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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to host 2021 rugby Challenge and Champions Cup finals

Spurs continue to leverage their new stadium’s status as a multi-sport venue.

Saracens v Exeter Chiefs - Gallagher Premiership Rugby Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images

The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was always designed with multiple sports, not just soccer/football, in mind. The agreement forged between the NFL and Tottenham that will see at least two American football games held in Spurs’ new ground is already well known and well documented. More recently, rugby union club Saracens has announced that it has entered into an agreement to host its annual home match against rivals Harlequins at Spurs’ home ground for the next few years as well.

Now, there’s more rugby news. Multiple outlets, including the Evening Standard, are reporting that the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is set to host the finals of the 2021 European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup, two of Europe’s most prestigious club rugby competitions.

I’m on record as being a rugby ignoramus, so I’m not entirely clear on the difference between the Challenge Cup and the Champions Cup. Both seem to feature clubs rather than international teams, and the finals of both are generally held on consecutive days in mid-May at rotating venues across Europe. This year, both cups are being held this upcoming weekend at Newcastle United’s St. James’ Park, made possible because Newcastle closes the Premier League season this Sunday away at Fulham. This year’s Challenge Cup will feature two French sides (Clermont vs. La Rochelle) while the Champions Cup will be between North London side Saracens vs. Irish club Leinster.

The schedule is slightly more favorable to Tottenham next season. The Premier League season ends on May 17, with the Challenge and Champions Cups to be played on May 22 & 23, respectively. The cups will almost certainly use Spurs’ retractable grass field rather than the artificial surface used for NFL games, but it won’t matter since the Premier League season will be finished anyway.

This is, of course, good for Tottenham’s bottom line — the more events Daniel Levy can host at the new stadium, the more revenue comes in and the faster the club can pay it off. It also brings a whole different audience to Tottenham, with the theory being that it will help boost the local economy.