On Tuesday 5 September 1882, the Hotspur Football Club was formed by grammar-school boys from the Bible class at All Hallows Church. They were also members of Hotspur Cricket Club. It is possible that the name Hotspur was associated with Sir Henry Percy, who was "Harry Hotspur" of Shakespeare's Henry IV, part 1, and who lived locally during the 14th century and whose descendants owned land in the neighbourhood. In 1884, the club was renamed Tottenham Hotspur Football Club to avoid any confusion with an already established team called Hotspur FC. Originally, Spurs played in navy-blue shirts and white shorts from 1882 to 1885. The club colours were changed to light blue and white halved jerseys and white shorts from 1885 to 1889 (inspired by watching Blackburn Rovers win the FA Cup at the Kennington Oval in 1884), before returning to the original dark blue shirts for the 1889–90 season. From 1890 to 1895, the club had red shirts and blue shorts, this was changed for 1895 to 1898 to chocolate brown and gold narrow striped shirts and dark blue shorts. Finally, in the 1899–1900 season, the strip was changed to the familiar white shirts and navy blue shorts as a tribute to Preston North End, the most successful team of the time.
In 1888, Tottenham moved their home fixtures from the Tottenham Marshes to Northumberland Park, where the club was able to charge for spectator admission. An attempt to join an aborted Southern League, instigated by Royal Arsenal (later Arsenal), failed in 1892, when they were the only club of the 23 applicants to receive no votes. They turned professional just before Christmas 1895 and were then admitted to the Southern League and attracted crowds nearing 15,000. Charles Roberts became chairman in 1898, remaining in the post until 1943. In 1899, Spurs made their final ground move to a former market garden in nearby High Road, Tottenham. In time, the ground became known as White Hart Lane, a local thoroughfare. Tottenham were the considerable beneficiaries of the escalating unionisation of the northern professional game in the 1890s. Both John Cameron and Jack Bell, formerly Everton players, came to play for Tottenham as a result of the conflict caused by their organisation of the Association Footballers' Union, a forerunner of the Professional Footballers' Association. As a direct result of this, in 1900, Tottenham won the Southern League title, followed the next year by winning the FA Cup – becoming the only non-League club to do so since the formation of The Football League in 1888.
Tottenham won election to the Second Division of the Football League for the 1908–09 season to replace a (at the time) financially troubled Stoke, immediately winning promotion as runners-up to the First Division. Their record between 1910–1911 and the Great War was poor and when football was suspended at the end of the 1914–15 season, Tottenham were bottom of the league. When football resumed in 1919, the First Division was expanded from 20 to 22 teams. The Football League extended one of the additional places to 19th-place Chelsea (who would have been relegated with Spurs for the 1915–16 season) and the other to Arsenal. This promotion — Arsenal had finished only sixth in Division 2 the previous season — was controversial, and cemented a bitter rivalry (begun six years earlier, with Arsenal's relocation to Tottenham's hinterland) that continues to this day.
Following the war, football was an extremely popular interest attracting thousands of supporters each weekend. By 1949, Arthur Rowe was Spurs manager and developed the "push and run" tactical style of play. This involved quickly laying the ball off to a teammate and running past the marking tackler to collect the return pass. It proved an effective way to move the ball at pace with players' positions and responsibility being totally fluid. Rising to the top of the Second Division, by 1949–50 they were champions. The next year, Tottenham secured their first ever league title, winning the First Division Championship in 1951. The playing heroes in the side included Alf Ramsey, Ronnie Burgess, Ted Ditchburn, Len Duquemin, Sonny Walters and Bill Nicholson.
Since the 1921 FA Cup final the Tottenham Hotspur crest has featured a cockerel. Harry Hotspur (from whom the club is said to have taken its name) wore riding spurs and his fighting cocks were fitted with spurs which can be seen in the crests. In 1909 a former player named William James Scott made a bronze cast of a cockerel standing on a football to be placed on top of the West Stand and since then the cockerel and ball have been the major part of the club's identity.
Between 1956 and 2006 Spurs used a faux heraldic shield featuring a number of local landmarks and associations. The lions flanking the shield came from the Northumberland family (of which Harry Hotspur was a member). The castle is Bruce Castle, 400 yards from the ground and the trees are the Seven Sisters. The arms featured the Latin motto Audere Est Facere (to dare is to do). In 1983, to overcome unauthorised "pirate" merchandising, the club's badge was altered by adding the two red heraldic lions and the motto scroll. This device appeared on most Spurs' playing kits for the next 23 years. In 2006 to rebrand and modernise the club's image, the club badge and coat of arms were dumped for a professionally designed logo/emblem. This revamp showed a leaner, fitter cockerel on an old-time football.
Tottenham played their first matches at Tottenham Marshes on the available public pitches and remained there for six years. It was at this ground that Spurs first played arch rivals Arsenal (then known as Royal Arsenal), leading 2–1 until the match got called off due to poor light after the away team arrived late. There were occasions on which fights would break out on the marshes in dispute of the teams that were allowed to use the best pitches.
Crowd sizes were regularly increasing and a new site was becoming needed to accommodate these supporters. In 1898 the club moved from the marshes to Northumberland Park and charged an admission fee of 3d. They only remained at this ground for a year as in April 1899, 14,000 fans turned up to watch Spurs play Woolwich Arsenal. The ground was no longer able to cope with the larger crowds and Spurs were forced to move to a new larger site 100 yards down the road, to the current ground.
The White Hart Lane ground was originally a disused nursery owned by the brewery Charringtons and located behind a public house on Tottenham High Road (the actual White Hart Lane road lies a few hundred yards north of the main entrance). The landlord spotted the increased income he could enjoy if Tottenham played their matches behind his pub and in 1899 the club moved in. They brought with them the stand they used at Northumberland Park which gave shelter to 2,500 fans. Notts County were the first visitors to 'the Lane' in a friendly watched by 5,000 people who provided £115 in receipts; Spurs won 4–1. QPR became the first competitive visitors to the ground and 11,000 people saw them lose 1–0 to Tottenham.
The club acquired the freehold of the ground, as well as additional land at the northern (Paxton Road) end, in 1905. Starting in 1909, a stadium, with stands designed by Archibald Leitch, was built over a period of two and a half decades. The stadium would have a capacity of nearly 80,000 by 1934. Over the years, the stadium underwent a number of changes and seating replaced the standing areas, which reduced the capacity to about 50,000 in 1979. Significant standing areas, however, still existed, including the long stretch of raised standing terrace on the East Stand, known by fans as The Shelf.
Beginning in the 1980s, the White Hart Lane ground was redeveloped, and in order to comply with the recommendation of the Taylor Report, it was turned into an all-seater stadium. The capacity of the stadium was reduced to around 36,000 by the time it was completed in 1998. The capacity was, by then, lower than other major English clubs, with many of these clubs also planning to expand further. As revenues from gate receipts in that period formed a substantial part of the club's income (before it became dominated by TV broadcast rights deals), Tottenham began to explore ways of increasing the stadium capacity so that it could more effectively compete financially with rival clubs.
Over the years, a number of schemes were considered, such as rebuilding the East Stand as a three-tier structure and moving to different stadiums and locations, including Picketts Lock and the Olympic Stadium at Stratford, London. These plans however failed to come to fruition, except for a proposal to redevelop the existing site that would become the Northumberland Development Project.
The stadium is an enclosed asymmetric bowl, with a capacity of 62,062. The bowl shape of the stadium comes from the need to maximise hospitality facilities while the asymmetry is the result of the creation of a single-tier stand in the south. The stadium is around 48 m high, 250 m long on its north-south axis and about 200 metres wide east to west.
There are 9 floors in the northern section, above the basement, and 5 floors in the south, with a gross internal area of 119,945 square metres. The front of the West Stand faces the High Road and features a projecting, angled, glazed box, that encases an escalator and serves as the main entrance for guests and patrons. The projecting entrance, along with the facades of other buildings of the Tottenham Experience, present a traditional linear frontage along the High Road.
A 9.5 metre pavement is created in front of these buildings to improve the flow of the crowd on match day on the High Road. To the east, on Worcester Avenue, is a dedicated entrance for NFL events. There are two raised podiums, one to the north and one to the south, for fans access. A large open public square, the size of Trafalgar Square, has been created on the south podium as the main access point for home fans, and it may be used for sporting and community activities. Away fans may enter from the northeast corner of the stadium via the north podium. The South Stand features a 5-storey atrium with a single 7,000 square metre curved glazed facade.
The bulk of the structure dominates the surrounding area, but the appearance of the mass of the building is modulated by different claddings of glass, metal panels and pre-cast concrete. The perforated metal panels work as a screen but allow for natural ventilation and light for the open plant areas in the stadium, and they also act as a unifying element in the appearance of the stadium. Regions of glazing not covered by the metal screen, including the main entrances and concourses, offices, Sky Lounge, as well the extensive glazed area to the south, allow for views into and out of the stadium. The metal panels may be in an open or closed position, and they are lined with LED luminaires that glow on match nights, similar to Bayern Munich's Allianz Arena.
The roof is a cable net structure, held in place by an elliptically-shaped compression ring. The roof is clad in standing seam aluminium panels, that end with extruded polycarbonate on the inside edge, to allow light through onto the pitch but reduce the contrast of the shadow of the roof on the pitch. Curved aluminium eave cassettes connect the roof to the wall. The pitch is lit by 324 LED floodlights, arranged in 54 groups of six, placed on columns of the roofing system. Four LED screens are placed in the stadium, of which the two on the south side are the largest of any stadium in Western Europe. There are also two facade video displays on the outside of the stadium, three tiers of LED ribbon displays inside, and nearly 1,800 video screens in and around the stadium.
The stadium is designed with good acoustics in mind like a concert hall so as to optimise the atmosphere on match day. The corners of the stadium are enclosed and the stands are placed close to the pitch, with fans generating a "wall of sound" that can reverberate around the ground.
** – Stands / Pitch – **
Although the stadium is designed as an enclosed bowl, it still has four stands. The stands are set at an angle of up to 35 degrees, the maximum permissible. The South Stand is designated the 'Home End', and it has a single tier which is the largest single-tier stand in the country, with seating for 17,500 fans. It is 34.1m high, has concourses on Level 1, 2, 3 and 4 and is accessible from the south atrium. The design of the South Stand is influenced by the "Yellow Wall" of Borussia Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park and the stand is intended to be the "heart-beat" of the stadium that can generate an intense atmosphere on match day.
The 35.5m high North Stand has three tiers with concourses on Level 1, 2, 4 and 5. The East and West Stands are 33.8 metres and 33.2 metres high respectively, and have concourses on Level 1 and 5. Both stands have four tiers each, two of which are smaller and intended for premium seating. There are around 7,000 of these premium seats as well as private loges and super loges for premium members and corporate hospitality. The total of 62,062 seats are mostly in navy blue, with 42,000 of these intended for season ticket holders.
The seats have a minimum width of 470mm (compared with the 455–460 mm of the previous stadium), increasing to 520–700 mm for premium seats, with improved legroom. Away fans are allocated seats in the north east corner; 3,000 seats in the lower tier for Premier League games, while for domestic cups they may be allocated up to 15% of the capacity spread over three tiers. The stands also include areas with 7,500 seats that can be quickly turned into safe standing areas should there be a change in the legislation that banned standing in football stadiums. A family area is located in the north west corner for those attending with their children. For disabled fans, accessible seating is available in all four stands, where the design allows for flexible seating for family groups.
The football pitch of the stadium has a standard dimension of 105m x 68m, this is equal to the pitches at Old Trafford and The Emirates stadium, which is 440 square metres - larger than the pitch at White Hart Lane. The overall grass surface is 114.58 by 79.84 metres, including the perimeter between the pitch and the stands. The stands are placed close to the pitch so as to enhance the atmosphere on match days, and the distances between the stands and the pitch minimised – 7.97 metres (26.1 feet) from the front of the stand to the pitch on the west, north and east sides of the pitch and 4.985 metres (16.4 feet) at the south end of the pitch.
In order to keep the football pitch in optimum condition, there are two different surfaces – a Desso GrassMaster hybrid grass pitch for football, and a synthetic turf surface underneath to be used for NFL games, as well as concerts and other events. The football pitch can be retracted in a way similar to that of the Arizona Cardinals' home stadium, but it is the first in the world to split into three sections before retracting. Each of the three sections weighs more than 3,000 tonnes, and is made up of 33 smaller trays, making a total of 99 trays, with a combined weight of 10,000 tonnes. The retracting pitch slides under the South Stand and the south podium, and the surface can be switched in around 25 minutes. The NFL pitch is placed 1.5 metres beneath the natural turf surface, and the change in height when the surface is switched also produces ideal sightlines for the front row for both codes.
The stadium features the world's first integrated pitch grow lighting system, with grow lights suspended on six 70-metre trusses, to encourage the growth of the grass in the shaded areas of the stadium, and they can be folded away under the North Stand when not in use. The grass can also be maintained with an artificial lighting and irrigation system when the pitch is retracted under the south podium.
The Disability Access Scheme will assist their supporters with a disability or impairment and have access requirements. The new stadium contains dedicated accessible seating and wheelchair bays. These seats are for the exclusive use of supporters who have registered with the Club’s Access Scheme.
Once tickets are on-sale you can purchase tickets during the relevant sales window (i.e. if tickets are only available for One Hotspur + members, you must be registered on the Disability Access scheme and be a One Hotspur + member) - subject to availability. Note: Access scheme tickets cannot be purchased online, please call them on 020 8365 5161 (from overseas +4420 8365 5161). All supporters wishing to register on the scheme should complete a copy of the Club’s access requirement form below.
When registering on the Access Scheme, supporters are encouraged to provide supporting evidence (please see the form for further details). Subject to review and assessment, they can look to provide a complimentary personal assistant ticket when you make your booking.
Supporters suffering from a temporary mobility impairment (eg. a broken leg) which may affect access to the stadium must notify the Access team in writing seven days before the game. The team will attempt to relocate you to suitable alternative seating, subject to availability. They can be contacted via email@example.com.
Your Disability Access Scheme Members Card & Lift Passes entitles you to use the dedicated accessible check-in entrances at the new stadium, that are at street level. Please use the entrance number that is on your stadium access card. These have been designed to assist your entry into the stadium as they each lead directly to two 33-person lifts at each entrance that you will have priority use of to ease your entry into the stadium.
At these entrances you will also be able to collect any audio commentary headsets or hearing loops, hire wheelchairs and for those with assistance animals, you will able to collect a water bowl. These areas will be managed by their dedicated access steward supervisors who will be able to assist you with accessing the stadium and any access related enquiries. These entrances are numbers 1, 5, 13 and 17. There are also accessible air lock entrances at Podium Level next to the turnstiles with platform lifts from street to Podium level.
The card will also be recognised by staff that you have access requirements and are entitled to assistance. This should eliminate you being questioned as to your right to use a lift or toilet or gain assistance at a food and beverage concession. Tottenham Hotspur are also working with other clubs in the Premier League so that they acknowledge this card and aid you when you visit opposition stadiums.
Please note that this is NOT a ticket and is issued to assist with your access requirements only.
The stadium site has been designed to meet and, in certain areas, exceed Accessible Stadia Guidelines. It contains facilities specifically for supporters with access requirements. These include:
The Tottenham Experience shop is fully accessible and was developed in collaboration with our Stadium Disability Inclusion Group, a pan-impairment group. All food/drink outlets are accessible by wheelchair as the counters are all lowered.
Yes, all 66 accessible toilets can be accessed using a RADAR key that staff will be equipped with, although for ease of use supporters are encouraged to bring their own. Supporters who do not have their own key are able to obtain one from their local authority. They understand that not all disabilities are visible and have installed signage on all toilets stating this so as not to discriminate. The stadium is equipped with two Changing Places facilities, with a further facility available in the Tottenham Experience.
There are charging points available for powered wheelchairs only. For safety reasons we are unable to allow the charging of motorised scooters.
There is a Sensory Room in the stadium which has been designed to assist those who have sensory impairments. This dedicated sensory space will enable your child to get a controlled exposure to the environment. Please contact the Access Team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact them on 0208 3655161 to discuss individual requirements. Please note that access to the room is subject to application and availability.
Northumberland Park now has step-free access. Tottenham Hale has step-free access to the Victoria line and the northbound Greater Anglia platform. The Alexandra Palace and Wood Green shuttle bus services are fully accessible for wheelchair users, although it should be noted that the stations that they serve are not. For more information please see: Accessible Parking and Transport Information.
Due to security restrictions and planned road closures, they are not able to provide a designated drop off/collection point. Roads will be closed around the stadium 2 hours prior and up to 1 hour post events. For information about which roads will be closed please see: Road Closures. If you are a Blue Badge holder and do not live within the Traffic Management Zone (valid proof of address will be requested at vehicle permit checkpoints) you will not be permitted access once road closures are in effect (2hrs pre, during, and 1 hr post event). You will need to travel in advance of these closures to park in a dedicated Blue Badge parking spot, or park outside of the Traffic Management Zone.
Pre-booked parking is only available to Season Ticket Holders and One Hotspur Members who have registered their ‘Blue Badge’ with the Club. Parking will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. In addition to this they have allocated a number of spaces for visiting supporters who require accessible parking. Members who are registered with their Disability Access Scheme can pre-book spaces via their online booking system activated prior to each game. To access the pre-booked parking you must have all of the following:
Stadium Tours are not currently available although the Club Museum is still extant. Based within Warmington House and utilising interpretive media and interactive displays, the Museum is designed to tell the Club’s history, display Club artefacts and encourage the visitor to explore all aspects of the Club and its home in Tottenham.
Location : 782 High Road, Tottenham, London, N17 0BX
Transport: White Hart Lane (London Overground, National Rail) 5 minute walk. Tube: Seven Sisters (Victoria Line) then National Rail OR Tottenham Hale (Victoria Line) then Shuttle Bus. Bus Routes: 149, 259, 279, 349, and W3 stop at the stadium. Shuttle Bus Services : one from Alexandra Palace via Wood Green, and the other from Tottenham Hale.
Capacity : 62,062
Museum : Daily 09:30 to 17:00 (excluding matchdays)
Tel: 0344 499 5000