There’s news, kind of, on the stadium front today. In what looks like an exclusive report, Squawka claims that Tottenham Hotspur are in the process of negotiating a naming-rights deal for Spurs’ new stadium with ride-sharing giants Uber. The deal, were it to go through at this stage of negotiations, would be in the realm of £20m/year.
Before anyone jumps right to the comments and starts yelling about #againstmodernfootball, it’s important to note that a deal for the naming rights to Spurs’ new stadium is nowhere close to being finalized, much less announced, and that Daniel Levy has a number of other deals in the works:
Sources at Spurs say they have held talks with many potential naming rights partners and that a deal with Uber is unlikely at this stage due to strong interest from several financial institutions, communications companies and airlines.
That means that we could potentially still get a stadium named after some unknown huge Asian bank, or some company like Qatar Airways. The Uber deal is just the only one whose details have been leaked ahead of time.
The stadium rights deal is probably the biggest unresolved stadium issue remaining, and it’s also the one that is the most likely to anger supporters. That’s part and parcel for this kind of a deal: football is big business, and no matter what sponsor Spurs eventually end up with, it’s going to tick off a not-insignificant percentage of the fan base.
Spurs know this. In fact, the only resolution that Spurs could take that would appease just about every Tottenham fan would be to NOT have a stadium sponsor, which is absolutely not going to happen because there’s no way the club is going to leave millions of pounds on the table. £20-25m/year is a HUGE amount of money for a club like Tottenham, though still less than the £30m/year deal that Arsenal and Emirates Airlines hammered out last year.
Fans should probably expect to end up with a stadium named after something not especially great, but if Squawka is right, by fall 2018 you could be able to call an Uber to take you to the Uber. Maybe they’ll give you a discount.