The Mighty Spurs and Their Mighty and Awarding-Winning Stadium

Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium was named Venue of the Year earlier this week at TheStadiumBusiness Awards 2020. The awards ceremony is normally an Oscars-style highlight of the venue-related calendar but was held online this year because of coronavirus travel restrictions.

It’s just over a year now since the stadium was opened and the London venue beat off short-listed challengers from Allianz Field, Minnesota; Chase Center, San Francisco; Coca-Cola Arena, Dubai; Golden 1 Center, Sacramento; Lord’s Cricket Ground and the Optus Stadium in Perth.

Readers of The DAIMANI Journal will know that when we visited the stadium the matchday experience was exceptional.

Here Spurs TV charts the complicated and fraught process of moving from one home to another.

And although TheStadiumBusiness award gives much cause to celebrate, the atmosphere at the club is a little muted at the moment. Bigger, more life-affirming things are happening than just football.

The thoughtful design and layout, and the sheer immensity of the stadium has allowed the ground to serve a much more important role, this time assisting Britain’s National Health Service in the fight against coronavirus.

Many familiar parts of the stadium have been pressed into action, including a facility for a North Middlesex Hospital’s Women’s Outpatient Services, which has enabled pregnant women to be directed away from the hospital itself.

The venue’s huge basement car park is currently a drive-through testing facility – the first stadium in London to be used for this purpose.

And Spurs is being used as a food distribution hub by Haringey Council, working with the London Food Alliance to ensure produce reaches the most vulnerable and in-need within our community.

In this video, Spurs TV was granted behind the scenes access as the NHS set up inside their stadium.

Finally a thought or two on the business of the Spurs stadium, from the excellent online learning tool that is Tifo Football. Just a day after Spurs played their first match at the new 62,000-seater stadium, the club announced world-record pre-tax profits of £139 million to the end of their 2018 financial year. This seemed strange, given the grief the club suffered finishing the venue, steel cost overruns, labour shortages pushing up wage bills and emergency loans that the club had to take out. Tifo Football investigates.

By the way, by the club’s reckoning, this is award Number 12 for the venue to go alongside:

  • Design Project of the Year at The Building Awards;
  • Best Inclusive Building at LABC Awards (for Tottenham Experience);
  • WIN (World Interiors News) Gold Award – for the general concourse design in the Leisure and Entertainment Interiors category;
  • WIN (World Interiors News) Gold Award – for branding and way-finding;
  • WAN (World Architecture News) Bronze Award – for architecture in the Leisure category;
  • Structural Steel Design Awards 2019 – Project of the Year;
  • The Institution of Structural Engineers Award for Long-Span Structures;
  • The Institution of Structural Engineers Award for Supreme Award for Engineering Excellence;
  • AJ Architecture Awards – Leisure Project of the Year;
  • TheStadiumBusiness Design & Development Awards – Project of the Year and
  • TheStadiumBusiness Design & Development Awards – Interior and Fit-Out Award for the High Street Concourse.

Here's hoping they built a big enough mantelpiece.

UPDATE: Read our follow up article The inside scoop on why Spurs won Venue of the Year

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Charlie Charters is a former rugby union official and sports marketing executive turned thriller writer whose debut book Bolt Action was published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2010.
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