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Official Review by Stephan Hoogerwaard, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
White Hart Lane was opened on the 4th of September 1899 and is one of the oldest football stadiums in the Premier League to date. This all-seater football stadium with a capacity of 36,320 is situated in the North of London in the suburb named coincidentally Tottenham. The stadium is known to most of the fans as ‘the Lane’.
The record attendance at White Hart Lane was set in an FA Cup match on the 5th of March 1938 against Sunderland AFC. On that day 75,038 spectators passed through the gates of White Hart Lane. After a lot of renovations and rebuilding, the stadium’s capacity has been reduced to its present capacity.The stadium hosted some of the football matches in the group stages for the 1948 Summer Olympics. On the 21st of September 1991 it also held a boxing match where Michael Watson was defeated by Chris Eubank.
During the rebuilding of England’s national stadium (Wembley) the stadium hosted football matches for the England national team. In the mid 90’s White Hart Lane also briefly hosted American football. In 1995 and 1996 the London Monarchs played their home matches at the Lane. Only there was a problem, as the pitch was too short for a regular-length American football field. The London Monarchs were granted a special permission by the World League to play on this 93-yard field. This permission is unique in American Football to date.
There are 2 bronze fighting cocks (the club mascot) on the roof of the East and West Stand. Behind both ends there are 2 large video screens, these screens are called ‘Jumbotrons’ and were the first to be introduced in English football in the early 1990s.
Following an unsuccessful bid to take over the London Olympic Stadium as their new home, Spurs have plans to build a new stadium. These plans propose a new 56,250 all-seater stadium. The new stadium will be built next to the current site. A new stadium is essential for Spurs to keep up with the big teams in the Premier League.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The food and drinks are what you expect in British stadia. Underneath the stands you can buy your food and drinks. During halftime many people gather in this quite small area to discuss and watch the highlights of the first half on a couple of television screens and enjoy themselves a beer from a plastic bottle.
You can buy hot drinks for £2.00, soft drinks and water are available for £2.20. The most popular drink is a half litre of Carlsberg beer, a bottle of this brand will cost you £3.90. Please note that it's not allowed to bring alcoholic drinks into the stands.
There is also a large variety of fast food to buy. For a price list of the burgers, hot dogs, chips etc. please check my photos in the gallery of this review.
During the match I attended most recently in early 2013 against Swansea City the atmosphere was pretty good. The Spurs supporters sung most of the match to fire their team on. As a result of that, Spurs player Jan Vertonghen scored 15 minutes before the final whistle, the only goal of the day. The title of this review was chosen from one of the songs we heard several times this day: "We are Tottenham, we are Tottenham, Super Tottenham, from the Lane. We are Tottenham, Super Tottenham, We are Tottenham, from the Lane".
White Hart Lane is lying on the High Road in Tottenham, it is here where you will find many multi-cultural shops. You will find loads of Pakistani and Indian restaurants, hairdressers, supermarkets and all kinds of other small businesses. You sometimes wonder if you are still in England or perhaps in Asia. Most pubs close to White Hart Lane are home pubs only. The Elmhurst on Lordship Lane, which is about a ten minute walk away from the ground, is a good pub with several Sky Sports screens. You will find home and away fans drinking a pint of beer together and sharing their pre-match analyses.
The atmosphere before and after the match is very friendly. Fans mix around the stadium and I even saw some Swansea City supporters in the Tottenham Hotspur club shop buying souvenirs. Outside the ground there were only a handful of police men directing the Swansea City fans to their designated area in the stadium. The away fans have their own entrance to the stadium and are located in the corner of the South & West Stand.
When you travel by train, then the White Hart Lane Station is the nearest to the stadium. This station is less than a 5 minute walk away from the stadium. The White Hart Lane Station is served by trains from Liverpool Street station (London centre). The nearest tube station is Seven Sisters, from there it is around 25 minutes walking to the ground.
If you travel by car, leave the M25 at Junction 25. Street parking is not possible around the stadium on match days as a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) is in operation. Only local residents who have a parking permit can park within the CPZ.
We bought our tickets for the Swansea game online, but had to create an account first. Tickets for Tottenham Hotspur home matches can be bought in 3 different ways; online, by phone or in person at the Ticket Office at White Hart Lane. As the large majority of the home matches at White Hart Lane will sell out, it's advised to buy your tickets in advance!
For the 2012-2013 season Spurs have divided their home matches into 3 different pricing categories. The cheapest tickets for category C matches (clubs like Swansea City or Southampton FC) range in price from £32.00 for a lower-tier seat at one of the ends to £47.00 for a seat at the Upper West Stand. The most expensive ticket for a category A top match cost £81.00. We were lucky to buy our tickets for the Swansea match at a price of £32.00 each for seats in the lower tier of the South Stand. So we had the opportunity to visit a Premier League match in London for a reasonable price this day.
Tottenham Hotspur offers guided tours. Their most popular and most frequent tour is the 'Classic Tour', lasting almost 2 hours. You will have access to behind the scenes in all the key areas at the club. You will also get the chance to visit the dressings rooms, walk through the players' tunnel and experience the full glory of the Lane. In comparison with other Premier League clubs the tour is rather expensive, as it costs £17.50 for adults and £9.00 for children (under 16's).
When you stay in London for a city trip and you have seen all the points of interest then try to visit a Premier League match. Going to the Lane will be a good option then. There you can experience the British football culture yourself and see another side of the Londoners which you probably have met in the city centre. My trip to the Lane was one I will never forget, it was a great experience. As soon as the new stadium has been built, I will surely visit Tottenham Hotspur again.
Member Review by TheRambler
White Hart Lane has been home to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club since 1899 having previously played games on Tottenham Marshes and at Northumberland Park. The land was previously a disused nursery owned by the brewery chain Charringtons.
Spurs, as they are more commonly known, were founded in 1882 as Hotspur FC before changing their name to the current title two years later. They were elected to the Football League in 1908 having previously been members of the short lived Southern Alliance (1892/93) and Southern League (1896-1908).
At present, the capacity of the stadium is too small for Spurs, but following an unsuccessful bid to take over the 2012 Olympic Stadium, they have plans to redevelop the present site and build a stadium that would hold in the region of 56,250 spectators. More details can be found on the club's official website.
Member Review by sportsroadtrips on Nov 30, 2014
So much depends on when you visit. Spurs were struggling early in 2014 and played poorly in the game I saw, hurting the atmosphere and giving the fans much to complain about. Getting there and back is an exercise in patience, as is getting in the building. Get there early to avoid missing any action.
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