Tottenham incorporate 'single-tier' in stadium plans

The sceptic might suggest that Tottenham's sudden decision to incorporate a single-tier bank into the design for their new stadium, which the club revealed last night, followed the realisation that the ground was in danger being known as Emirates-lite. In most other respects the planned successor to White Hart Lane does bear a notable resemblance to its slightly larger neighbour.

Whatever the motive the move is to be welcomed. Not only does it increase the architectural variety of the new wave of stadia but it should also create an atmosphere frequently absent in the modern arena.



Once most grounds had a Spion Kop, a bank of terracing which rose up behind the goal housing the most vociferous fans, and those most tolerant to the 'yellow river' which usually ran down it. Many still do, albeit now with seating and modern facilities, but of the great traditional Kops only those at Anfield and Hillsborough remain. Aston Villa's Holte End and Arsenal's North Bank (even before the move from Highbury) were both converted into two-tier structures, along with so many lesser-known ones. A combination of architectural and economic factors, including the development of cantilever stands, the desire for roofing, growing capacities, then the need to incorporate executive boxes, were the prime causes.



Even Anfield's Spion Kop, which originally had a capacity of 28,000, was only licensed to hold 16,480 (less than the Holte's 19,210) in the more safety-conscious post-Hillsborough era. Post-Taylor Report it's capacity is 12,429. This is still thought to be the largest single-tier seating capacity in Europe and on a big European night the decibel-level, as results have shown, is either awe-inspiring, or intimidating, depending which colour shirt you are wearing.



The Anfield Kop is not, though, the most impressive 'end' in Europe. That is the south stand at Dortmund's Westfalenstadion. It holds less than 10,000 seated fans, but for Bundesliga matches is converted to a 'safe standing' area with a staggering 24,454 capacity.



Tottenham are not proposing anything so ambitious, not that English safety legislation would allow them. The new tier, if passed by Haringey Council, and built, would hold 9,275. It would nevertheless give the ground, due to be completed in 2013, a distinctive look – and (itals) sound (end itals).



Also on the drawing board is the redevelopment of Bramall Lane where Sheffield United intend to lift their Kop to a capacity of 13,400. Like so many building plans –including those across the city at Hillsborough - this is influenced by the desire to host 2018 World Cup ties. It would eclipse the Anfield Kop, at least until Liverpool's much-discussed but as yet un-built new stadium appears on Stanley Park. This includes plans for a Kop seating 18,500. Those in the back row should bring binoculars.



Origins of the Kop



Spion Kop is Afrikaans for look-out, and was the name of a hill in Natal, South Africa, where 322 British soldiers died in battle during the Boer War. The first recorded use at an English ground, found by noted stadia expert Simon Inglis, was not at Anfield but at Manor Field, one of the venues Woolwich Arsenal used before decamping to Islington.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable