English Premiership rugby union club Saracens has today (Tuesday) confirmed a five-year deal to play an annual showpiece match at the new home of Premier League football club Tottenham Hotspur.
It was reported last month that Saracens would switch its derby match against Harlequins to the stadium, which will stage its first Premier League match tomorrow when Spurs host Crystal Palace.
Saracens’ showpiece match was previously held at Wembley Stadium and is currently held at London Stadium, home of Premier League club West Ham United. The fixture, which traditionally takes place in March during the international football break, will now be played at the state-of-the-art, 62,000-seat Tottenham stadium from next year.
Saracens chairman Nigel Wray said: “Tottenham Hotspur have shown themselves to be true innovators in the development of their new stadium and I know you will all share in my excitement at the news that we will make their ground the home of our showpiece fixture.
“Not only this but they are, like us, a club who care massively about their community; who strive to create opportunities in their local area, and who have had such an impact on the young people they work with. The new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will dramatically impact the whole area.
“Together with Spurs we have the opportunity to create something very special in north London. I really do look forward to seeing our partnership come to life!”
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy added: “This agreement with Saracens further reinforces our aspiration to deliver a world-class multi-use venue in our home of Tottenham.
“To attract one of world rugby’s biggest club sides will bring a new audience to the area, as well as help drive significant socio-economic benefits for businesses and local people, as we continue to underline our commitment to the regeneration of north Tottenham.”
Tottenham has staged two successful test events at the new stadium and is all set to welcome a capacity crowd for tomorrow’s game against Crystal Palace.
The stadium has already been confirmed to stage its first NFL American football game later this year, having been fitted with a retractable synthetic turf pitch. Eddie Hearn has also talked up the stadium’s potential as a possible boxing venue, stating it would be “perfect” for hosting a future fight involving Anthony Joshua.
Meanwhile, Tottenham’s operations and finance director Matthew Collecott has been discussing the finance model for the new stadium, which is set to cost more than £1bn (€1.2bn/$1.3bn) in total.
As well as ticketing revenue, the club is expecting to make millions back through hospitality packages, broadcast deals and sponsorship agreements.
Collecott told the Associated Press news agency: “Before starting the financing we had discussed project finance with Greg (Carey, managing director at Goldman Sachs) and walked through a number of models and ways to securitise revenues and best approaches.
“(It) was useful to understand what the market was doing in terms of available methods of finance, stripping out revenue streams to securitise, mix of offerings and modelling.”
Carey added: “It’s this escalation for Champions League. It all comes down to how much money you have to buy, and these stadiums are going to not only pay for the investment in that stadium but produce excess cash flow which is going to go back into buying players.”