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Are eSports being lined up for Tottenham’s new stadium?

By Matthew Campelli    09 May 2017
Cullen said that she expected Premier League clubs to offer safe-standing in the future

The stadium being built for Tottenham Hotspur FC – which will be one of the largest in the UK – could be used to host eSports matches and events, according to the club’s executive director.

Donna Cullen said that while the Premier League team would not currently consider launching an eSports franchise to compete, she did see an opportunity for the 61,000-capacity venue to host high-profile virtual reality sporting events.

She added that eSports events regularly attract crowds of “50-60,000 spectators” in Korea and the US, and could prove to be another opportunity to monetise the structure if the craze reaches the UK.

As well as Premier League football matches the stadium – which is scheduled to be completed in time for the start of the 2018/19 season – will host at least two National Football League (NFL) matches per year, as well as concerts and other events.

Last month, the architecture studio behind Tottenham’s new stadium, Populous, told Sports Management that the arrival of eSports arenas to mainstream sport was a matter of “when not if”.

Brian Mirakian, director of the firm’s Activate design agency, suggested that bespoke arenas would be built for the technology, adding that live matches could be beamed into different stadiums around the world using hologram technology.

Addressing the Telegraph’s Business of Sport Conference 2017, Cullen also told delegates that she thought spectator standing would eventually make a return to the Premier League in the form of safe-standing.

Last November, Sports Management revealed that Populous had designed the stadium to accommodate safe-standing if the government relaxed legislation around it, although there has been no suggestion that this will happen at any point soon.

Safe-standing allows those attending the match to stand up for all or a portion of the match, with a rail partition between spectators. The initiative – which has been trialled by Celtic in Scotland – has been backed by the Football Supporters' Federation.

Tottenham Hotpsur  Premier League  eSports  Populous 
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