Tottenham hoping to open new stadium in March against Crystal Palace as Wembley stay extends through February

Spurs confirm they will play February ‘home’ games at Wembley, with Crystal Palace on 16 March the new target for opening

Jack Pitt-Brooke
Wednesday 09 January 2019 10:59
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Tottenham Hotspur’s move into their new stadium has been delayed again until March.

Spurs have confirmed this morning that their three ‘home’ games scheduled for February will all be played at Wembley, where Tottenham have been playing for the last 18 months. The new target for the opening game is now against Crystal Palace on 16 March.

The delays continue while Tottenham are still waiting for official clearance to play in their new White Hart Lane stadium. They will not get the safety certificates they need from Haringey Council until they host two test events there, to prove that issues with the security systems have been sorted out.

Every time this season Tottenham had hoped to set a date to move into the new ground, they have had to push it back and extend their stay at Wembley. That is what has happened with today’s announcement. Spurs have confirmed that four more games will be at Wembley: Watford on 30 January, Newcastle United on 2 February, Leicester City on 10 February and the Champions League last-16 second leg on Tuesday 5 March.

This means that it will likely be a Premier League game in March when Spurs move into the new ground. Attention will be drawn to the north London derby against Arsenal on 2 March, but there is a reluctance at the club to open with such a high-profile game because of security and logistical concerns. Two weeks after that Spurs have a lower profile game against Crystal Palace, currently scheduled for 16 March, which is the new aspiration for the new ground’s opening fixture, six months after the first pencilled-in opening.

Tottenham initially hoped to be in the new ground early on in this season, initially pencilling in the Premier League game with Liverpool on 15 September. Subsequently there were hopes to open the new stadium with Burnley on 15 December or then Manchester United on 13 January, but each potential target date has been pushed back again. After Crystal Palace, Spurs only have four more Premier League home games scheduled this season.

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