The north London derby will officially take place at Wembley Stadium.
Tottenham Hotspur confirmed the decision to host their clash against Arsenal on March 2 at their temporary home, as their new 62,000 capacity venue at White Hart Lane still isn’t ready.
Spurs’ new home was supposed to open in September 2018, but the move-in date was then pushed back to December, and now, here we are. They will play at Wembley against Arsenal in the NLD, and the stadium will have its full 90,000 capacity available for the game.
In a statement released by Spurs on Thursday, they revealed that the final stages of testing the critical safety system is coming up. That suggests that their first game in the new stadium could happen in late March or early April.
“We can today report that remedial works on the safety systems in the new stadium are near completion and we shall then move forward to the final stages of testing the fire detection and alarm system and its integration with the other safety systems. The success of this testing is critical to our ability to obtain a safety certificate and open the stadium. We can confirm, therefore, that we shall play our Premier League match against Arsenal on Saturday 2 March at Wembley Stadium.”
Daniel Levy, Chairman, said: “Once again, thank you all for bearing with us and for the great support we have received from so many different quarters. These next few weeks are pivotal.”
Tottenham added that they will “provide a further update in due course” as their next home game after the Arsenal clash is against Crystal Palace on Mar. 17.
The only issue is, Palace are still in the FA Cup so their game against Spurs may be pushed back until later in the season if they qualify for the quarterfinals which take place on the weekend of Mar. 16-17.
Therefore, Spurs will have to wait even longer for their homecoming. As we all know, a bit of extra time is probably a good thing…
With home games against Arsenal, Palace, Brighton, Huddersfield, West Ham and Everton remaining, is now a good time to just call this off and have Spurs start playing in their new stadium from the start of the 2019-20 campaign?
They will argue that they could get past Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League last 16 and have even more home games scheduled between now and May, plus moving home could give them a boost in the final months of the PL season as they’re still in with a shout to win the title.
Many will call into question integrity issues of Spurs getting an advantage by moving stadiums during a season, but the atmosphere at Wembley in recent games has been poor as the capacity for games has been capped to 51,000.
The novelty of playing at England’s national stadium now seems to have worn off among most Spurs fans, and who can blame them after 18 months at Wembley.
Moving Spurs into their new stadium as soon as possible must be the priority.