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Daniel Levy says Tottenham's new stadium could host Premier League and NFL games

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy (right) shows NFL Vice Chairman Mark Waller around the new stadium site
Image: Spurs chairman Daniel Levy (right) shows NFL Vice Chairman Mark Waller around the new stadium site

Daniel Levy says Tottenham's new stadium can be an NFL team's permanent home, and has not ruled out the possibility of hosting American football and Premier League games on the same day.

Spurs have begun work on a new 61,000-seater stadium that will be the largest top-flight ground in London and offer purpose-built facilities for NFL, with a retractable grass field and an artificial surface underneath.

Tottenham have already announced a 10-year partnership to host two NFL games a year at the new stadium, which is due to be ready for the 2018/19 season, and chairman Levy has now said he wants an American football team to make the ground their permanent home, revealing the club have worked with the NFL to design a mutually beneficial stadium.

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"We worked together because it needed to be viewed as a combined joint soccer and NFL stadium," Levy told ESPN. "In fact, the way we designed the whole experience is one side of the stadium is a dedicated soccer entrance and the other side is a dedicated NFL entrance.

"If it ever got to a stage where the NFL decided it wanted to have a permanent team in London, this stadium could literally be, whatever the team was, their stadium as opposed to an NFL team feeling they're renting Tottenham's stadium.

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Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy and NFL's Mark Waller meet to look at the progress of the club's new 61,000 seater stadium which is set to be ready in 2018

"We would welcome very much close cooperation with the NFL and a dedicated team. Obviously a decision is entirely theirs whether they do bring a team to the UK, and where it would be located is something that would be talked about. But yes, we would be very much welcome to that scenario." 

The new NFL season is set to get underway in the early hours of Friday morning, and will see three of the league's games played in England during the campaign, including two at Wembley and another at Twickenham. 

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However, Levy is already looking ahead to the prospect of a London-based NFL team playing regular fixtures at Tottenham's new stadium, agreeing with NFL executive vice president of international Mark Waller that an NFL-Premier League doubleheader is a real possibility.

"One of the idle thoughts we have at the moment is, would you really be able to play an NFL game and an EPL game on the same day as a doubleheader?" Waller said.

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"It wouldn't be absolutely out of the question. I don't think you'd want to do it on a regular basis, but on a unique feature, that might be a really interesting idea."

Levy added: "I don't think it's something we'd want to try for our first game, but that is certainly realistic. How exciting the idea of having the two biggest leagues in the world from a television perspective - fantastic - play on the same day." 

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Image: Spurs will play their Champions League games at Wembley this season

Tottenham will play their Champions League fixtures at Wembley this season before temporarily moving to the national team's ground for the 2017-18 Premier League campaign while work on the new stadium is completed.

"I have lived and breathed this project from day one," Levy said. "It is absolutely my ambition to make this work. When I first started talking about it internally at the club, again I think people around me thought I was mad as well.

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"I guess it's my tenacity to get it done because there were many times with the NFL where there wasn't going to be an arrangement. We just kept going back and saying, 'What about this? What about that?'

"When we first went to them, we went to them with the idea of a joint stadium in some shape or form without going through all the details at that stage. As we sat down and we went through all the operations, we worked out, 'What does the NFL need? What does soccer need?' Basically we had a checklist of all the various things we wanted to achieve, and then at the end of the day it was the best solution."

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