The event, dubbed a “fan familiarization event,” is probably considered the first of several test events designed to give the new ground a shakedown cruise before it opens for its first match, hopefully some time in February. It not only gave a select few fans a chance to poke around the south stand and concourses, but it also gave the state-of-the-art turnstiles and security procedures a test run as well. Season ticket holders who were invited had the event loaded onto their stadium access cards for “swiping” access much like the London Underground.
And by the reactions on social media, Spurs’ new home is going to be a huge hit.
One of the things that I kept noticing while searching social media for more photos and videos of this event were just how many small details Tottenham put in place, and that they nailed. We already know that the concourse floors were made with crushed aggregate from White Hart Lane, but there were other things, too — like a plaque that marks the spot where center circle was at Spurs’ old home, or a hallway wallpapered with large reproduction of old matchday programmes.
This event was also an opportunity to give the concessions stands a whirl, including the Goal Line Bar, the longest bar in Europe. The stadium has its own microbrewery (a satellite of Beavertown Brewing), affordable pies, and other concessions. Alas, I could not find a photo of the cheese room.
The new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium may not open for another month yet, but based on everything I’ve read and seen from the fan acclimation event, people will NOT be disappointed. This is an amazing stadium, and all of the frustrations, disappointments, and anger about how we got here will vanish the first time a jam-packed South Tier starts singing “O When the Spurs Go Marching In.”
I can’t wait to get there.