Why are Saracens bringing rugby to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium?
The brand-new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is of course most commonly associated with the round ball, but on Saturday March 26th it will be dominated by the oval one as Saracens move in to host the first ever rugby match at the iconic new stadium.
Saracens, one of English rugby’s powerhouses, have made the ambitious move to stage their Gallagher Premiership match “The Showdown 2 in association with City Index” against Bristol Bears at Tottenham’s new home, and in a bid to sell out the momentous occasion there are a whole host of reasons why the club are temporarily making the 9.9-mile journey from StoneX Stadium to N17.
Previously, Sarries have hosted their ‘Big Game’ at either Wembley or the Olympic Stadium, and even just a quick glance at the attendance figures shows how much of an appetite there is to see the likes of Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje and Jamie George in their club surroundings, rather than with the rose on their chest.
In 2015 they beat the world record for a crowd at a club rugby match, with 84,068 heading to Wembley to see them beat local rivals Harlequins.
The following year 79,000 saw the same fixture, plus all of the five Premiership finals that Sarries have been successful in have seen crowds of over 70,000 cheering them on.
It is a new dawn for the club with their five-year partnership to host a game at Tottenham coinciding with their return to the Premiership, and they have taken to the topflight once again like a duck to water, creating an incredible buzz for The Showdown 2.
On the pitch there are of course the international matchups such as Elliot Daly v Semi Radrada, Vincent Koch v Kyle Sinckler and Alex Lozowski v Callum Sheedy, but off the pitch there will be even more going on to make it a day to savour.
The four main LED video screens in the ground, which total more than 1,000 square metres, are the largest in Western Europe, plusinside the concourse there are 1,800 HD TVs for fans to see all of the build up.
115 turnstiles provide access to 65 food and drink outlets, which can serve an astonishing 10,000 beers per minute from their very own microbrewery.
In terms of entertainment, just before kick off, over 300 participants will be bringing the energy with a dance performance from ‘Strictly Sarrie’, our disability dance class which is run by the Saracens Foundation.
Saracens have a clear vision to help transform the lives of disadvantaged North London communities through their award winning Foundation, and that certainly marries with Tottenham’s work in the regeneration of their stadium and community facilities.
The 62,850-seater stadium has some incredible numbers which back up how much of an influence it can make in the local area.
It has created 3,500 jobs and injects around £293 million annually into the community of Tottenham. The list of awards is endless, and includes ones such as Structural Engineering Excellence, Venue of the Year, and the Building Magazine Project of the Year.
The Saracens Foundation recently had their 20th anniversary, and the impact report showed how they have helped over one million people with over £10 million invested during the two decades.
They deliver 28 life changing projects which cover a huge range including disability groups, people in prison and primary school children.
The Showdown 2 in association with City Index will help continue to build on all that amazing work, whilst delivering a unique rugby experience which is sure to become a staple in the rugby calendar.
Secure your tickets to Saracens Men v Bristol Bears here.