and thank you for your continued patience. The response from those who attended the familiarisation event was great to hear and reinforced our commitment to deliver an exceptional matchday experience for everyone. We shall now seek clarity in respect of building test schedules and test event dates and provide further information on these in the next two to three weeks.”
Today’s news comes after Tottenham was last month boosted by positive feedback from fans after the first major test event for its new stadium was held on December 16. The club welcomed 6,000 of its season ticket holders to a specially-arranged ‘fan familiarisation’ event at the heavily-delayed stadium. Those attending had been selected via a ballot and were given the chance to explore the South Stand at the 62,062-seat venue.
The stadium was originally due to stage its first match in mid-September. In November, Spurs were given permission to continue playing at Wembley – albeit at a reduced capacity. The Premier League match against Chelsea on November 24 was played at Wembley’s full capacity of 90,000, but thereafter the stadium has been capped at 51,000.
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