Test events delay for Spurs' new home

Tottenham's preferred date for their new stadium's first game is Jan 13, against Manchester United. But test event delays, essential to gaining a safety certificate, means the opening may not happen till February.
Tottenham's preferred date for their new stadium's first game is Jan 13, against Manchester United. But test event delays, essential to gaining a safety certificate, means the opening may not happen till February.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Tottenham face a further delay to the opening of their new stadium because of difficulties staging test events over Christmas.

The Premier League club must hold several events to gain a safety certificate and are preparing to welcome 6,000 fans selected by ballot for a tour of the ground on Sunday.

However, they are still struggling to fit in larger events in time to meet the preferred opening date of their league game against Manchester United on Jan 13.

Test events had been scheduled for successive Sundays on Dec 30 and Jan 6. But the first date is proving problematic because of a shortage of staff, while police resources are stretched in the build-up to the new year and the London derby between Crystal Palace and Chelsea is on the same day.

It is understood that Spurs have altered their plans. The Times has seen photographs from the club's operations room at the refurbished White Hart Lane, including a daily planner detailing the work that needs to be done and leading to the proposed opening date of Jan 13.

Although Spurs are making good progress after numerous setbacks, that date is now being revised and the inability to host United could result in the opening being delayed to the following month. Their next home league game after that is not until Jan 30 when Watford visit.

However, because that is a Wednesday night on the eve of the January transfer window deadline day, it is hardly the ideal date for such an occasion. So the opening could be further postponed.

 

Mauricio Pochettino's men are at home to Newcastle the following Saturday on Feb 2.

Spurs have not publicly confirmed their plans for home games beyond the league match with Wolves at Wembley on Dec 29, but are expected to issue an update later this week.

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2018, with the headline 'Test events delay for Spurs' new home'. Print Edition | Subscribe