UFO in North London
I Daniel Barthold
I Tottenham Hostpur v Red Star Belgrade 5-0
Tottenham’s new stadium surely is one of the most talked about new arenas in European football. It was first in the news for the wrong reasons as its completion was delayed but now it is considered the most modern venue in Europe and a state-of-the-art facility. Clearly, Spurs are ready to host the first European NFL team which is still a possibility to happen so the arena certainly has a bit of an American vibe with massive screens inside and even directions are now planted with LED signs all over the place. It almost feels like a giant UFO that has landed in the working class area of north London.
Considering that Tottenham have been out of form this performance was really impressive against a shocking opponent. Prior to this fixture Spurs had dropped a number of points in the league and got hammered on home turf against Bayern Munich – a 7-2 defeat that will be remembered for some time. Against the Serbian champions Tottenham came up with a brilliant display though. Son and Kane both scored a couple of lovely goals and the hosts could have cashed in more. The match certainly seemed decided at half-time in front of a decent crowd of over 51,000 supporters. No Red Star fans were allowed to this game due to a ban by the UEFA but still several hundred guest fans made it to the stadium. They saw their team getting absolutely battered by a Spurs side that should finish 2nd in this Champions League group.
HOW TO GET THERE
The stadium is located north-east of London’s city centre and is easily accessible by tube. From St Pancras station you can take the subway all the way to Wood Green station on the Piccadilly line.
Opposite of Wood Green station is the pub “Nag’s Head” that offers a wide range of beers for affordable prices and several big screens for all of the major sports events. If you prefer it a bit more quiet “The Prince” just a few minutes from the tube station sells local brewery beers and a more laid-back atmosphere – fairly different from a sports bar. The cheeseburger at the “The Prince” is highly recommended and brings a vibe of homemade taste which is not a given in London.
From Wood Green station it is a short walk to the shuttle buses that brings you to the stadium within 20 minutes. It is easy to get there although, it has been criticized that Tottenham Hotspur do not have a tube station in very close proximity, only the overground station White Hart Lane is just opposite of the stadium but runs less frequent than the tube. Obviously, the London’s transportation network is still one of the best in the world so you won’t have any problems to get back and forth.
In the stadium I was able to choose between a lager or a cider to drink and a few snacks were available. Certainly nothing stunning considering how modern this arena is so this is surely something different from the unlimited service in the United States such as the Dallas Cowboys stadium or the MetLife Stadium in New York. I decided to go for a Heineken from the tap which is was ok but not more than that.
The match ticket cost 57£ which is normal these days for a Premier League club and the atmosphere was good enough which was probably a major concern that the noise level would go down to zero like in other arenas these days.
Overall, a pleasant experience and the new Tottenham stadium has to be on the bucket list of every groundhopper even though, I still prefer the old school stadiums with its charme and vibe of a few decades ago.
Born in 1983 in Hildesheim (Lower Saxony, Germany) and raised in the Hamburg Area. Supporter of FC St. Pauli and since 2010 living and working in London (England) as a sports business consultant. Groundhopping has been a passion since the early days but I am actively counting and ticking off grounds since the Euros 2004. I have been to 500 stadiums in 65 countries so far.