Tottenham Hotspur delays stadium opening over safety concerns
English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur has been forced to postpone the opening of its new stadium over “issues with the critical safety systems.”
The north London club had been due to play upcoming league games against Liverpool on Sept. 15 and Cardiff City on Oct. 6 at the new 62,000 capacity White Hart Lane venue, which has reportedly cost over $1 billion.
Spurs had been also due to host the NFL game between Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders on Oct. 14, but that will also be switched to Wembley Stadium. Last season Spurs used Wembley to play its home games.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy asked the club’s fans for their “continued patience and forbearance.”
“We know this will be disappointing for all our season tickets holders, premium members and our fans worldwide,” said Levy in a statement.
“We appreciate the support our partner the NFL has shown since the extent of this issue became evident today.”
“Urgent follow up meetings” with contractors will take place and after “re-testing and rectifying” they would be in a better position to release a revised timetable for when the club might be able to move into its new home.
NFL vice-president Mark Waller said that he “totally understood the issue” and would continue to work with Spurs to make future games a “huge success.”
“Everyone has been so excited about the prospect of playing in the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and I know all at the Club are very disappointed, but determined to clear this final hurdle,” said Waller in a statement.
“The new stadium will be an amazing venue for the NFL and we are very excited about our long-term partnership with Tottenham Hotspur.”
The venue for Spurs’ game against Manchester City on Oct. 28 is also yet “to be confirmed,” while the delay will also impact at least one of the club’s Champions League group games.
The draw for the Champions League group stages takes place on Aug. 30, with match days one, two and three taking place on Sept. 18 and 19, Oct. 2 and 3 and Oct. 23 and 24.
The Premier League had already granted Spurs special permission to play their opening game on Saturday against Fulham in Wembley.
The Premier League did not immediately respond to CNN Sport’s request for comment.