London (UK): the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

The new Hotspur Stadium is an example for modern multifunctional stadiums: the natural grass for soccer discovers a synthetic grass field for American football.

Also published in: Tsport 331

This is how the concept of a modern multifunction stadium is put into practice. The diamond point, the double playing surface: the natural grass for soccer, running on retractable platforms, discovers a synthetic grass field for American football.
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium represents a major new landmark in club stadium design, offering one of the finest spectator experiences in the world, as well bringing the NFL to north London for the very first time.

Designed to perfectly accommodate both elite football codes, the natural turf pitch is fully retractable, splitting into three pieces before sliding underneath the South Stand to reveal a state-of-theart artificial pitch beneath. This unique design provides full flexibility for the venue to host a range of sports, concerts and events without compromising the integrity of the grass playing surface.

General features

The stadium has a total capacity of 62,062, with a 17,500-seat single-tier ‘home end’ stand – the largest of its type in the UK – that will enhance the atmosphere during matches by creating a ‘wall of sound and a feeling of unity among home supporters. Specially designed reflective panels on the underside of the roof minimise the loss of crowd noise from the stadium bowl.
The five-storey atrium space in the South Stand provides a vibrant area for the home support to gather before and after matches, with a range of food stalls, a microbrewery, and a 65m bar – the longest in Europe – which mirrors the full length of the goal line on the pitch behind.

The East Stand includes a double-height banquet hall, which will be used for conference events and will be supported by the introduction of a new 180-bedroom hotel in the south-west corner of the site. As well as being a unique destination for fans and visitors, the hotel will also be a training and educational facility for local young people.
The full stadium masterplan also includes the Tottenham Experience (an integrated retail and museum facility, incorporating the Grade II listed Warmington House), as well as a proposal for an extreme sports building, a community health centre, a commercial space and 222 new affordable homes, which will be completed in the second phase of the project.


The retractable turf pitch

In a landmark agreement between the NFL and a UK football club, the stadium will play host to a minimum of two NFL games a year during a 10-year partnership.
Central to the multi-use functionality of the stadium is the retractable natural turf playing surface (the first of its kind in the UK), which sits in three pitch-long steel trays weighing more than 3,000 tonnes each. Powered by 68 powerful electric motors, these trays separate and roll underneath the South Stand to reveal a state-of-the-art artificial grass pitch beneath in a process that takes around 25 minutes. Cooling and irrigation systems along with special lighting that mimics sunlight keep the grass alive and help it to grow while underneath the South Stand.

This two-pitch system has three key benefits. First, it preserves the natural turf playing surface for soccer while providing the preferred playing surface for American football and a durable surface on which to host mass-footfall events such as concerts. Second, it means that markings and logos on the artificial turf can be easily changed well in advance of NFL matches, reducing the turnaround time between events. And third, it improves sightlines for American football by raising the front row of spectator seating relative to pitch level.
To further enhance its suitability for hosting NFL matches, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium features separate locker rooms for NFL teams. The NFL ‘home’ team locker facility also includes a separate media room for pre- and post-game press conferences, while the NFL away team has access to the main soccer media centre within the stadium.