Editor's note: Today, we're beginning a new series at Cartilage Free Captain. Each week we'll be looking at a new detail from Tottenham Hotspur's new stadium, drawn from the publicly accessible planning documents at the Haringey Council website.
The Northumberland Development Project is exciting in an endless sort of way. It is the most important undertaking that Tottenham Hotspur has embarked upon in decades and is paramount to the club's success going forward. As such, we want to, nay, WE NEED to cover it. And good news, there is a massive amount of information to explore about Spurs' new home. Follow us for the latest, the quirkiest, and the most extensive analysis of the Northumberland Development Project.
Today's topic, the Stadium Bowl!
The exterior of Spurs new stadium is sci-fi chic, yet its bowl shape configuration does infinitely more than make it look hip. The oval structure plays a central role in allowing the club to create an environment that maximizes match-day revenue while also providing supporters with an authentic, throwback viewing experience.
"The bowl design was a response to client and market requirements, firstly to maximise hospitality provision within the west and east stands where the highest value of seating is located and secondly to provide a large single tier ‘home' stand at the south end of the stadium. Further to this the client wished to keep spectator proximity to the pitch as tight as possible"
That the first priority mentioned deals directly with high-end seating is no surprise. Modern football is about profit and Spurs, like every club in the world, is after it. The NDP should rightly be viewed as a coup for supporters, both the wages and transfer fee increase should bring a greater caliber of footballer to Tottenham Hotspur, but ultimately this is all about earnings. The center of the stadium, regardless of which stand one sits in, will be inundated with luxury seating and all the amenities that come with it. Corporate boxes are cash cows and Tottenham will create them in abundance to aid the bottom line.
The common fans, though, need not fret — there are delights in store for their proclivities too. The bowl design facilitates two features that pay homage to the stadiums of old. Firstly, fans will be on top of the pitch. With just 7.97 meters to the first row of seats on either touchline and 7.97 and 4.98 meters from the beginning of the north and south stands respectively, fans will be quite close to the field. Closer in proximity, in fact, than the suggested perimeters put forth by FIFA in their "Football Stadium - Technical recommendations and requirements" guide. At 10 meters of space behind the goal, and 8.5 meters of expanse from the sides of the field, Spurs' proposed dimensions disregard the status quo set by soccer's governing body. Lastly, the shape of the stadium allows the much hyped single tier "home" stand to exist. More detailed information and analysis on Spurs' gigantic wall of seats will come from CFC at a later date, but suffice it to say that a stand like this would not be a reality without the bowl configuration design.
Another interesting tidbit lies in clues about the north stand seating. Spurs both tout their blueprint in its faculty to provide perfect views for every ticket holder, but also it's potential to adjust if further alterations are necessary.
"This north mid tier has a tread depth of 850mm to be consistent with the tier to the east and west. This is to allow for consistent sightlines and also for the ability of this tier to be upgraded at a later date, if required, to club or enhanced GA seating, by upgrading the seating and the accommodation behind."
Yet arguably the most interesting chunk of information from the "Stadium Bowl" explanation lies in the name of a lounge in the hospitality seating section.
"By locating hospitality seating (boxes in the west and club seating within the east, including Champions League Lounge)"
If ever there was intent, it is in this statement. Tottenham are a cameo to the competition, a one and done participant in its history, but their ambitions are clearly etched in a scant phrase buried in the NDP application. Their new stadium, though, might change all this. With lavish seating for the rich, an old school proximity to the turf, and the foundations for the colossal south stand; the atmosphere at Spurs' new stadium might just dragoon the lilywhites back onto Europe's grandest stage — this time at a much more consistent clip.