Tottenham will not move into their new stadium until next year, as the club announce all remaining home games in 2018 will be played at Wembley. Chairman Daniel Levy admits he doesn’t know when the new arena will be ready, despite telling manager Mauricio Pochettino the club hoped to move in before Christmas.
Spurs had originally planned to move into their new 62,062-seater stadium in September but construction issues have seen its opening continually pushed back. Levy blamed missed deadlines by constructors and other uncontrollable factors for the latest delay. It means the next possible moving-in day is January 13, when the club face Manchester United in the Premier League, four months after the stadium was due to open on September 15 against Liverpool. There is also the possibility of a third-round FA Cup tie the weekend before if Spurs are drawn at home and the stadium is ready.
Levy said in a statement: “There isn’t an hour that goes by when I am not asked when we will be able to stage our first game at our new home. “I wish I was able to confirm an exact opening date and fixture. However, in light of factors completely outside of our control, contractors missing deadlines and possible future unforeseen issues, we are naturally being cautious in respect of our timetable for our test events and official opening game.
“Whilst we are conscious of the need to keep pressure on our contractors to deliver as soon as possible, we are also acutely aware of how difficult the lack of clarity is for you, our supporters, to plan around games, particularly those at Christmas and New Year. “In light of the above, and taking into account the restricted availability of manpower over the festive period, we have taken the decision to confirm today that all home games will be played at Wembley Stadium up to and including the game against Wolves on 29 December.”
Spurs will take a heavy financial hit from the delay – each game moved to Wembley results in 1/19 of season ticket costs being refunded to fans. The club must also pay a rental fee to Wembley for every game played there, at a rate which gets more expensive game-by-game, while staffing costs could rise over the Christmas period.