The next destination on our day out in London was a visit to the home of Arsenals main rival, Tottenham Hotspur, at their stadium, White Hart Lane.
White Hart Lane has been the home of Tottenham since it was built in 1899. That streak will end at the conclusion of this upcoming 2016/17 season, as Tottenham will move to Wembley Stadium for one year and White Hart Lane will be torn down to make way for a new stadium on site.
Actually, the new stadium is being built right there right now. To get a head start, one section of the stand has already been destroyed to make way for one of the six massive support beams that will hold up the new building. Tottenham will still play there next season, just with fewer seats. As we stood there on the pitch, a giant excavator grabbed and ripped down the aging structure.
Corner of the stadium being demolished.
Workers cut the steel where the stadium will be separated
And honestly, that's what White Hart Lane is: an aging structure. You could sort of feel it as you looked around. Covers were missing here and there from the roof and entire sections of LED panels on the video screens looked a bit worse for wear. Although still a very impressive atmosphere, it seems like the right time for a new place for the team to call home.
Tottenham won't be the only team calling this place home, however. Last year, it was announced that the NFL and Tottenham Hotspur had signed a 10-year deal to host a minimum of two NFL games each year at the new stadium.
From NFL.com, The state-of-the-art stadium, due to open in the summer of 2018, will feature a retractable grass field with an artificial surface underneath that would be used for NFL games. This innovative field will add greater flexibility in the scheduling of games, with the NFL having its own playing surface for games held at this venue.
The retractable pitch will be very much like the one that the Arizona Cardinals play on. However, because there is simply no room outside the stadium, this pitch will not slide outside the building, but underneath it. Grow lights will be used on every inch of the pitch to keep the grass growing when it is put away.
Outside view of the corner being torn down
Massive cranes and hundreds of construction workers work day and night on the new structure
As many have speculated, this new stadium seems like another step towards a permanent NFL team in London. And, according to my co-workers, interest is high in "American football" as they call it. The NFL started playing games here at Wembley back in 2007 and interest has grown every year. Who knows? Maybe an NFL team could survive and thrive over here across the pond with a different style of football.