When news broke recently that the cost of Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium had sky rocketed to £800m, everyone in the red side of North London laughed.
The costs had more than doubled from the £400m first quoted seven years ago.
Arsenal struggled with the financing of their stadium, and it gave Arsenal a rough 10 years where we were having to sell to cover stadium debts. Sponsorship deals were front loaded to pay off debt, leaving us short at the back end of the deals. It was hard work, but Arsenal got through.
Spurs were always going to struggle more. A lack of regular Champions League football and them simply being a smaller global club than Arsenal means that their turnover was already fair below what Arsenal’s was in the early 00s (relatively speaking). The Spurs project at £400m was already a tougher financial task to make ends meet. No matter how many NFL games, cheese rooms, boxes and extra seats they had. When this price doubled, I imagine, Levy, Enic et al got an itchy arsehole.
And now the cut backs have begun,
Plans for a hotel as part of its new stadium development was recently put on hold due to it being “unviable”.
The proposed building on the corner of Tottenham High Road and Park Lane, which includes a 180-room four-star hotel, a basement car park, pool, gym and serviced apartments, will cost £67.8m to build, according to planning documents submitted to Haringey Council by the club last month.
A new financial appraisal revealed “a worsened overall scheme viability, largely due to construction cost inflation and the impacts of Brexit”, according to the club.
The club have said it “remained committed to building [the hotel] as soon as practicable” and described it as a ”key place-making component” of the overall scheme.
A letter from the club’ head of planning Richard Serra to Haringey Council said: “Hotel construction cannot commence… until after the completion of the new stadium, by which time the viability of the hotel may have improved.”
The hotel element of the complex, which covers 167,000 sq ft, will cost £31.8m to build, while the 49 serviced apartments on the upper floors will have a total build cost of £16.8m.
The serviced apartments have been redesigned from the original planning application submitted in 2015, with balconies and oversized units added, while residents will also have access to the hotel’s 3,230 sq ft roof terrace, as well as gym facilities, as part of the amendments.
The rooftop restaurant (£1.6m), and the health centre fit-out and swimming pool (£1.6m), make up the remaining costs of the hotel building.
The football club added that new ramp access into the stadium basement car park from Park Lane has resulted in a “significant increase in the cost of the construction of the basement beneath the proposed hotel”.
Earlier this week, the club received planning permission from Haringey Council to add extra seats at the stadium, with the £800m development now set to hold 61,559.
In recent weeks, Spurs have also done a deal to rent Wembley. With talk already about having to spend 2 years at the national stadium, costs will continue to rise.
How many players will they have to sell this summer just to finance the ongoing costs?