24 March 2015

Tottenham Hotspur Groundsharing

Tottenham Hotspur want to move from White Hart Lane whilst it's being redeveloped, because, to state the bleedin' obvious, you can't play football whilst there's building work going on. So they'll have to groundshare. Where could they go? These are all the options explored by the Evening Standard that the clubs in question haven't ruled out.

STADIUM MK 

CURRENT TENANTS: MK DONS
CAPACITY: 30,500
DRIVING DISTANCE FROM WHITE HART LANE: 53 MILES

The most likely option is for Tottenham to temporarily emigrate to Stadium MK, which belongs to Milton Keynes Dons. Capacity isn't an issue, as Tottenham Hotspur have 23,500 season ticket holders, so anything has to be above that. Furthermore, Tottenham are known to have held talks with MK Dons and this looks like a goer. The cons? It's 53 miles away from White Hart Lane and is nowhere near Tottenham. 

CRAVEN COTTAGE

CURRENT TENANTS: FULHAM
CAPACITY: 25,700
DRIVING DISTANCE FROM WHITE HART LANE: 19 MILES

For a London team to emigrate to a London club is probably for the best. But with most of London's stadiums out of the question for capacity, Craven Cottage is now looking a realistic prospect. 25,700 is big enough. Just. But Fulham are talking about promotion within the next few years, leading to a fixture nightmare, never allowing Fulham and Tottenham to play at home at the same time. In the same league, this could be very, very difficult. Further complicating matters is that Fulham are planning their own stadium expansion (although this should be done in the space of one summer, but having said that, putting seats in two ends took three years...).

THE KIA OVAL

CURRENT TENANTS: SURREY
CAPACITY: 23,500
DRIVING DISTANCE FROM WHITE HART LANE: 9 MILES

I wouldn't be at all surprised to see this happen. Yes, the capacity is ultra-marginal, but this could quickly be increased by putting some seats in the Vauxhall End's sightscreen. It may annoy the ECB, who like to play a Test Match at the end of August here, but moving the test has been done before (2010), and there are otherwise no clashes (Surrey usually tend to play a few games in August at Guildford). There is one major elephant in the room which is a drawback: it's a cricket ground. And the grass is illegal for football (The Oval's groundsman has laid clay underneath the middle so as to attempt to make the pitch harder). 

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