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Is The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium As Good As It Looks ?
Monday, 30th Sep 2019 11:30

After our first visit to Spurs new ground, we take a look to see if it is the best stadium in the Premier League or all smoke and mirrors.

No one can fail to be impressed by The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium visually, it is state of the art and looks almost space age in it's design, but is it really fit for purpose and a truly iconic football ground or another example of a soulless stadium with little atmosphere.

I think they have erred by building it next to the old ground, the same transport issues are happening and the fact there is so little parking within a mile or more of the stadium puts more pressure on the transport network, if they had moved it to a site a couple of miles north they could have had ample transport and parking facilities not to mention more room around the stadium which is pretty squeezed in.

We went to a bar near to where they parked the away coaches and at 6pm over an hour after the game as we headed to the station, the away coaches were only 50 yards from where they had parked, the area was gridlocked.

At 6.15pm at Northumberland Park station there was a big queue to go north, but only a small one to go back to London, but that is almost 90 mins after the game ended

My first impression of the ground was that it seemed to blend into the skyline, there were little high rise buildings around, but from the direction I came from, you didn't catch a glimpse of it till you were almost upon it.

On arriving before you could even climb the steps to the away turnstiles you had to have your ticket checked and scanned, for what purpose I don't know, then you had to queue to go through an airport style metal detector augmented with stewards with portable detectors.

To be blunt you could again ask what was the point, it was poorly operated and many just walked through without putting change and belts and metal into their trays and the machines never went off.

But at 2.45pm and the Saints fans arriving in droves the Stadium really fell short, the turnstiles stopped operating, at first it was a trickle with some people getting their ticket to get a green light and get in, then it became a flood and virtually everyone was blocked from entering after putting their ticket in the scanner.

Whether this was because the tickets had been scanned earlier and were now showing as being in the stadium I don't know, but the fact was that hundreds of Saints supporters were shut outside with 10 mins to kick off and the atmosphere was getting edgy and Spurs security staff did not have a clue what to do apart from tell people to go to the ticket office, that is unacceptable and poses safety questions.

I spotted one man in a Spurs Suit who clearly was a supervisor of sorts, yet he was rooted to the spot, he did not know what to do next, no one was taking charge and it had the potential to get ugly.

In fairness said man in suit tried to do something, he had a master card for the turnstiles and stood on them letting fans in one by one, but this was a trickle.

I got in this way and could then watch from inside and there seemed to be no one doing anything, someone should have made a decision and perhaps opened the exit gates and let people in, they had enough stewards to check tickets and this would have alleviated the problem and calmed down Saints supporters who thought they would miss kick off.

With the game kicking off I have to admit I went to my seat and so I'm not sure how long it took to get everyone in.

So that wasn't a great impression of the stadium to start with, the seats though were good with a barrier to enable them to be used for safe standing, the view from the bottom tier was OK, but although I was only a few rows from the back, I wasn't very high above the pitch, the rake of the stand was very shallow unlike St Mary's.

The ground itself looked impressive, especially the big single tiered end, but when you looked closer you had the feeling they had gone for spectacular not practical, the roof was too high above the highest seats in the stadium, meaning that the atmosphere was not kept in and also when there was a brief shower I got wet even though was as far back in the bottom tier as you could get.

It just felt too open, spectacular yes, but not practical if you want a stadium that can hold in the atmosphere.

The big open end was just too big, the view from the top must have been a long way from the pitch and if they sought to create a big Kop type end they have failed, if they had lopped the top block off the back of this end they would have lost 3,000 seats but I think this would have helped the atmosphere a great deal both in centralising their support and keeping the noise in the ground.

The Spurs supporters themselves didn't seem to have a singing section as such, yes on the occasions they got a big communal song going it was impressive, but that was not that frequent and you couldn't here much singing in between or where it was coming from.

The concourse area were big and with plenty of food and drink outlets, this is the one area without fault, they have put in good facilities and made prices reasonable £4 for Amstel and £4.50 for a Premium beer a pint is cheaper than most pubs in the area.

Only criticism is that they have put in a second bar on an upstairs level but they haven't put a signpost to it, so queues downstairs remained big whilst upstairs was minimal.

Overall you can't fail to be impressed by the architecture, but that is not what we go to a football ground to do and I think they have sacrificed building a great football ground to build a big stadium, if that doesn't sound stupid.

The ground is massive, yet only holds about a thousand more than Arsenal, 6-7 K more than Liverpool & Manchester City, yet they feel like football stadiums not vast concrete structures.

Perhaps I went expecting too much, it looks brilliant, but it is not a football ground it is an arena and will be well suited to the NFL games they hope to attract there and the big rock bands.

Photo: Action Images

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Tleake1 added 13:21 - Sep 30
The trains from Northimberand Park Northbound are generally excellent. For this Game a passenger was taken ill on a Northbound train in Chestnut. This meant the lines were blocked for over an hour hence the long queue for northbound trains so long after the game. Norhtumberland Park is usually clear 30 mins after the end of a match.

SaintNick added 13:36 - Sep 30
I did hear them saying that on the platform annoucements, what are your thoughts on my comments, it is a brilliant arena but Im not sure that the way the roof is makes it a great football ground

SalisburySaint added 15:33 - Sep 30
there was a third bar on lower concourse by entrance to Block 114 which was really quiet before the game but busy at half time

the catering was excellent several of us tried to pies whihc were £3.50 a top quality

we went to Northumberland Rd afterwards a got second train out of there at around 5.19, but made the mistake of getting off at Tottenham Hale to get Victoria Line but were made to go out of station and join another queue, but even so we managed to get back to Paddington just in time for 18.15 train back

jod added 15:49 - Sep 30
So many inaccuracies. The best way to get to and from the ground is via Tottenham Hale. Its a 15-20 minute walk to the station but there's a tube every 2-3 minutes. I don't know what transport links you think there are "a couple of miles north" but you would actually be moving the ground away from the Victoria line.The stands have the steepest rake legally allowed and if you'd actually been up at the top of one of the stands you'd know the views are fantastic even from there as the seats are so close to the pitch. Not that that stopped you telling us how bad the views were from the top of the stands. That also means the ground is on about the smallest footprint possible, important at London land prices. I'm baffled how you think higher walls let sound out, logically they would keep it in, which the stadium was designed to do. I'm guessing you aren't an architect.

SaintNick added 16:19 - Sep 30
Jod, I didn't give an opinion on the best way to get to the ground, only on my experiences in going to the area over a 40 year period where I have found it just about the worst ground in London for transport links.

The lower tier rake is not as steep as other fairly new stadium in my opinion, I gace an opinion of how bad the view was from the back of the lower stands not the top of the ground.

The main issue though is the roof being so far above the seats, it gave the stadium a far more open feeling, it felt big and light but the sound went up to the roof and it also blew the rain in, luckily just a passing light shower, I wouldnt like to be in the lower tier for a heavy raiinstorm.

You are right im not an architect but I know what a decent football ground is, this would be a great arena for rock concerts and American Football, but it's let down by its lack of space around the area and a lack of parking and the fact it was gridlocked after the game

SanMarco added 16:27 - Sep 30
jod is right - this ground keeps the sound in - I live approx. 400 yards from old one and 500 yards from new - you could hear all the crowd noises clearly from the old ground - a pain when watching live on tv with the 10 second delay. Total silence from the new ground.

jod is also right about the transport - a move to Enfield might I suppose improve parking but it would not help with transfer infrastructure. The ground has two railway stations within five mins walk and two tube stations within 25 mins walk. Yes - the roads are not fit for purpose but the idea is that you don't drive.

I am obviously a Saints supporter but I think it was right that the spuds stayed in Tottenham - the ground does feel too big for the immediate area it has been built on - I suspect they will eventually knock down the Sainsburys to the north (they own the land) but I hope not because that is where I shop.

jod added 17:23 - Sep 30

"The lower tier rake is not as steep as other fairly new stadium in my opinion" - What part of its the steepest rake legally allowed didn't you understand ? Or does your opinion trump the law ?

SanMarco added 17:47 - Sep 30
Nick accused of being Boris Johnson - what next?

SaintNick added 20:19 - Sep 30
Jod I understand that you are upset I have dared to criticise your new stadium, perhaps the rake of the stands is the steepest it can now be but the law might have changed since other stadiums might have been built.

You seem to think I cannot comment on the stadium unless im an architect or an expert on stadium construction law, neither do I know what the area is like a couple of miles north, I'm just a football fan who visited your stadium and gave an opinion, simple as that im sorry you dont like that opinion, no need to be rude though

Saintsforeverj added 21:56 - Sep 30
Nick makes some very valid points. I went to the game Saturday. Although very impressive, I felt as if I was arriving at a concert or the Kennedy Space Centre ready for a launch. You couldn't get around the whole ground as it was so expansive and blocked off by supermarkets etc. There were huge amounts of people tourists from different countries. It really felt like a tourist destination rather than a traditional football ground. The metal detector machine did seem like an airport and inside felt strange being so close to the home support, who again were mostly tourists. The Saints support was poor but I just think we were ants in the corner of this huge arena. Impressive structure but I personally didn't really like it.

warrens76 added 17:39 - Oct 1
Do you know, I so want us to be improved and upgraded but I am not as overawed as I thought, it was a bit of a misunderstood travelling persons wedding, too much, it could have been more by being a little less..

Arsenal's corporate and people skills is altogether on another level, seems Spuds employed a combination of jobsworths and snowflakes, Arsenal recruited corporate entertainment people, who can relate, interact, not panic and have a sense of humour.

10% of what Spuds spent wisely invested would make SMS a better day out and a decent atmosphere.

warrens76 added 17:39 - Oct 1
Do you know, I so want us to be improved and upgraded but I am not as overawed as I thought, it was a bit of a misunderstood travelling persons wedding, too much, it could have been more by being a little less..

Arsenal's corporate and people skills is altogether on another level, seems Spuds employed a combination of jobsworths and snowflakes, Arsenal recruited corporate entertainment people, who can relate, interact, not panic and have a sense of humour.

10% of what Spuds spent wisely invested would make SMS a better day out and a decent atmosphere.

reggaesaint added 17:03 - Oct 2
It is an impressive and futuristic ground visually but the facilities approaching the stadium are positively medieval, especially the urinals (which are bereft of doors) on the approach from White Hart Lane station! I agree with Nick about the logistics getting in. We missed the kick off as many of us were stuck outside trying again and again to scan our tickets whilst the staff on duty looked disinterested.

On the football front, we should have been far more direct and put them under much more pressure. Let’s really go for it against Chelsea. We really need 3 points.

NewburySaint added 15:26 - Oct 3
No! It looks great from the outside, and again when you are inside the bowl, but that's about it really.

Having to pay for everything with a card, even the programme sellers outside, was ridiculous as is having a metal detector at a stadium.

Unlike other posters on here i wasn't that impressed with the facilities on offer, nor the concourse size.

Seating was very tight as well for a new stadium.

And as much as i dislike Spurs i have to admit the atmosphere at the old White Hart Lane was very good but i'm happy to say that it is now non existent, or it was on Saturday anyway.

I think they've focused on building a stadium with more seats than the Emirates but the Emirates is clearly a much bigger stadium, and with that means it's a lot more comfortable.

But at least they have beer that fills up from the bottom..

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