Tottenham Hotspur fans have been stuck in a holding pattern for months over when Spurs will be moving into their new stadium. Construction delays and problems with the safety systems have pushed back the original date from September all the way to the early part of 2019, causing frustration and confusion among the Tottenham faithful, who were promised Champions League football in the new ground.
However, Spurs fans may be getting a clearer idea of when the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will host its first Premier League match in short order. Football.london beat writer Alasdair Gold is reporting that Spurs are close to announcing the first of three “test events” in the new stadium and are targeting December 16, just after the home match against Burnley.
The original plan from this summer was to hold an open training session as the first test event, inviting fans to the new ground. However, while details are scarce, that doesn’t seem to be the plan for the first shakedown cruise this time around.
This new event would be a slightly larger scale affair, to allow fans to get in and around the stadium and test parts of it. However, football.london understands it will not be on the scale of something like an open training session involving the club’s stars as has been mooted as a potential first test event.
— Alasdair Gold, football.london
Local government requires three test events to be staged, with increasing attendance size, before safety certificates are granted to host full-capacity Premier League matches.
Earlier, Spurs announced that they had reached a deal with the Premier League whereby they had the option to stay at Wembley Stadium through the end of the season if necessary, though they will need to pay for the entire season whether or not they move into the new ground. It was also surmised that the home match against Manchester United on January 13 might be the next target for Spurs’ first match. The club promised further communication about the stadium in December.
This sounds promising, but we probably won’t know until we get an official communication from the club. Regardless, this is the strongest indication yet that we will in fact be seeing matches at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium during the 2018-19 Premier League season.