New Tottenham stadium’s terrible corner kick dimensions in video, and explained!

Tottenham Hotspur‘s new stadium finally opened yesterday with an under-18 match, leading to an outpouring of photo galleries and exuberant tweets about all the flashing lights. If you’re like me, though, what you really want to know is: What did it look like when players took corner kicks from the tiny amount of space in the corners?

The answer, it appears from a fan-shot video with terrible overdubbed music, is that players have to run down the touchline at an oblique angle to avoid falling backwards down a slope:

That’s pretty bad. How , and is only going to get worse if, say, you have a right-footed player taking the kick from the left corner. Which happened a bit later in the match:

That doesn’t look too bad from that angle, but it still appears that the player had to run uphill somewhat to kick the ball, which is clearly less than ideal.

All the press coverage of the stadium opening, which was uniformly positive, also provided some insight into the reasoning behind that crazy slope that starts just beyond the boundaries of the pitch:

The £1 billion stadium will seat 62,062 and also boasts the world’s first dividing, retractable football pitch, with a turf pitch underneath for NFL London Games, concerts and other events.

So the real field (the turf one) is under the grass pitch, which sits in a tray that will slide out under one end of the stadium for when they need to hold non-soccer events there, kind of like the Arizona Cardinals field that slides out to get sun. And as a result, soccer players who leave the pitch will tumble down a slope into the advertising barriers. I am not a soccer fan of that long a standing (I’ve only been seriously watching for less than ten years), but this seems like a really bad idea just so you can host the occasional Jacksonville Jaguars game, especially when you consider how much it must have added to the stadium cost, not to mention those construction delays. It all looked fine in the renderings!


10 comments on “New Tottenham stadium’s terrible corner kick dimensions in video, and explained!

  1. The timestamps for the videos aren’t working. You should reference the times in the text.

    • Ugh, seriously, Youtube embeds? What good are you?

      I’m on the train right now, will post an update here in comments when I’m back at my desk and can add the links.

  2. Okay, exactly how many stadium-level concerts and events are they expecting with Wembley, Twickenham, Emirates, and the Olympic stadium competing for the same events?

  3. Heavily sloped touch areas are not unusual in premier league facilities… you can often see Man Utd players sliding to reach a ball headed into touch and, after kicking it back into/out of play watch as they slide down a slope so significant their feet hit half way up the advertising boards adjacent to the pitch.

    Some say this is done to improve irrigation runoff into drainage channels (however I would note that the slope on the sidelines is much lower than the goal line ones in the facilities I’ve visited), others say it is to raise the pitch and produce better sight lines for the expensive pitchside seats. Sloping the ground away behind the goalline (either inside the net or outside) has been pretty common for years. Before goal line technology it was seen as a way to help referees and linesmen determine which balls were in or out of play, or in or out of the net.

    I’ve no strong opinion myself other than that I wish they wouldn’t use such heavy slopes… Sooner or later someone will break an ankle trying to plant their foot on uneven ground like that.

    All that said, there’s usually several feet of relatively flat area behind the touch lines. If the new WHL does not feature this then I am confused as to why.

    • From what I can tell from some perfunctory googling, it’s only Old Trafford that features that slope, ever since the ’80s when the raised the pitch to installing heating pipes. (It also helps with drainage.)

  4. I pull for Tottenham in the EPL . . . so I’m comfortable pointing out the extreme Spursiness of spending hundreds of millions (over £1bn?) to build a glorious new stadium, only to realize at the end that the pitch itself has issues that could quite conceivably effect the outcome of the games there.

    This team DESERVE to finish in the top four every year, and never win a single trophy ever.