Tottenham stadium Q&A: What has to happen before they move in?
Tottenham are still playing their matches at Wembley for now
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 23/12/18 2:24pm
Tottenham fans are still waiting to see their team in their new stadium, but what needs to happen before that’s possible? We take a look…
Haringey Council has warned that Tottenham Hotspur won't be allowed to fast-track their application for a safety certificate for the new White Hart Lane stadium, and that - legally - they must follow proper procedure.
Spurs have already notified Manchester United that their fixture on January 13 will be staged at Wembley. The earliest possible home game that could be staged at the stadium is against Newcastle on February 2, but the council timescales mean it is much more likely that the official opening will be delayed until later in that month.
So what still needs to happen?
The new stadium that Tottenham have built at White Hart Lane is subject to the Safety at Sport Grounds Act 1975 and the Fire Safety and Safety at Sports Grounds Act 1987.
As such, the legislation requires a safety certificate to be issued.
The certificate requires the holder, an individual nominated by Tottenham, to prepare an operations manual. The council has yet to receive an operations manual for the new ground.
What is an operations manual?
This is a key document containing the stewarding plan, medical plan, fire risk assessment, safety equipment details, contingency planning, the method of ensuring safety and more.
Can they just send this document?
No. The club also needs to stage two test events before the stadium can be considered for a safety certificate and both will have to have an attendance close to the 62,000 capacity so that the council is satisfied it has been adequately "stress tested".
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They must also show that the stadium can cope if there is a total power failure (called "black building testing") as well as "cause and effect testing", which ensures all of the various systems in the stadium communicate with each other effectively.
Didn't Spurs hold this event?
The 'familiarisation' event where 6,000 fans were allowed into the new stadium, did not meet the criteria of a council test event. But it did give the club a chance to go through some of their new safety procedures, such as bag-checking and the new access cards.
Supporters who attended were glowing in their praise of the new facilities.
When will these events happen?
Spurs have yet to specify dates for the test events, and said earlier this week that they will be scheduled "in due course". The club chose not to stage a test event in the build-up to Christmas, when staff and steward availability was an issue.
When do they need to tell the council?
There is no set time, but it will be down to the club to arrange the first test event and inform the council accordingly. After the successful completion of the event, a safety certificate could be issued but it would be likely to take the council at least five days.
The safety certificate would only be issued when the building work is completed, the safety systems are fully tested and the operations manual is completed. It cannot be fast-tracked. Only when every aspect is satisfied will the stadium be able to host a full capacity event.
Haringey Council have told SSN: "We will be looking at all aspects of the stadium, how it is managed, how the systems work (fire safety systems, PA system, CCTV, emergency lighting, exit signage etc) and how they all relate to each other." Tottenham are still in discussion with UEFA about where the game against Borussia Dortmund on February 13 will be staged.