Tottenham Hotspur stadium should be opening up within the next few weeks, barring any major emergency that sets things back. While Spurs are looking forward to getting into their new home this season, their collaboration with the National Football League of the United States will kick off next season. While it’s not yet known what games will be at the shiny new stadium in north London on the regular NFL schedule, the Oakland Raiders are suddenly in the same shoes at Tottenham are right now: They don’t have a permanent home.
For those who don’t follow the NFL, Oakland Raiders owner and winner of the World’s Worst Haircut for a Billionaire, Mark Davis, is moving his team to Las Vegas, Nevada. There will be a state-of-the-art stadium built there! The problem is that it isn’t going to be ready until 2020 at minimum. If there’s anything we know about stadium construction, it’s that delays happen. The Raiders have apparently reached out to the NFL for help, and the suggestion has been made to have their home games next year played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Now, this is the Daily Mail we’re talking about, so hit the salt mine.
However, this is a more than a plausible rumor, given how the Raiders are scrambling after the city of Oakland told them to take a hike for 2019. It’s no secret that NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell sees London as a potential home for a franchise, with Fulham owner Shahid Khan possibly taking the Jacksonville Jaguars across the pond. He might see this as a way to get far more exposure in the England capital and also gauge interest in an owner moving there permanently. The major hurdle with this is that the Raiders play in the AFC West, which means that their divisional games on the road would be an eight time zone difference from London.
So let’s say the Raiders run out of options and reach out to Daniel Levy. What does it mean for Tottenham? It means money. Lots and lots of money. It’s no surprise that the chairman looked at this collaboration with the NFL as a way to generate far more revenue with hosting a couple of NFL games a year, but getting a franchise for an entire season? That’s way better. It’s a fantastic way of showcasing the club and stadium to an international crowd that may not watch the English Premier League and could get more fans interested. The possibilities are endless here.
Ultimately, I suspect that the Raiders moving to London is the last gasp effort. They’ve already reached out to AT&T Park in San Francisco but there are weird rules about territorial rights that will prevent it from happening. We’ll wait to hear more about this, but any extra revenue would be welcome, even if it means NFL football at the new stadium for eight weeks instead of two for next season.