Football and soccer are strange bedfellows, so much so that the idea of the new Tottenham stadium playing host to an NFL game might tickle a few soccer fans the wrong way. Not that it would affect online soccer odds in anywhere, but the idea is a strange one.
The new Tottenham Hotspur 61,000-seater stadium will open in 2018. Talk of the stadium hosting NFL games emerged when the club’s chairman Daniel Levy made comments about the possibility of premier league games and NFL games existing side by side.
Sufficing to say, you will be hard pressed to find people who actually support this idea. The practical considerations alone are a notable challenge. After all, the average soccer match is played on grass. American football, on the other hand, plays out on synthetic surfaces.
However, according to Mark Waller (NFL’s executive Vice president of International), the grass/synthetic issue is easy enough to overcome. Waller was talking to Ashley Fox (ESPN) when he suggested that American Football and Soccer could complement one another relatively well.
According to Waller, a double header, where an NFL game and an English Premier League game where played on the same day, was a distinct and very enticing possibility. At the very least, it wasn’t completely out of the question.
Of course, this isn’t the sort of thing that could happen on a regular basis. However, it is the sort of unique feature that might get both NFL and EPL fans onboard with the concept of hosting an NFL game in a soccer stadium.
The NFL and the EPL are arguably the two biggest leagues in the world. A marriage between the two makes all the sense in the world, or so Levy seemed to suggest. Not that Levy is expecting miracles to happen.
This idea is only in its infancy at the moment. However, it is an idea that Levy takes very seriously, and he has the tenacity to make the ambitious project happen if he puts his mind to it.
While the concept might sound like news to some people, Levy has been talking about the project for a very long time, but primarily discussing it internally at the club. He admitted that he didn’t get the support he expected, with a lot of people brushing the idea off as madness. It is because Levy has been living and breathing this project for so long that he has managed to persevere despite the discouragement.
When Levy and his people first approached the NFL about the idea, they primarily sought to craft some sort of joint stadium, though Levy didn’t go into any of the details of how the whole thing would work.
Coming to a consensus required a lot of work, Levy and the NFL going back and forth to determine what exactly the NFL and soccer needed and how both sides might go about accommodating the other.
There is no easy solution. There are numerous technologies that will have to be innovated before the idea can come to fruition. However, the fact that the NFL is just as determined to pursue the idea as the EP suggests that there is hope.