It’s the news all Tottenham Hotspur soccer fans have been dreading: the opening of the new £850m (US$1.1bn) stadium has been officially delayed even further, and is now unlikely to stage a home fixture until at least late October.
Recent testing at the stadium found problems with critical safety systems, forcing the club to move its scheduled matches against Liverpool on September 15 and Cardiff City on October 6 to Wembley Stadium. The setback also has a knock-on effect for the NFL, which will see the clash between the Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders on October 14 also move to the national stadium.
The English soccer club’s ambition to have the state-of-the-art venue open for its first home game had already been quashed after the stadium was been beset by delays that forced the team to move its first home fixtures to Wembley also.
The delays also mean that Test Events scheduled on August 27 and September 1 – which are required in order for the stadium to acquire a safety certificate to open its doors to the public – will also have to be re-arranged.
“We know this will be disappointing for all our season tickets holders, premium members and our fans worldwide,” said Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy in a club statement.
“We appreciate the support our partner the NFL has shown since the extent of this issue became evident today (August 13). At the start of the project we asked for your support during what we knew would be a complex and challenging build and now we ask for your continued patience and forbearance.”
The club said it is conducting urgent follow-up meetings with Mace and other trade contractors to review the situation, rectify, re-test and plan a revised timetable.
At this stage Tottenham Hotspur FC is looking at its home fixture against Manchester City on October 28 as a potential opener. However should the stadium not be ready in time for this, there will be further complications as the NFL is scheduled to hold a regular season game at Wembley on this date, which would mean the club would have the headache to seek another alternative venue or get the fixture re-arranged.
“Everyone has been so excited about the prospect of playing in the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and I know all at the club are very disappointed, but determined to clear this final hurdle,” said Mark Waller, NFL executive vice-president, International.
“We totally understand the issue. We shall continue to work with them toward making our future games at Spurs a huge success.
“The new stadium will be an amazing venue for the NFL and we are very excited about our long-term partnership with Tottenham Hotspur.”
August 15, 2018