London, Oct 29 (EFE).- Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy got ahead of everyone else in England by anticipating the success of the NFL in Europe and sealing a 10-year contract to host NFL games in his stadium.
His foresight has prevented the huge economic benefit of these overseas NFL events from being shared among other London stadiums.
The move was a masterstroke for Levy and the Spurs who charge a yearly fixed fee for the stadium and are guaranteed to receive the full revenue from what some 120,000 fans consume within the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium during the two annual matches.Alcoholic beverages are banned during Tottenham matches, but not in an NFL match.While in the Premiership you can only drink at half-time, and only outside the stands, in the NFL revenues from beer and food sales, the value of which can exceed £1 million ($1.38 million) during a game, is taken entirely by the club.From its inception, the stadium was never intended to be just a soccer ground, but also a venue for entertainment, boxing nights, and above all, NFL games.At Wembley, the same pitch was used for American football and soccer, but at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, a mechanism was put in place capable of swapping out the natural grass on which soccer is played for artificial turf favored by the gridiron game.
The turf sits 1.6 meters below the natural grass the Spurs play on. It is divided into three parts and stored, thanks to the work of 204 electric motors, under the south stand. The transition only takes 25 minutes, leaving the pitch ready for the NFL match to start without damaging the grass.The economic impact of the NFL in London is expected to exceed 300 million pounds, so it is hardly surprising that other European cities, especially in Germany and France, are now setting their sights on the sport.
With the NFL hoping to host up to four games a year beyond the United States, the race is on to see who can follow in Levy’s footsteps and catch the goose that laid the NFL’s golden egg. EFE