Daniel Levy hopes Tottenham's stadium can be game-changer
By Paul Gilmour at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Last Updated: 03/04/19 8:13am
“I’m going to take a week off once this is open,” announced a beaming Daniel Levy to the room of invited media representatives.
He could be forgiven for taking a year out after finally delivering the infrastructure that, in his words, will help Tottenham become "one of the biggest clubs in the world".
Engaging and humorous, an hour in his company was compelling viewing as he proudly showed off the project that caused him multiple sleepless nights over critical safety systems and logistical difficulties in installing a glass roof, both of which were overcome.
Tonight, when Levy takes his bespoke seat to watch one of Europe's most exciting managers Mauricio Pochettino sends out his equally exciting, yet currently underperforming, team it will feel like it's all sliding smoothly into place like a retractable grass pitch replacing an artificial NFL surface.
Off the field, this could be a serious game-changer.
With an expected £100m annual matchday revenue and over 62,000 capacity (only Old Trafford has more room for Premier League supporters in the UK) it suddenly feels like Spurs have the potential to leave their rivals behind, although he confirms to us the decision to install 1802 seats more than the Emirates had "nothing to do with Arsenal".
Levy, a self-confessed "perfectionist," spoke passionately about standards. It was a masterclass of the finer details that prompted stadium architect Christopher Lee to label him "the most demanding and the best client I've had."
Levy highlighted the supporters' toilets as an example of those standards and likened it to the experience of going to into a restaurant toilet. "We believe it will set the bar," he said.
There is granite floor on the concourses made with material from the old White Hart Lane, while we witnessed the Crystal Palace badge banner being erected in the visiting fans section (it'll be changed for every game).
The largest single-tier stand in the UK will replicate the noise levels of the old stadium with the structure much steeper than that of Wembley, while away fans will be visible and not tucked away to encourage back and forth singing.
The use of all four major phone networks and high speed Wi-Fi will ensure fans are technologically satisfied, with the Sky Walk and abseiling due to open at a later date.
As for Levy's favourite area of the stadium? Not the microbrewery or even the tunnel club that allows fans to see the players line up for the game. Instead he prefers the specialist wine room - "The Vault. In case the result does not go the right way," he joked.
Inspired by the Tottenham riots, the club say they have built 258 affordable new homes already, with a further three schemes eventually bringing that number up to 1,200. Transport links, employment opportunities and schools will continue to improve.
"We want people to know they don't have to leave Haringey to get a good education," said executive director Donna-Maria Cullen.
Like the team of late, the stadium project stuttered in a high stakes environment. The football equivalent of critical safety systems is the prospect of Europa, and not Champions League football next season but previous delays will certainly be forgotten tonight as they return home.
Levy has delivered. Tottenham players, it's over to you.