Tottenham Hotspur provided another update on the progress of their new stadium via social media and on their website, and Spurs fans will need to be patient for just a little while longer. Spurs announced that the building is ready to begin the process of scheduling building tests and formal test events for fans, but that the time require to arrange those means that the new stadium debut will be pushed back to March.
The club confirmed that the Premier League home games against Watford (January 30), Newcastle (February 2), and Leicester (February 10) will all be played at Wembley Stadium, as will the Champions League home tie against Dortmund on February 13. Spurs would also play at Wembley if they move past Crystal Palace in the FA Cup and are drawn at home in the Fifth Round; that match is scheduled for February 16/17.
Daniel Levy again made a short statement thanking supporters for their patience and reiterating that when it does open the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will be a masterpiece.
“I should like to apologise to our fans and thank you for your continued patience. The response from those who attended the familiarisation event was great to hear and reinforced our commitment to deliver an exceptional matchday experience for everyone. We shall now seek clarity in respect of building test schedules and test event dates and provide further information on these in the next two to three weeks.”
The Champions League match being played at Wembley is clearly the most disappointing outcome from this announcement, as it was previously thought that Spurs had just enough time to get into the stadium before the match took place.
In the official statement, the club offered some additional details about ticket refunds and purchases; the three league matches will be refunded and purchased as one unit as Category C matches.
It begs the question as to when Spurs’ next opportunity to move in will be. The first Premier League match in March is the North London Derby vs. Arsenal on March 2, but according to Dan Kilpatrick in the Standard while Daniel Levy wants to move in as soon as possible an NLD as the opener would create a potential security nightmare.
#thfc Understand Arsenal on March 2 is unlikely to be the first game at the new WHL due to security concerns. But Levy wants to relocate from Wembley ASAP because it is costing substantially more per game than last season... https://t.co/3eUk5IA4D8— Dan Kilpatrick (@Dan_KP) January 9, 2019
That would leave the home match vs.
Southampton (March 9) or Crystal Palace (March 16) as the next likely option (Editor: d’oh, Southampton is at St. Mary’s). Spurs will provide another stadium update in about two weeks. Kilpatrick also notes that the FA and Premier League remain supportive about Spurs’ flexible schedule, adding yet another thing for Neil Warnock to be mad about.