Tottenham Hotspur can set their sights on hosting soccer and football on the same day after their new stadium’s successful first National Football League (NFL) game, according to one of the venue’s key designers.
Spurs’ stadium, which is the first purpose-built football venue outside of North America, hosted the first NFL match of its ten-year deal to stage two annual regular season games on 6th October.
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was transformed from a soccer venue for Spurs’ Uefa Champions League clash with Bayern Munich on 1st October into an NFL outpost in five days. The retractable grass soccer pitch made way for the artificial football surface that sits permanently 1.7 metres below in a process that can take as little as 20 minutes. There are also football facilities on the opposite side of the stadium to the soccer dressing rooms.
Tom Jones, senior principal at design firm Populous, which helped build the ground, told London daily the Evening Standard that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has ambitions for a soccer-NFL double-header.
“[Levy] had a great ambition to get the NFL to Tottenham,” Jones told the newspaper.
“There are sliding pitches all over the world, but Tottenham had the ambition to be able to host multiple events. So, they wanted to be able to make it happen quickly.
“Daniel has a great ambition one day, which we all fear, of hosting a double-header of football in the morning and NFL in the evening.
Adding: “The intention with the design was to avoid the overlay that other stadiums have to go through.
“The investment in the technology, and the reason for all of that planning, is so that the transformation time can be quick enough so that Tottenham could have a full schedule of football matches and potentially a full schedule of an NFL franchise.”
Paul Jennings, Tottenham’s technology manager, appeared to confirm the concept.
He told the Standard: “The club’s view is that they’ve already made that investment. It is capable of [hosting a double-header], but it’s also capable of hosting one or two games per year.
“So now the powers that be will see how that evolves. It’s not like they started small and will have to change things to have a franchise there.”