Tottenham Hotspur is reportedly seeking £25m (€29.4m/$32.8m) a year from a naming-rights sponsor for its new stadium, although a deal is not said to be imminent.
The Telegraph reported that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is holding out for the fee, which over 15 years would earn the Premier League club £375m.
If such a deal is secured, it would mark the most lucrative stadium sponsorship in the Premier League, eclipsing Manchester City’s £21.9m-a-year agreement with the Etihad airline. The figure would also mark one of the biggest in world sport.
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium opened in April without a naming-rights sponsor.
In an interview with the Evening Standard newspaper, Levy said: “We are only going to do a naming-rights deal if we get the right brand, in the right sector, on the right money.
“If we can’t meet those three criteria, we won’t do it. At the moment, we haven’t found a company that meets all three criteria. We are not really close to anything on that at the moment.”
The state-of-the-art 62,000-seat venue had initially been due to open in September 2018 but a string of delays meant that Tottenham were unable to play at the ground until April.
On the delays the stadium faced, Levy added: “It would have been disappointing if we hadn’t got in last season and we were disappointed not to get in the previous summer, but I think it was just a timing issue. The biggest issue was could we get all the financing together?
“Football clubs have the impression they are these huge businesses. The reality is we create a lot of noise globally but turnover-wise, we are relatively small. To take on a capital project of this nature, that’s why so few stadiums ever get built, certainly ones of this scale. It was the enormity of the challenge and I think when we started we didn’t realise what we were taking on.”
The stadium includes a retractable American football pitch and hosted two NFL games in October. There has previously been speculation over the formation of a London-based NFL team that would play its home games at the stadium and Levy did not rule out the possibility.
“It is up to the 32 NFL owners to decide whether they want to relocate a team to the UK,” he said. “They have made no decision on whether that is going to happen now or in the future. All I know is we have a fully compliant NFL stadium within our own stadium.
“We would love them to play more games in London and the two played at our stadium were incredibly successful. We very much hope, if not a team, that we will have more games. Our door is very much open.”
The story behind the building of Tottenham’s new stadium has been documented in a new book, Destination Tottenham.
Image: Tottenham Hotspur