Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – save time for footy
And so to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – the newest of English Premier League football grounds.
The venue opened at the back end of the 2018-19 season, bringing an end to Spurs’ over-long ‘temporary’ stay at Wembley Stadium.
Aside from providing the footy, the north London ground will host two NFL matches in October as the UK’s appetite for seeing US sports without leaving their own country increases.
Here is a rundown on what I found on my first trip to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, for a pre-season friendly encounter with Inter Milan…
Ease of entry / public transport access
What still surprises me is that impressive new structures are built in the eventuality (hope) that someday there will be a public transport system to enhance the experience of visiting them.
But the term: ‘Event Day’ means little to transport pen-pushers.
Perennial engineering works closed the nearest station to the ground, White Hart Lane, for the entire day. Add to that a closure of Seven Sisters’ London Overground option. You always need to travel in London primed with half a dozen possible routes to a destination. Coming from Victoria, this meant it was into the hot underground breeze of the blue line and off to Tottenham Hale.
From there, the cattle are let out for a good 30-minute walk. I’m sure I kept passing signs saying: ’20 minutes to Stadium’, despite walking way more than this.
Now I’m no walking slouch and perhaps there is method to this. But by the time you do get to the stadium you’re gasping and in desperate need of a pie and pint. Job done then, pats on the back to all those who make journeys difficult to accomplish in this country.
En route, as you make your way through the poorest borough in a rich capital, the presence of this new opulence doesn’t look to be trickling down.
Sadly those with more straightforward routes to the stadium are unlikely to be able to afford to attend. To them it maybe stands as just another grandiose example of capitalism.
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Seating Plan
Finding your seat is relatively straightforward. Even if you’re bad at directions, which I am.
Your ticket will show a breakdown of where each entrance is. So as long as you keep eyes peeled for the signs, you’ll be heading up the correct set of steps in no time.
Once in, I went on a sightseeing mission (a better idea would be sign up for the Tottenham Hotspur stadium tour when there’s not 58,000 others in your path).
Certainly if it’s food and drink you’re after, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is dreamland. It’s also dreamland with an environmental conscience, judging by the many well marked out recycling bins available.
There are umpteen Tap Inn outlets. The massive Goal Line Bar in the South Stand’s Market Place looks great. At 65m it runs the length of the goal line.
At £4+, beer prices compare to most other places in the south of the country. Plus everything is cashless. This should prove quicker in the long run once fans have cottoned on. Indeed, the first person I came across in the queue tried to pay with a note. Bless these technology resisters.
Whether it caters for the regular football fan is another matter.
Personally, most fans I know prefer a quick bite and even quicker pint. Stopping to eat fish and chips from the Linesman would cut into valuable pre-match prediction and alcohol time.
Funnily, there is plenty available for those who don’t actually mind missing the sport!
The Market Place matches the relaxed street food vibe you come across throughout London. Add to this a Chicken House, Touchline Grill (hot dogs), and noodles bar and it can be distraction central. Don’t forget the football!
Of the families around me, most seemed pre-occupied with keeping the kids quiet by stuffing their faces. Parents beware – it is an afternoon spent queuing for sausages if you take the kids.
Look and feel of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Inside the arena it’s wide and spacious. The biggest spectacle is the South Stand (adorned with giant cock … titter) and the sheer height at which fans at the very top take their seats. Not one for vertigo sufferers.
If however that’s not high enough, the Club will soon run Sky Walks. These experiences have become commonplace at big swanky new grounds and even at old relics. I recall watching visitors zip-lining over the old Olympic Stadium in Munich, despite it being a hollow shell of its gloriously famous former self.
Most striking however is just how much the place looks like the old White Hart Lane ground. Down at pitch level it felt the same, and it is only when you look up and around that you can take in the vast bowl that bears testament to the billion or so pounds poured into this project.
Hard to truly gauge as this was merely a pre-season friendly but if your name is Heung-Min Son then the noise and enthusiasm is ear-piercing whenever you get on the ball. The overall home roar seems to have more oomph and the opposition goal from Stefano Sensi down the South End of the ground quite rightly went down like a lead balloon. Acoustics work well for booing, so Arsenal should enjoy it.
Well those are the basics. Summing up, the new Tottenham stadium is a clearly well thought out big budget project. Attention to detail is top-notch.
If the team itself can continue its progress, it will be worth the outlay and hopefully drive investment into the surrounding area too.