Tottenham delay move to new stadium amid safety concerns
LONDON -- The opening of Tottenham Hotspur's new stadium has been delayed until October at the earliest, and at least two more Premier League matches will now be played at Wembley, along with an NFL game, the club announced on Tuesday.
Spurs had previously arranged to play their first home fixture of the season against Fulham at Wembley, with the hope that they would then be able to host Liverpool in their new ground on Sept. 15.
However, the club has now had to revise that plan. The home matches against Liverpool and Cardiff City -- the latter scheduled for Oct. 6 -- will also now be played at the national stadium.
The NFL game between the Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders, taking place on Oct. 14, has also been moved to Wembley.
Spurs are yet to confirm where they will play their home match against Manchester City on Oct. 28, while they will speak to UEFA before disclosing their plans for Champions League group matches.
A club statement said: "Recent testing and commissioning has now shown issues with the critical safety systems [in our new stadium].
"The delays created by these difficulties mean that we can no longer hold the necessary test events on Aug. 27 and Sept. 1. These will need to be rescheduled to take place ahead of any first official match at the new stadium in order to achieve the safety licence.
"In the meantime, therefore, our upcoming Premier League matches against Liverpool [Sept. 15] and Cardiff City [Oct. 6] will be switched to Wembley, as will the NFL match scheduled for Oct. 14."
Club chairman Daniel Levy said: "We know this will be disappointing for all our season tickets holders, premium members and our fans worldwide. We appreciate the support our partner, the NFL, has shown since the extent of this issue became evident today.
"At the start of the project we asked for your support during what we knew would be a complex and challenging build and now we ask for your continued patience and forbearance."
NFL executive vice-president Mark Waller added: "Everyone has been so excited about the prospect of playing in the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and I know all at the club are very disappointed, but determined to clear this final hurdle.
"We totally understand the issue. We shall continue to work with them towards making our future games at Spurs a huge success.
"The new stadium will be an amazing venue for the NFL and we are very excited about our long-term partnership with Tottenham Hotspur."