Tottenham Hotspur continues to build toward the future, both in terms of squad and stadium. While a shiny new stadium is set to open before the 2018/19 campaign, there’s this pesky problem of having to find a place to play one season’s worth of matches that is sure to include the Premier League and whatever European competition Spurs end up in after the dust settles from the 2016/17 campaign. At this point, we are all assuming it’s going to be Wembley Stadium, but there are still a couple of hurdles left to clear before that becomes reality.
The biggest hurdle is to get the Brent Council on board with expanding the number of full-capacity events that the stadium is allowed to put on during a year. That number is a hard limit of 37 events, which includes the English National Team, Capital One and FA Cup matches, as well as the lower league playoffs beyond the non-sporting events such as concerts. Tottenham could take a deal that allows them to use just the lower tiers for league matches and save the full capacity matches for Europe. The problem is that Tottenham Hotspur, as it stands currently, would only be allowed to use the full capacity of Wembley five times. What happens if Spurs advance deep into Europe? This is the question that Daniel Levy has asked the Wembley group to push on the Brent Council. It appears as though the council has heard them loud and clear:
Brent Council officers recommend that planning committee grant application to increase no. of full-capacity events at Wembley 2017-18 #thfc— Tom Collomosse (@TomCStandard) March 16, 2017
Tom Collomosse has been following this story for awhile now for the Evening Standard, so the source is solid. Brent Council recommending this ahead of next week’s official decision, which is set for March 23, means that Spurs are likely to get what they want and will have the restrictions that they’re concerned about lifted.
Now, to be clear: We aren’t exactly sure what the final plan is here. Matt Law reported some time ago that the initial request made by Tottenham was for an increase of 31 events to full capacity. The math checks out:
- 19 Home Premier League Matches
- Guaranteed three European matches and up to seven total depending on progression either in Champions League or Europa League
- A possible 10 domestic cup ties between the EFL Cup and the FA Cup.
That’s 36 possible home matches that Spurs are looking at next season. Of course, every single draw has to go Tottenham’s way for that to happen, but the last thing needed here is to come up short on the suggestion. If you add in the five they were already guaranteed, the request for 31 more comes up to 36.
With the Brent Council giving the green light, this is all but a done deal. On March 23, Wembley, Spurs, and the Brent Council will meet up to finalize the details. After that, Spurs will almost certainly give those details to the English Football Association for approval to play all their home matches at Wembley Stadium for the 2017/18 campaign while the new stadium is completed.
It looks as though Spurs aren’t just on their way to Wembley next month to face Chelsea, but are all but a lock to play all their matches there next season.