Tottenham Hotspurs’ New Stadium to be shared with a NFL Franchise?
Planning permission has been granted for Tottenham Hotspurs to build a 56,000 capacity stadium, which is scheduled to open for the 2018-19 season. The Chairman, Daniel Levy has held discussions with numerous companies and potential sponsors over financing for the stadium, but even if the club has denied any talks having taken place, there is a possibility that an NFL franchise will reach an agreement over the sharing of the stadium. It is widely anticipated that a NFL team will eventually relocate to London, with the Jacksonville Jaguars, owned by Shahid Khan, who bought Fulham in 2013, the favourites to make the move especially since in 2012, NFL sources had claimed a London-based franchise was “five to 10 years away”.
That would mean Spurs’ stadium would be ready in perfect timing, even if the Football Association is interested in making Wembley the London base for an NFL franchise. This seems less likely as the FA would struggle to accommodate a season of eight matches without moving the England national team out, leaving the possibility of an NFL franchise splitting their games between Wembley and Tottenham’s new stadium. This deal would be highly lucrative for Tottenham, as it is estimated that Wembley makes a profit of between £500,000 and £1 million per game, but the biggest challenge for the NFL in wanting to use Tottenham’s new stadium would be ensuring the pitch was not damaged as a result. England manager Roy Hodgson had complained about the Wembley surface after two NFL games were played on it ahead of the Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia. A solution to this kind of problem would be if Spurs design their new stadium with the view of incorporating a sliding artificial pitch for the NFL games.
The 5-3 victory over Chelsea on New Year’s Day has sparked fresh optimism around White Hart Lane, with Spurs very much in the race for a top-four finish and even if, club officials are not expecting a busy transfer window, they are open to doing business if opportunities present themselves. Burnley striker Danny Ings, Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph are out of contract in the summer and interest Spurs, as well as WBA and England under-21 striker Saido Berahino. On the way out, even on loan are the likes of Mousa Dembele, Kyle Naughton, Paulinho, Vlad Chiriches, Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado. Left-back Danny Rose who could have quit Tottenham in the summer, is pleased to have stayed to fight for his place with Ben Davies especially after scoring in the victory over Chelsea, as he believes that the players are finally buying into the philosophies of head coach Mauricio Pochettino and they are confident he will be at the club for the long haul.