Tottenham announce partnership with NFL to host two games a year
Last Updated: 08/07/15 4:28pm
Tottenham have announced a 10-year partnership with the NFL that will see the club host at least two American Football games a year at its new stadium.
The stadium, which is due to open in the summer of 2018 with a capacity of 61,000, will feature a retractable grass field for Premier League football with an artificial surface for NFL games underneath.
Spurs have confirmed that both sports will have dedicated facilities, including separate changing rooms to accommodate the larger squads of NFL teams.
In addition to the Tottenham partnership, other NFL games may take place at different venues in the UK during the span of the 10-year agreement.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy told Sky Sports News HQ: "This is significant progress on our journey to open a new stadium, which is a world-class stadium.
"I think the association with the NFL makes us more global and helps make this place a major attraction, not just to watch a soccer game but makes Tottenham the area quite special. This is bringing soccer and American football together which has never been done before.
"We have been working with them jointly in designing the stadium. It’s going to meet the requirements of being a top class soccer stadium as well as being an NFL stadium. Dedicated dressing rooms, retractable pitches.
"We will have the ability to have certain size screens. All the things that NFL require, and as a result things that our fans can benefit from too. We are trying to create a vibrant community. We will create a leisure hub. It is not just about the soccer or NFL, it’s about the other activities we are including in our plans."
However, Levy says the deal will not affect Spurs' transfer dealings, adding: "Unfortunately it's not that significant [financially]. Basically the deal is simple, they pay a small rental stream every time they play here.
"What’s important is the association, the marketing benefit this will bring the club will be significant. We hope over time the NFL will play more games than they are contractual commitment at the moment."
In a statement released on the Spurs website, Levy said: “We have always underlined the importance of public sector support for the long-term regeneration of the area. This support is now clearly in evidence in the masterplans that have been brought forward by the London Borough of Haringey, both through the Northumberland Park project to the east of the stadium and the High Road West scheme.
"These plans, alongside the commitments made by the Mayor of London and the Greater London Authority to infrastructure and public realm investment, and with the support of Central Government, demonstrate that there is now a collective public and private sector desire to deliver lasting change to the area."
London mayor Boris Johnson said: “Anyone who has seen American Football at Wembley Stadium cannot fail to have been thrilled by the spectacle, and the wise heads that run the NFL have clearly not missed the fact that Londoners are going absolutely gangbusters for Gridiron.
“We are already working very closely with the NFL, including on plans to get more Londoners involved in the sport, and we believe that building on the success of NFL at Wembley by staging more games in an area of the city that has been earmarked for a massive programme of economic regeneration and investment makes perfect sense.
“Touchdowns in Tottenham can only add to our reputation as a global sporting powerhouse, and help us take another step towards our goal of having a permanent NFL franchise here in London."
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said: “With growing enthusiasm for the NFL in the United Kingdom, we are committed to hosting NFL games in world-class venues and are excited to partner with Tottenham Hotspur to play games at their future stadium.
"We share a vision and commitment to creating the best experience for our teams, fans and the local community.”