Tottenham's new stadium hosts first game

Sajith B Warrier

Bengaluru, March 25: Tottenham Hotspur's new state-of-the-art stadium was unveiled on Sunday (March 24) when they beat Southampton 3-1 in an Under-18 game as a test event at the 62,000-seater arena with Spurs winger J'Neil Bennett scoring the first-ever goal.

The official homecoming of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, built on the site of the club's White Hart Lane ground, after 680 days lodging at Wembley is on April 3 against Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

Tottenham's 2,533rd and last competitive match at the old White Hart Lane ground, where the 36,000 capacity limited their ability to compete financially with city rivals Arsenal and Chelsea, was a 2-1 win over Manchester United in May 2017.

The move back home was supposed to be at the start of this season but the vast project, including housing, a school, a hotel, a museum, a micro-brewery and a supermarket-sized club shop, was hit by a series of delays.

Pride of place is the 17,500-seat single-tier Park Lane stand which has the feel of Borussia Dortmund's 'Yellow Wall'.

A replica of the club's famous golden cockerel sits on the top of the South Stand - complete with a dent apparently caused by former Tottenham favourite Paul Gascoigne.

In the concourses spread over nine floors fans find plenty of reminders of the club's glory days, including the Lane Centre Spot, a plaque indicating the location of the old centre circle.

A range of feature walls depict club greats like 1961 double-winning manager Bill Nicholson.

Among the 65 catering outlets spread around the stadium is the Goal Line Bar, at 65M, the longest in Europe.

The U-18 game was the first of two test events required to take place in order to receive the relevant safety certificates from the local council, with the second coming on Saturday (March 30) when a Spurs Legends team takes on an Inter Milan team.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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