Spurs stadium impresses on NFL debut

A crowd of 60,463 turned out yesterday (Sunday) as Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium staged its first NFL game, with the Oakland Raiders edging out the Chicago Bears 24-21.

The game forms part of a double-header of NFL fixtures at the state-of-the-art stadium, which will host the Carolina Panthers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers on October 13.

The venue received rave reviews on its NFL debut, with Raiders quarterback Derek Carr stating that it was “one of the best stadiums I’ve ever played in in my life – if not the best”.

The stadium has been fitted with an NFL pitch and yesterday marked the first time that American football has been played in a purpose-built NFL venue outside of the US.

The ground will stage at least two games a season as part of a 10-year deal between Tottenham and the NFL. The stadium had initially been due to open in September 2018 and stage its first NFL game the following month, but delays meant the ground did not hosts its first Tottenham match until April this year.

The crowd of 60,463 marks a new record for the stadium, which was rapidly transformed into an NFL venue following last Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League match between Tottenham and Bayern Munich. The football pitch was replaced with a retractable NFL turf that is located underneath the pitch and specifically designed for NFL games.

Fans were treated to an exciting match as the Raiders led 17-0 before the Bears responded to take a 21-17 lead. The Raiders eventually reclaimed the lead to secure a 24-21 victory.

Last month, Spurs announced details of an NFL-themed edition of its guided stadium tour. The 90-minute tour is the first standalone NFL visitor attraction outside of the US and provides a behind-the-scenes look at the stadium’s bespoke NFL facilities. Tours will begin from today.

Images: NFL