Premier League football may be resuming next weekend at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but the club has no plans to kick out its current tenants. Today, Spurs announced via their website that the National Health Service (NHS) will continue to use Tottenham’s stadium facilities as an extension of their services during the coronavirus pandemic, despite a closed-doors match against Manchester United taking place on June 19.
Tottenham was the first Premier League club to volunteer its grounds to the NHS for public health and safety usage. The NHS used the basement car park as a drive-in COVID-19 testing facility for the Haringey area (as well as a food distribution center that also continues), and various areas of the stadium were used for outpatient women’s health services including the away changing room, emergency medical room, official’s room, doping control and medical welfare rooms. Due to the NHS potentially bringing in high-risk patients into the facilities, the club announced that “no non-match related operations” will take place at the stadium during match days.
Even without fans in the stadium, some of those spaces (such as the away changing area) will be needed for next Friday, but Tottenham’s announcement made it clear that the NHS will be moved to other areas of the stadium that will also meet their needs. The areas vacated by the NHS will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.
Chairman Daniel Levy restated his pleasure that the club can continue to accommodate the vital work that the NHS is providing during this time.
“We are delighted that, with the imminent return of Premier League football, we have been able to ensure that the vital NHS work can continue to be housed at our stadium during the fight against COVID-19.
“We have been overwhelmed by the response we have received from hospital staff and patients who have been using our stadium facilities in recent months and how much they have enjoyed being at our home during such a challenging time.”
So long as fans aren’t invited back into the ground, there’s no reason not to let the NHS continue to use the new stadium space, provided that basic safety precautions are taken to ensure the continued health of the workers and patients being served inside.