Spurs free to play last few games at Wembley with increased capacity
PUBLISHED: 16:31 17 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:51 18 January 2019
Brent planning chiefs have lifted the maximum capacity for Spurs’ last few games at Wembley Stadium.
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club (THFC) had asked to increase the cap for eight games until May 12 – the end of the season – while its new stadium is being built. Spurs this month said they expected to be unable to return to White Hart Lane until at least March, but the club has applied for permission to stay at Wembley for longer than that as a contingency plan.
The request was for a minimum three champion league games at full 90,000 capacity and minimum five premier league matches at 62,000.
At a heated meeting in March last year full capacity proved contentious with objectors, who expressed concerns about anti-social behaviour and the extra strain on transport.
There were no objectors present at the meeting last night.
Donna Cullen, director of THFC, said: “The new stadium is nearly ready – we’re in the process of realising key contracts.”
She added: “It’s prudent to have contingency plans in place to enable us to see through the rest of the games should they be necessary.”
The first UEFA Champions League game will be on February 13, which Spurs must win in order to go through to the quarter final.
Chris Bryant, director of operations for Wembley, added: “We remain committed to support Tottenham while their new stadium is staged.”
Through mitigation costs to the council, he said Spurs would contribute towards parking enforcement, dealing with anti-social behaviour, street cleaning and extra toilet facilities on the days their matches were played.
Spurs will also provide the council with contributions to additional licensing inspections, and senior level stewards to work alongside Wembley Stadium teams.
Mr Bryant added: “We very much hope you will support our proposals this evening. The stadium and Spurs take their responsibility to the Brent community very seriously and these mitigation measures are wrapped up with legal Brent agreement.”
Colin Leadbetter, a planning officer for the council, said: “If Tottenham don’t use these event days they can’t be used for any other reason or other events. They fall away.”
As the committee voted unanimously to allow the cap rise, chairman James Denselow said with a nod to the government’s “meaningful vote” on Brexit the night before: “Spurs will have no “no deal” exit from Wembley. I’m sure they will be very happy about that.”