Fans of Tottenham Hotspur finally got a chance to sample the club’s new state-of-the-art stadium yesterday (Sunday) as the 62,000-seat venue staged its first test event.
A crowd of almost 30,000 saw Tottenham’s U18s defeat Southampton 3-1 in what was the first of two test events required for the club to receive the safety certificate it needs to open the ground.
Yesterday brought to an end a long wait for Spurs fans to sample their new home, with the stadium having originally been due to open last September. The ground has been hit by a string of delays due to problems with its critical safety systems but, following a second test event next weekend, it will be ready to host its first Premier League match against Crystal Palace on Wednesday, April 3.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) March 25, 2019
In an interview on the pitch at half-time yesterday, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino spoke of his pride at seeing the stadium host its first match, which Spurs won thanks to goals from J’Neil Bennett, Harvey White and Dilan Markanday.
“I have the same feeling as when we left White Hart Lane when we were crying,” Pochettino said. “Now on the first day in the new stadium, again, we feel the same emotion. We are nearly made to cry because our dream has come true.”
He added: “This will have a massive impact on the team, the players and the club to have the possibility to finish this season… we are in a very good place in the Premier League and of course we have a massive challenge in the quarter-final of the Champions League.
“I think that with all of the fans, 62,000 people behind us, it’s going to be fantastic.”
The stadium becomes the second-largest club venue in England, behind Manchester United’s Old Trafford. Among its main features is a huge 17,500-seat single-tier stand and a synthetic turf pitch that will allow it to stage NFL games.
A stand that is bigger than Bournemouth’s stadium. pic.twitter.com/Kebya27l3w
— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) March 24, 2019
The BBC‘s Simon Stone noted that there were some minor teething problems, with some of the stadium’s 1,800 HD televisions not working and lengthy queues at turnstiles before the game, but these were to be expected.
The report added that one of the food-and-drink outlets had run out of pies before the match had kicked off, while the Reuters news agency reported that there were some complaints about the “self-flushing toilets”.
Tottenham has previously signalled its intention to phase out single-use plastics at the venue and the club has maintained that its innovative beer delivery system ties in with this goal. Tottenham has partnered with Bottoms Up Beer to install its delivery systems at the stadium’s bars. The automated, hands-free system claims to be a more profitable way of selling beer, with magnets placed at the bottom of special plastic cups filling the receptacles from the bottom up.
On Friday, the club also declared the official opening of the Beavertown Tottenham Microbrewery and Taproom at the new stadium. The microbrewery is situated in the southeast corner of the stadium alongside The Market Place and is said to be the first installation of its kind inside a football stadium.
The stadium also features the huge Goal Line Bar. Measuring 65 metres in length, the bar is the longest in Europe and it proved popular among fans yesterday.
— Standard Sport (@standardsport) March 24, 2019
The BBC also noted that there are some 265 wheelchair bays at the stadium, along with areas for assistance dogs and changing places for fans with “complex care requirements”.
Jim Munroe, a Spurs supporter of 50 years, told Reuters that the stadium was “out of this world”.
“The design is absolutely superb,” he added. “You’ve got to compliment the chairman (Daniel Levy) on the attention to detail. This makes Arsenal’s ground look silly.”
The second test event on Saturday will be a Tottenham Hotspurs Legends match against Inter Milan at 5.30pm, with the stadium to operate at an increased capacity of 45,000.
Main image: Populous