When Tottenham Hotspur’s brand new 61,000 seat stadium opens for business two years from now, the NFL is going to play a major role in the stadium’s christening after the league reached a deal to play games there starting in 2018. Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, who has a bit of an interesting reputation, has an ambitious plan: host a Premier League and NFL game in the same stadium on the same day.
The stadium has been designed so that each sport will have a separate field that can be rolled in and out of the stadium when needed, so overuse and issues with lines won’t be a problem. But other logistics?
NFL EVP of international Mark Waller is a fan of the idea, logistical issues aside.
Waller told ESPN’s Ashley Fox: “One of the idle thoughts we have at the moment is would you really be able to play an NFL game and an EPL [English Premier League] game on the same day as a double header?”
“It wouldn’t be absolutely out of the question. I don’t think you’d want to do it on a regular basis, but on a unique feature, that might be a really interesting idea.”
Levy has previously said the NFL is involved pretty heavily in the stadium’s design and construction process, so the idea that something like a two sport, same day doubleheader would come up isn’t entirely crazy.
Levy added: “I don’t think it’s something we’d want to try our first game, but that is certainly realistic. How exciting the idea of having the two biggest leagues in the world from a television perspective — fantastic! — play on the same day.”
How might such a double dip work? The Premier League’s earliest games are played at 12:30 local time, or 7:30 AM on the east coast. In theory, the process of cleaning the stadium and changing the fields shouldn’t take that long, giving them enough time to get the stadium ready to host a game at 9 PM UK Time, or 4 PM back on the east coast.
“I have lived and breathed this project from Day One,” Levy said. “It is absolutely my ambition to make this work. When I first started talking about it internally at the club, again, I think people around me thought I was mad as well. I guess it’s my tenacity to get it done because there were many times with the NFL where there wasn’t going to be an arrangement. We just kept going back and saying, ‘What about this? What about that?'” he said.
He’s certainly an ambitious man when it comes to transforming the club he leads (except when he doesn’t spend enough money in the transfer market to make everyone happy), but this idea is certainly one of the most ambitious he’s ever had.
Don’t expect to see this in year one, but down the line, a potential soccer-football doubleheader in North London isn’t out of the question – for better or worse.