With a retractable field offering a soccer pitch and a football field, plenty of upscale hospitality areas and an onsite microbrewery, the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium in London, designed to host NFL games as well, will certainly raise the bar for the British soccer experience—and could also come back to influence American stadium design as well.
Replacing White Hart Lane, the venerable stadium dating back to 1899, the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium will feature a dazzling array of fan amenities, ranging from the upper-level Sky Lounge and the Tunnel Club—a 100-capacity lounge (shown above and below) providing a view of the player tunnel from the clubhouse to the bowl, via one-way glass—to a general admission bar believed believed to be the longest in a UK stadium (86.8 metres), as well a wide range of regional street food concepts available to all general admission guests.
Those amenities open to all include an onsite micobrewery and bakery. The brewery will allow for the production of one million pints of craft beer a year, according to stadium architect Populous, while the onsite bakery will produce artisan breads and pastries for every food outlet in the stadium, ranging from general admission areas to boxes.
“We believe our new stadium will redefine sports and entertainment experiences,” said Daniel Levy, Chairman of Tottenham Hotspur, in a press statement. “We have traveled to some of the best venues in the world to ensure no stone is left unturned in order to deliver experiences that are unparalleled for all our visitors. It will provide the world-class facilities our players and fans deserve and bring much needed regeneration to the local area.”
Make no mistake: the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium is an urban facility designed to impact the surrounding area. From Marketing Week:
Tottenham Hotspur estimates that the development will pump £293m annually into the local economy, with £211m of additional local spending being generated during the four-year construction phase. The club hopes the project will help to change perceptions of the area surrounding the stadium and by extension enhance the Tottenham brand.
“This is Tottenham, we’ve had two riots in the last 30 years. It’s the fifth most deprived ward in the UK and 76% of inhabitants immediately on our doorstep claim social benefits, so it is an area that has a historical background of under-investment,” stated Cullen.
“Our stadium has triggered master planning to the east and west. You will see this become more of a leisure destination, building new homes, schools, restaurants and accommodation.”
But Tottenham Hotspur’s deal with the NFL to host two games annually after the stadium opens in 2018 is heavily influencing the design. Again, from Marketing Week:
The NFL tie-up has also played into the club’s marketing strategy and plan to make the stadium a sports and lifestyle destination, says head of marketing Emma Taylor.
“From a marketing perspective the NFL partnership is very exciting. I’ve attended some of the international series matches in London to see how the tailgating and other activations work. In terms of the stadiums themselves, there have been a lot of trips over to the US to visit all their new stadia and to take learnings about how the match day experience is delivered.”
We are in the midst of a transition when it comes to the fan experience at both NFL and NCAA football stadiums: facilities that add feature several levels of fan experiences past the traditional bowl/suites split. While these sorts of features are being added to renovated and new stadiums, look for more NFL teams and NCAA programs to add them in coming years.
Images courtesy Tottenham Hotspur.