Tottenham Hotspur have been given the green light to sell up to 1.71 million tickets during the 2017-18 English Premier League season should they use Wembley Stadium as their home ground.
The London club is almost certain to use the national stadium for its home fixtures during White Hart Lane’s redevelopment, but there was uncertainty as to whether it would be able to use Wembley’s full capacity of 90,000.
Now Brent Council, the local authority with jurisdiction over the arena, has agreed that Tottenham can have full use of Wembley’s 90,000 capacity for at least 27 matches during 2017-18.
Brent Council’s planning committee debated whether to grant the application with a reduced capacity of 70,000, which would have meant around 400,000 fewer tickets for Spurs’ 19 home games in the Premier League season. Wembley’s current regulations meant Tottenham could play any number of games there with the upper tier left empty, but this would mean a restricted capacity of 50,835.
The sale of 400,000 extra tickets is worth around £17.2m ($21.5m/€20.0m) based on the £43 average price of watching top-tier football matches in London this season. Should Spurs sell out Wembley for its 19 home league games it could generate a total of £73.5m in gate receipts.
Should they sell out Wembley for the full season, Tottenham would become the most watched club in European football. Barcelona was the leader in 2015-16 with the Spanish giants having sold 1.51 million tickets.
The Brent Council committee passed the full capacity application by a majority of 5-1, despite objections from some local residents concerned about anti-social behaviour, the extra strain on transport and the negative impact on local businesses.
Tottenham’s executive director Donna Cullen told the committee: “Brent is the proud home of Wembley but we would need to make it our proud home here.
“We would need to create a vibrant home advantage in the stadium. The impact of support is well-acknowledged, hence our application tonight for full capacity.”
Spurs now have until March 31 to activate its option to play at the national stadium, with its decision dependent on the construction schedule at White Hart Lane. Should they move to Wembley for 2017-18, the aim would be to occupy its 61,000-seat stadium – a project costing about £800m – in 2018-19. The club may decide to stay at White Hart Lane during 2017-18 and move to Wembley in 2018-19 if it cannot keep to the proposed timetable.