Tottenham Hotspur has installed fewer corporate boxes at its new stadium as it looks to target a more diverse range of clients with a more flexible hospitality approach.
The new arena, which hosts its first Premier League game this evening, has approximately 80 corporate boxes, while the team’s former White Hart Lane stadium had 120.
“I think the box market has changed and is definitely changing,” project architect Christopher Lee, managing director EMEA, Populous, told SportBusiness. “I think the sports business has traditionally built 150-plus boxes in these stadiums and ended up forcing a lot of predominantly small-to-medium enterprises into them. But a private box is a huge commitment, not just for the financials of actually buying the box, but getting six staff and six clients, week-in week-out to fill them.”
Lee said Tottenham had opted to develop a smaller number of “bigger, higher-end” private suites to target larger corporations and high-net worth individuals, but a more diverse array of intermediate “products” to cater for a variety of client needs further down the chain. Overall, Lee estimated there are 19 different hospitality products between general admission tickets and the highest specification “Super Lounges” in the new venue.
“I’ve described it as probably the most democratic stadium that has ever been designed. And by that I think we mean this isn’t guys and girls on carpet in corporate posh areas and the rest of the fans either side of them in plastic seats,” he said. “You have the least expensive to the most expensive seat and every one of our spectators has a unique and amazing experience.”
The newest innovation in the stadium is the introduction of ‘loge suites’ that allow groups of four to six people to take a dining booth in a shared communal box. Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said the idea was inspired by recent stadium builds in the US. “A lot of people now don’t want a full box, so this is a small area within an open space where you have your own booth and it’s semi-private,” he said.
The new stadium also features two “tunnel clubs” offering a select number of clients a dining and hospitality experience alongside the tunnel where the players enter the pitch. The first of these spaces is in the west stand near to the home and away football dressing rooms, the second is in the east stand near to a second set of changing room facilities that have been specially designed for NFL players and the stadium’s hosting of regular NFL games.
Tottenham can lay claim to the first ‘purpose-built’ glass tunnel in the league but not the first of any kind, as fellow English Premier League outfit Manchester City recently retrofitted a similar feature. Tunnel clubs are also increasingly common in the US: The Milwaukee Bucks’ Fiserv Forum, finished last year, has an event-level club that features a long counter at the rear, just steps from the entrance to the player locker rooms.
Levy said the new stadium has 8,000 corporate seats out of total capacity of 62, 062 and that all of these seats were sold out for next season.