Mayor approves redevelopment plans

Published Nov. 25, 2010 10:44 p.m. EST

Tottenham's plans to redevelop its current stadium were approved by the mayor of London on Thursday, although the Premier League club remains in the bidding process to move into the city's Olympic Stadium.

Boris Johnson backed a decision by a local council to grant Spurs planning permission for a 56,000-seat venue on the site of their current ground, White Hart Lane.

But Spurs chairman Daniel Levy remains aggrieved about the lack of public funding, with 50 million pounds ($81 million) having to be added to the expected 400 million-pound cost of the project due to the need to preserve nearby historic buildings.

The cheaper option for the north London club would be to move into Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games, despite it being situated in an eastern suburb of the capital.


Spurs have formed a bid with American sports and entertainment giant AEG to compete with West Ham for the right to become the tenant of the venue.

The preferred bidder is set to be announced by the end of the year, but Spurs director Keith Mills accepts that West Ham's bid looks more likely to succeed if its financial plans are acceptable to the Olympic Park Legacy Company.

West Ham has pledged to retain the stadium's running track - meeting a commitment to the International Olympic Committee at the time of bidding by London organizers - whereas Spurs want to remove the track so fans are closer to the action.

The plan to possibly move 9 kilometers (5 1/2 miles) east of White Hart Lane has angered many Spurs fans, and a protest is planned before Sunday's home match against Liverpool.

White Hart Lane, though, is one of the most difficult grounds in London to get to, partly because the nearest subway station is almost 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) away. Its capacity of 36,240 prevents Spurs from generating more revenue from its large fan base.

Another option for Spurs is to gain approval to demolish Olympic Stadium, which lacks the facilities required by a Premier League club, and build a new venue based on its plans for the White Hart Lane redevelopment.

Spurs regularly sells out its home matches and qualified for the knockout phase of the Champions League at its first attempt on Wednesday.