Are Spurs fans right to resist the move to the Olympic Stadium?
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Over the least two seasons Tottenham have shown they have the potential to become a ‘top 4’ side. However, Tottenham face an almighty decision about the future direction of their club. At the present moment Tottenham arguably have the strongest squad in the Premier League, but can Tottenham seriously mount a challenge on all fronts if they remain at White Hart Lane or would a move to the Olympic Stadium be a step in the right direction?
A good example can be seen by bitter rivals and neighbours Arsenal who moved from south London to north London in 1913 and more recently built a new 60,000 capacity stadium. Arsenals Emirates stadium cost around £300m and has secured the long term future and prosperity of the London club allowing Arsenal to be able to compete long into the future. Both these moves have acted as a foundation on which the club can progress. So should Tottenham follow suit?
With Tottenham’s original plans to build a new stadium at the White Hart Lane site and regenerate the local area now estimated to cost £400m+, Tottenham chairman Daniel levy has stated that the plans are now ‘dead in the water’. The proposed move to the Olympic Stadium has been met with huge opposition by spurs fans reluctant to leave their historical ties to north London. But is the move to the Olympic Site a worthy sacrifice for the future progress of the club?
The Olympic stadium is only 5 miles down the road from White Hart Lane and has good transport links on a local and national level. Tottenham currently have 35,000 season ticket holders and taking over the Olympic stadium would mean a larger capacity of 60,000 which ultimately means more fans and more revenue which will make the club more competitive.
With the top flight status of rival bidders West Ham United uncertain, the threat of the stadium becoming a ‘white elephant’ is ever more apparent. Both clubs have large, loyal fan bases and filling the stadium may not be an issue necessarily, but would it be right to see the Olympic Stadium to be potentially hosting championship football? The biggest concern would have to be with the fans who may be sitting 45m away from the pitch thereby destroying the great atmosphere that both sets of fans could provide. Both bids have their positive and negative points. Although if Tottenham secure the site it could prove a negative influence on the fortunes of local club Leyton Orient as well as annoying several West Ham fans.
Either way it is a hard decision for the committee to make. But out of the last four Olympic stadiums in Atlanta, Sydney, Athens and Beijing, only the last two have retained a track. Beijing’s stadium is hardly used and the other 3 stadiums are all used for other sports. Therefore, could Tottenham’s proposed redevelopment of the Crystal Palace site be the best way to secure the future of UK athletics and make a success out of the Olympic stadium?
What is certain is whether it is in North London or Stratford, a bigger stadium is a necessity if Tottenham are serious about challenging for the premier league long term. Although Chelsea has shown us that huge financial backing is enough to succeed at the moment, the long term future of the club is unknown. Ask yourself this question: If the move to the Olympic site meant that Tottenham could challenge for the premier league every season and attract star players, would it matter that the stadium is 5 miles away in Stratford?