After weeks of planning, designing and slandering from both sides, West Ham, not Tottenham, won the bid to play at the Olympic Stadium. So what now for Tottenham? Has anyone given consideration to redeveloping the current stadium, like you would build up a hotel in a game of Monopoly, one stand at a time?
The fact that Tottenham need to play in a bigger Stadium is irrefutable. White Hart Lane has a capacity of 36,310. This is not big enough to generate match-day income to compete with the likes of The Emirates (60,355), Old Trafford (76,212), and even The City of Manchester Stadium (47,726).
When the new FIFA financial fair play rules come into play, clubs will only be able to spend what they make from football. Match day revenue is a huge part of what they will be able to make. In truth, White Hart Lane cannot accommodate the ambitions of Tottenham as it stands.
The original plan for Tottenham was the Northumberland Development Project which would redevelop land immediately adjacent to the current Stadium. This no longer seems a likely option because of the required demolition of listed buildings in this area. The other option is to move away from Tottenham to a new site. The latter is what Daniel Levy has said is most likely. However, both these options would mean building a stadium from scratch and would be hugely expensive.
An alternative option would be to develop the current stadium, one stand at a time.
It has the advantageous of staying in the current stadium, combined with those of moving to Stratford. Firstly it will be a great deal cheaper than building a new stadium from scratch, this was the attraction of the Olympic Stadium. The majority of the stadium is already in place so costs would be much lower.
It would also keep supporters happy. Many fans disliked the idea of a move to Stratford as they thought it would rip the soul out of the club. Fans in favour of a move to Stratford would have tolerated a move but I doubt many actually wanted it.
Furthermore, remaining at WHL would help to retain the current benefits of the stadium; if the stands remained as close to the pitch as they do at the moment, WHL would retain its famous atmosphere.
On the down side, it would mean a temporary reduction in the capacity. This in turn may affect the atmosphere and match day experience while redevelopment is taking place. The rise of a club like Manchester City makes it a crucial time for Tottenham to succeed in all competitions. If Tottenham are going to qualify for the Champions League again, they need to be firing on all cylinders. A less than fully-functioning stadium would surely hinder that cause.
To upgrade one stand at a time could be a logistical nightmare, but it could save a huge amount of money. If the long term benefits out-weigh the short term pit-falls it could quite easily prove to be a wise decision.
To redevelop the current stadium would appease all parties involved. The club get the larger capacity it needs to keep up with the biggest clubs. The fans get to stay at a club where they have grown up watching football. And importantly it would be a cheaper option.
I would love to know people’s thought on this idea. It is a solution that I have not heard mentioned too often as of yet. I am not saying it is the definite answer, but surely it is worth consideration?
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