Being in the unique position of being a Spurs fan, and an NFL fan, I have much to look forward to when the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium is finally completed. It should be easy enough to travel to watch NFL games on a regular basis, and if there ends up becoming a franchise in London, this would also be something rather unique. However, with the official club shop opening in the last few weeks, this has created some concern about the stadium.
Spurs have officially been advertising a new NFL shirt, which is completely bespoke to Spurs. It is a Tottenham NFL jersey, and one can get different players’ names on the back of it, just as with a British football shirt. And one can see why the club have decided to do this – presumably to increase the NFL popularity within England so that attendances and hype are at their maximum when the NFL does arrive in North London.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) November 16, 2018
But with the blend of British football and American football, is this a sign that the stadium is becoming bigger than the club itself? It feels to me like the commercialism of what the stadium will be used for is becoming so big, that instead of a Tottenham Hotspur club shop, what we effectively have is either the ‘Tottenham Hotspur Stadium shop’, or simply, the ‘Nike shop’ (the Tottenham match day and training kit is made by Nike).
Don’t get me wrong, I love that the stadium can host multiple sports, but the idea that some fans could go to the shop before a match, and subsequently buy and wear an NFL shirt to a Spurs match doesn’t feel quite right, just as wearing a football shirt at an NFL match would raise some eyebrows. It just feels, and I hope I’m wrong at this early stage, that this stadium isn’t quite Tottenham’s, and might even become less about the football club as the months and years go on.