Thursday 30th October 2008.
The day the Northumberland Development Project was announced, time flies.
Nearly 6 years on - today’s announcement confirmed the continued rumours – we’ll be spending a season away from White Hart Lane during the development of the new stadium.
Whilst the core of the statement is focused around Archway Sheet Metal Works’ right to exercise a challenge to the Secretary of State's decision in the High Court, the move away from N17 was confirmed.
Firstly, the Archway appeal is likely to drag on for a little while longer yet – the club have mentioned the 2017/18 date is practically a no go. The rest of the whole process is unlikely to go smoothly going by what’s happened in the last 6 years so an extra 2/3 year delay on top wouldn’t be too much of a shock. Hopefully I’m proved wrong on that point.
So now it’s confirmed we’ll be on the road for a season – what are some of the options?
The Milton Keynes link has been in the spot light since 2008. Chairman Pete Winkelman publically stated "If Tottenham decide to redevelop on site it seems they will need temporary accommodation and they have had a chat with us about using our stadium".
StadiumMK is all but finished, just under 30,000 saw the shock demolition over Man Utd a few weeks back in the League Cup.
Having been there I can say it’s not the easiest ground to get too – a shuttle bus from the train station appeared to be the easiest way in.
Around the ground, apart from a Kentucky Fried Chicken, it was pretty much a ghost town. I haven’t been there in a few years mind you so things may have changed since.
Another option, the National Stadium – Wembley.
Over 2000 took part in a Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust poll in recent weeks which found 60% were in favour of watching games at an alternative venue to White Hart Lane, if that enabled the new ground to be built quicker. Wembley was by far the favourite option for an alternative home, with 85% saying they would be prepared to watch games there.
Wembley has a restriction of 22 sporting events a year at full capacity, however no restrictions on the use of the lower two tiers (roughly 50,000) according to the Harringey Independent.
The use of Upton Park was quickly rebuffed from both sides a short while ago which indicates use of the Olympic Stadium may also prove tricky… Though money talks.
Portman Road and the newly built Amex in Brighton have also been touted in recent months which would increase travel costs for most. Brighton is interesting, I believe there is a link between both boards. Their corporate facilities which I’m sure will be of interest to ENIC are supposed to be very fancy.
Arsenal? Surely not even on the shortlist?
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we end up playing the few “big” games at Wembley with the majority at StadiumMK.
On the pitch, the transition may take some time. Having no "home ground" could have a detrimental knock on effect which relates to poor results.
Local businesses around Tottenham will no doubt feel the impact of a move away, even if it’s just for a year. It could be longer if further delays arise.
Whatever the next move, it’ll be sure to upset the applecart. It’s impossible to keep everyone happy. A season ticket “opt out” choice for a year is surely a must.
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