Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has secured its first major event since its official opening after it was today (Friday) awarded hosting rights to the 2020-21 finals of European club rugby union competitions the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup.
European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) assigned the rights for its Finals Weekend to Premier League football club Tottenham Hotspur after what it described as a “robust and detailed” tender process run in conjunction with partners, The Sports Consultancy.
Following what had been a difficult development process, Tottenham played the first game at its new home on April 3, a 2-0 Premier League win over Crystal Palace. The award of the 2020-21 Champions Cup and Challenge Cup hosting rights mean the EPCR’s showpiece matches will again be held in a Premier League stadium with St James’ Park, home of Newcastle United, due to host this season’s games at the weekend. Orange Vélodrome, home of French Ligue 1 football club Olympique de Marseille, will stage the 2020 edition.
The 62,062-seat Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will stage the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals on May 21-22, 2021. EPCR said that last season’s Finals Weekend in Bilbao, Spain returned a total economic impact to the Basque Region of around €49m (£42.3m/$55m) as almost 84,000 fans attended San Mamés stadium over the weekend.
The 2020-21 season finale will be the seventh European Cup final to be played in England and the first to be held in London outside of Twickenham Stadium.
Vincent Gaillard, EPCR director general, said: “We received some exceptional bids for the 2021 finals, the calibre of which is testimony to the strength of the process that we have implemented. Finals Weekend is an attractive proposition for fans the world over and the team at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium have shown their commitment to continually raising the bar for the Heineken Champions Cup final experience.”
The NFL American football league agreed a 10-year deal with Tottenham in August 2015 to play a minimum of two games per season at the new stadium. The deal was set to commence last year, but has been delayed to 2019 due to the delays in delivering the facility. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is scheduled to host games between the Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders on October 6, and Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers on October 13.
Daniel Levy, Tottenham Hotspur chairman, said: “We are excited to have been selected to host this prestigious weekend, the pinnacle of European club rugby, in 2021 and to have this opportunity to welcome EPCR and rugby fans from around the world to Tottenham to experience our new home. These games will add to the portfolio of world-class sporting and entertainment events our multi-use venue will stage in this new leisure destination for London.”