White Hart Lane is the home of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. It is situated in Tottenham, North London. In 2006, minor alterations to the seating configuration increased capacity to 36,244 all-seated. The ground is also referred to as "The Lane" by the supporters and media.
Tottenham Hotspur moved to White Hart Lane in 1899. Their first game there resulted in a 4-1 home win against Notts County. 5,000 supporters witnessed the victory. Between 1908 and 1972, White Hart Lane was one of very few British football grounds that featured no advertising hoardings at all.
By 1923, the ground was enlarged to accommodate 50,000 covered spectators. The pitch was overlooked by a copper fighting cock (the club mascot) that still keeps an eye on proceedings from the roof of the West Stand. In the 1930s watching football was a tremendously popular pastime, and despite Tottenham's relative mediocrity, at the time, 75,038 spectators squeezed into White Hart Lane in March 1938 to see Spurs lose to Sunderland in the FA Cup. 1953 saw the introduction of floodlights, which were renovated again in the 1970s and steadily upgraded with new technology since. By this stage, Tottenham were firmly established as one of England's top clubs and attracted some of the highest attendances in the country on a regular basis.
The West Stand was built in the early 1980s and the project was so poorly managed that it was completed late and the cost overruns had severe financial implications for the club. This side of the ground is parallel with Tottenham High Road and is connected to it by Bill Nicholson Way.
The East Stand (on Worcester Avenue) is a three tier structure designed by noted stadium architect Archibald Leitch in the 1930s. Until the 1980s, the middle tier was a standing terrace offering very good views of the playing pitch at reasonable admission prices. The banter among home supporters was marked and the entire terrace was nicknamed The Shelf. By 1990, the East Stand had been upgraded to its current condition, but two view-obstructing roof supports reflect its true age.
The early 1990s saw the completion of the South Stand (on Park Lane) and the introduction of the first Jumbotron video screen, of which there are now two, one above each penalty area. The renovation of the Members' (North) Stand which is reached via Paxton Road was completed in 1998, leaving the ground in its present form. Talks at board level continue over the future of their home, with an increase in capacity essential as home matches continue to sell out. A move to Wembley Stadium was ruled out by the club, as was the talk of moving to the future stadium of the 2012 Olympic Games.
There have also been plans to increase the stadium's capacity to 50,000-60,000, but these have yet to proceed.
Record attendance: 75,038; Tottenham Hotspur v Sunderland, FA Cup tie, 5 March 1938
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