They say that true visionaries never think about today but about the next five or ten years, the same was uttered by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos many times over the years. Perhaps the same can be said about Daniel Levy, the Tottenham Hotspur Chairman, that spent half a decade planning a one of its kind stadium that can function as both a football (soccer) pitch as well as football (the American version) pitch.
With its technology pumped stadium, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium provides a unique experience for fans which led to by far the most lucrative partnership of a cross sport endeavour in years when Levy signed a 10-year contract with the NFL to host competitive games in the north London arena.
This is now proving to be a masterstroke, albeit a very expensive one, when considering the stadium cost Tottenham Hotspur £1B to build. Nonetheless, with revenues coming in from the premier league TV rights and other music concerts as well as famous boxing matches, like the recent one that features Anthony Joshua we find that Levy is a visionary and not stuck in the present like so many other people in his position. Perhaps he always had in mind that the stadium will be great for Monday Night Football as most league games take place over the weekend.
It was back in 2016 that Daniel Levy said: “We would welcome very much close cooperation with the NFL and a dedicated team. Obviously, a decision is entirely theirs whether they do bring a team to the U.K., and where it would be located is something that would be talked about.
But yes, we would be very much welcome to that scenario.” He went on to say, “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?’
“When we first went to them, we went to them with the idea of a joint stadium in some shape or form without going through all the details at that stage. As we sat down and we went through all the operations, we worked out, ‘What does the NFL need? What does soccer need?’ Basically, we had a checklist of all the various things we wanted to achieve, and then at the end of the day it was the best solution.”
With the NFL picking up interest in Europe now, it isn’t beyond the realms of imagination that an NFL franchise will be established at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the coming years. Another money-making machine that surely was envisioned by Levy when he decided to go big when it came to the planning and implementation of the build of the arena.
This was a calculated risk as Levy saw the impact the games had on Wembley Stadium in London, England’s national football ground, only a few miles away from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The NFL have started visiting Wembley back in 2007 when Miami Dolphins hosted the New York Giants, and the game was sold out just as soon as tickets we announced.
Since then, there was one game being held at London every year until 2013 when multiple games started to take stage at various London stadium including in Twickenham Stadium, England’s national rugby stadium which do date has hosted three games while Wembley Stadium has hosted 23 games and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has already hosted 4 games, with the last two games featuring the New York Jets and Atlanta Falcons on October 10, 2021 and a week later the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Therefore, this partnership between Tottenham and the NFL is set to blossom over the coming decade, meaning more money in the bank to help Levy repay the mammoth spend on the stadium.