Tottenham announce first match for new 62,000 capacity stadium

• Spurs to play either Brighton or Crystal Palace in April
• Champions League quarter-final to take place at new ground

Tottenham’s first competitive match at their new 62,000-capacity stadium will be against either Brighton or Crystal Palace in the first week of April.

The eagerly anticipated news came as the club announced they would host two test matches at the end of March to satisfy the requirements for a safety certificate.

The new stadium will then stage a Premier League match between Spurs and Palace on 3 April or against Brighton on the weekend of 6-7 April, subject to Chris Hughton’s side’s progress in the FA Cup. Brighton have been drawn away to Millwall in the sixth round on 17 March.

Tottenham’s preference for their opening match at the new stadium was always to avoid a midweek date and the first match against the former Spurs defender Hughton would add to the occasion for many supporters.

The news means Spurs’ Champions League quarter-final will also take place at the new ground. Uefa officials conducted a site visit on Friday. The manager, Mauricio Pochettino, had previously stated he expected to play the last-eight tie at the venue on 9-10 or 16-17 April, following the draw on 15 March.

A Tottenham statement read: “We have held discussions with the Premier League and Uefa. The following has been agreed with the Premier League, Brighton and Crystal Palace to ensure that our first game is a Premier League match prior to a Uefa Champions League quarter-final match.

“If Brighton win their FA Cup quarter-final match on Sunday 17 March we shall play Crystal Palace on Wednesday 3 April and Brighton on 23 or 24 April.

“If Brighton lose their FA Cup quarter-final match on Sunday 17 March we shall play Brighton on 6 or 7 April (subject to Champions League scheduling) and Crystal Palace on 23 or 24 April.”

The test events at the new stadium will feature a Spurs Under-18s match against Southampton on 24 March before a Legends match on 30 March.

The stadium will operate with a capacity of 30,000 for the under-18s match and 45,000 for the Legends match.

Spurs had been scheduled to move to the new stadium – built on the site of the old White Hart Lane – at the start of the season but construction has been delayed. Instead the club have been forced to play home games at Wembley for a second consecutive season.

The Tottenham chairman, Daniel Levy, has endured a challenging time during the disruption and ongoing delays to the stadium and apologised to supporters.

The new ground is expected to cost around £750m and will also stage NFL games, with the chairman boasting it would “redefine sports and entertainment experiences”.

Levy said: “We are delighted that we shall be able to welcome our supporters to the stadium and our players of the past and the future to take to the pitch on what will be momentous occasions for our club. Please do come and see your new stadium and share these moments.

“Thank you all once again. Your support has been much appreciated during a challenging but exciting time.”


Mark Dobson

The GuardianTramp

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