Tottenham Hotspur Stadium: leading the way for modern European venues

Jon Babbs – Stadium Director at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – and Tom Jones – Senior Principal at POPULOUS – provided insights in the key aspects and facilities of the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as well as the design process during ESSMA’s Development & Operations Workshop. 


As part of the club’s masterplan, the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium would not only include a world-class sports venue but also other multifunctional facilities including a hotel, commercial spaces, a sports hub, a supermarket and premium residential developments. In addition, it would act as a catalyst for urban regeneration. The new stadium was constructed at the same site as the legendary White Hart Lane Stadium and officially opened in March 2019.



Tom Jones - Senior Principal at Populous – was appointed as Project Architect for the new stadium and knew that this new project would become iconic. The architect brief for the new stadium was to design a venue that could set a new standard in design, fan experience, player experience and sponsor experience. A landmark building that would ultimately be measured alongside the iconic architecture in Europe. They tried to not only focus on the design of the stadium itself but also on the way it interacts with its surroundings and the way it can reflect the club’s identity. 


“Throughout the whole process we were thinking about creating more than just a stadium. We wanted a place that could be visited by fans and local inhabitants on non-matchdays as well as on matchdays. A place that would really become a destination for visitors throughout the year. We wanted to create a landscaped environment which could be used on a matchday (with over 23,000 fans coming in) as well as on a non-matchday, when it should act as a welcoming space for families.

Tom Jones, Senior Principal at POPULOUS


Construction in phases

Phase one of the renovation process included the construction and opening of the Lilywhite House, which houses a supermarket, a 6th form college and the club’s administrative offices. It opened in 2012 and allowed the club to leave their offices in the stadium and start the renovation process.

The first part of the project was the so called horse shoe, the Northern part of the new stadium, which was effectively built around White Hart Lane so the club could continue to play games at the stadium for as long as possible. They even operated at 75% of capacity for a while, as they had to tear down one stand to advance the construction of the Horse shoe. 

Ultimately, White Hart Lane had to be demolished completely and Tottenham Hotspur went on to play their home games at Wembley Stadium while construction on their new home continued. 

The brand-new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was finally opened in March 2019 and has hosted 10 matches so far. The final phase of the masterplan will include the construction of a hotel, an extreme sports hub, a skywalk and a residential development project. 


Fan experience & atmosphere

The new stadium has become a landmark for London. It has a capacity of 62,214 and has been designed to offer an amazing and unique experience for each fan, both hospitality and GA fans.

The concourses include a variety of bars with high quality food and beverages and affordable prices that can compete with those of the bars outside the stadium. The increased fan experience and better facilities enabled the club to attract fans to the stadium sooner. The doors to the hospitality areas open 3 hours before kick-off and 2.5 hours before kick-off for GA fans. 


Within the first 60 minutes after opening our GA doors we will typically see between 12.000 and 16.000 fans entering the stadium to meet up with friends and enjoy the excellent offer of food in beverages in places like “the Market Place”, which is probably our most popular concession outlet amongst fans.”

Jon Babbs, Stadium Director at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium



The club was able to reach an agreement with the NFL where Tottenham Hotspur Stadium would become the official home venue for the NFL in the UK for the upcoming 10 years. Furthermore, the club reached a five-year agreement with Saracens Rugby as well. To be able to host NFL matches, rugby matches, concerts and many different types of events, the club decided to equip their new stadium with a retractable and dividing pitch. This system allows them to transform the football stadium into an NFL stadium or concert venue in just 1.5 – 2 days, with the actual moving of the pitch only taking about 1 hour.


Go to our ESSMA Flickr account for more pictures.


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