Spurs to host Palace in first game at new stadium

LONDON • Tottenham's first Premier League match in their new 62,000-capacity stadium will be against Crystal Palace on April 3.

In an official statement on Sunday, Spurs also confirmed that the new stadium will host its first European game when Manchester City visit north London six days later for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie.

The opponents for the inaugural game at the new stadium were decided after Brighton advanced to the April 6-7 FA Cup semi-finals following a penalty shoot-out win over Millwall on Sunday. Chris Hughton's men, who had been scheduled to play their league game at Spurs on April 7, will now do that on April 23 or 24.

Spurs have played their home matches at Wembley since their old White Hart Lane ground was demolished at the end of the 2016-17 campaign to make way for the new stadium. They were expected to move in last August, but problems with the safety systems have delayed the opening.

But while the stadium's issues appear to be over, Spurs have yet to "decide which game will be the official opening ceremony".

According to the club's executive director Donna-Maria Cullen, the Palace game, which is on a Wednesday, "could present issues with fans rushing from work".

However, Tottenham supporters will be reassured that the cost of the ground at a reported £1 billion (S$1.79 billion) "will not affect the net spend on players" in the summer.

According to The Evening Standard, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy also refuted rumours that it would be called the Nike Stadium as no naming rights were "in place" and it was "not what Nike do as a business".

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 19, 2019, with the headline 'Spurs to host Palace in first game at new stadium'. Print Edition | Subscribe