Welcome Home: Tottenham's opening game as seen from the H Club
On Wednesday evening, I went to the opening ceremony and first Premiership game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
A lot of people quote £1 billion, but actually, that includes the full site redevelopment including hotel and other facilities. The stadium itself cost £850 million.
When: Wednesday 3rd March 2019, 7.45 pm kick-off
Where: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, NW17, London
Getting to the Stadium
Assuming the worst of the traffic, I headed off from Hertfordshire early and the first 30 minutes were pretty clear on the roads. I was pleasantly surprised when we turned left onto the High Street in good time, with only 100 metres left and plenty of time before kick off.
Then came the carnage. The security teams had inadvertently closed Park Lane and the entrance to the stadium's underground car park.
I and eight other cars turned around on the High Street and found ourselves being directed down the wrong, narrow side roads. Twice.
Eventually, we made it to Park Lane security where our parking permit was validated, and the sniffer dogs gave us a thorough once over.
The executive coach option
My guest who travelled in by train to Tottenham Hale Station said that the journey was easy albeit getting busy as the opening ceremony time approached.
As an executive member, I had the option to book him onto the 16-seater private transfer from Tottenham Hale to the stadium. This was swift and comfortable taking about 20 minutes and dropping off passengers at the East Stand entrance.
The underground car park
With my H club members, we get one permit to use the under stadium parking which fits circa 600 spaces for VIPs, Premium members and blue badge holders.
The car park is a vast two-storey construction and felt nearly as impressive as the stadium above.
The VIP elevator
We parked in the yellow zone and had a short walk to the West Quarter underground entrance where our passes were scanned, and we got into what I can only describe at the VIP elevator.
Skipping over the 3rd-floor button labelled Directors Box, I pressed 4th floor for H Club, and I could feel the child within me getting so excited but then the doors opened and...
It took a few seconds for my eyes to adjust and figure out why I was looking over green turf, then a few more seconds pondering if I should run out. It's probably best that the lift doors closed before I could make a decision.
The opening ceremony
This was smaller than I expected but nonetheless tasteful and inclusive of the local community which was a nice touch to show their support during construction.
Both female and male solo artists
Fireworks that caught everybody by surprise
Sparks flying up around the giant golden Cockerel
A talented tenor singing Spurs songs
For the evening he was merely known as "that bloke from the Go Compare adverts."
The H Club
I've already written a review of the H Club from the test event so here's just a few word and pictures from this evening's experience.
My meal choice:
Canapes on arrival
Liver parfait and brioche to start
Beef sirloin with potatoes and broccoli for main
Half time brownies and toad in the hole
White chocolate and peanut tart after the match
Alongside cheese, grapes and biscuits from the in-house bakery
The heated seats were again a welcome treat given the pre-match snow that replaced the usual April showers.
Man of the match presentation
The deal that closed the H club sale for me was the man of the match award and interview that takes place in the H club foyer.
It was a little confusing being the first premiership game "back home", and Sissoko didn't make it, but Heung-Min Son gave an appearance for some photos and autographs.
Bring on the Champions League next week. And COYS.