What Should Tottenham Do About Their Stadium Dilemma?

I find Tottenham’s desire to occupy the Olympic Stadium in East London quite fascinating.

The traditionalist in me says that Spurs should stay at White Hart Lane. The ground has the best atmosphere in the Premier League and over the course of the season it certainly wins them points and helps spur them on to important victories in the Champions League. Move the club away from the ground, even if it’s to a brand-new White Hart Lane across the street and Tottenham will lose something. Yes, the new designs call for a much larger ground that will include some of the best traits of White Hart Lane. But it won’t be the same.

Neither will a move across London to Stratford to occupy the Olympic Stadium, to tear it down and build a new ground there. It’s the most economical for Spurs. They don’t have to worry about playing at White Hart Lane that would be half under construction as the builders prepared the new ground next door. Instead, Tottenham could keep on playing at the current White Hart Lane until the new ground in Stratford was ready, and then move in lock, stock and barrel. The savings Tottenham would achieve would be quite considerable. Enough to buy several quality players.

But the realist in me understands what it would mean uprooting Tottenham and its community and moving it to East London. The club wouldn’t be the same. The supporters would feel betrayal to the legacy of the club. And it would feel like stepping on someone else’s grave as they moved into the territory of West Ham United and Leyton Orient. It just wouldn’t feel right. There’s a reason the club is named Tottenham Hotspur and that’s because their home is in the Tottenham area of London. To move the club to a different part of the city and retain the same name seems bizarre to say the least.

The businessman in me, however, says that Tottenham should jump at the chance to move to Olympic Stadium. When millions of soccer fans around the world watch a Premier League match on television featuring Tottenham Hotspur playing at home, it doesn’t matter whether it’s at White Hart Lane or the Olympic Stadium. Both locations are in London. What’s most important is the soccer that’s played on the pitch. Most viewers couldn’t tell the difference between Seven Sisters and Scissor Sisters anyway.

The question comes down to this. What is more important for Tottenham Hotspur supporters? Success or to retain the legacy of the club. By staying in Tottenham, the club’s history will continue to be cherished. Move away and it’s destroyed but at the same time the club will be much richer for the move and more likely to buy success. Both decisions are flawed. In some ways, the best decision would be for the club to stay where they are now. It’d be simpler, but it would hurt the long-term success of the club as it would be able to generate as much revenue from matchday corporate seats as it would. And it would guarantee that Arsenal would get bigger and bigger while Tottenham, at the same time, stagnates.

What do you think? Should West Ham or Tottenham Hotspur move into the Olympic Stadium, or not? Share your opinion in the comments section below.

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  1. Earl Reed January 19, 2011
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