Sunday 24 February 2019

New Tottenham stadium not ready to host Arsenal in March

Spurs are yet to move into their new 62,000-seater home.

Tottenham have an agreement with Wembley to stay for the rest of the season if required (Mike Egerton/PA)
Tottenham have an agreement with Wembley to stay for the rest of the season if required (Mike Egerton/PA)

By Jim van Wijk, Press Association Sport

Tottenham will play their Premier League match against local rivals Arsenal at Wembley on March 2 as the wait to move into the club’s new stadium goes on.

Last month, Spurs confirmed three more Premier League fixtures, as well as the Champions League last-16 home leg against Borussia Dortmund, would all take place at the national stadium as the finishing touches are applied to their 62,000-seater home.

Chairman Daniel Levy said the “next few weeks are pivotal” as Spurs look to finally complete the protracted move following the redevelopment around White Hart Lane.

“We can today report that remedial works on the safety systems in the new stadium are near completion and we shall then move forward to the final stages of testing the fire detection and alarm system and its integration with the other safety systems,” a statement on the Tottenham club website read.

“The success of this testing is critical to our ability to obtain a safety certificate and open the stadium.

“We can confirm, therefore, that we shall play our Premier League match against Arsenal on Saturday 2 March at 12.30pm at Wembley Stadium.

“We shall provide a further update in due course.”

Following January’s announcement that the matches against Watford, Newcastle and Leicester would all be held at Wembley, along with the home leg of their upcoming European tie on on February 13, Spurs chairman Levy had apologised to fans for the continued delays.

In the club’s statement on Thursday, Levy said: “Once again, thank you all for bearing with us and for the great support we have received from so many different quarters. These next few weeks are pivotal.”

Tottenham have been working with contractors and Haringey Council to determine a schedule for further testing and sign-offs, including the official test events at their new state-of-the-art stadium.

The north London club were originally due to move in for the start of the new season before putting that back to September.

Tottenham have an agreement with Wembley to stay there for the rest of the campaign if necessary.

Governing body UEFA, meanwhile, said last month it would “remain in close contact” with Tottenham “to assess the possibility of the club hosting UEFA competition matches in their new stadium this season”, should they progress further in the Champions League.

These next few weeks are pivotal. Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy

Spurs remain confident they will move into their own ground this season.

The next two scheduled home matches for Spurs following the Arsenal game are currently set for March 17, against Crystal Palace, and then the visit of Brighton on April 6.

However, both of those fixtures are possibly open to being moved depending on FA Cup ties.

If there are no further major setbacks, the Premier League game against Huddersfield on April 13 could be a potential date for Spurs’ first match in the new stadium.

Press Association

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