Our Sports Correspondent : Benny The Ball
With no decent bids
forthcoming for the white elephant that is the Millennium Dome, it was
decided that Tottenham would improve on the move of about 90 years
earlier and take something worthwhile from South London to Tottenham.
The need to expand capacity at White Hart Lane became a major
issue and rather than rebuild the stadium any further or to move to
Picketts Lock athletics stadium, when it is eventually built, Tottenham
Hotspur made the bold move to bring the Dome to N17 and having secured
rights to have the land that was occupied by the school behind the
ground (mainly by building the Tottenham Academy nearby at
Northumberland Park), this became the ideal site for the edifice to be
placed. Not bad for an
opportunist bid of £250 for the structure and most of the contents.
The new stadium was the
start of a brave new era for the club and to go hand in hand with this
it was decided not to keep the White Hart Lane name for the new ground,
but to open the debate for a new moniker for it.
As it was not a traditional ground and the chairman of 11 years
had moved on, the “Sugar Bowl” was out for a start.
Attempts to cover the roofing in a shiny metal protective layer
and to remember Swiss boss Christian Gross were shunned when the
“Chrome Dome” was suggested. The
winning contribution from a competition for the fans wrapped up the
young players who were to take Tottenham forward and the shape of the
new building and so the home venue for Tottenham Hotspur became known as
the “Tottenham King Dome”, after the new England captain.
The Dome retained some
of the characteristics of its previous existence.
These allowed fans to mingle and learn at the same time.
There were no great queues associated with the original Dome’s
incarnation as tickets could only be obtained from the THFC Ticket
Office and therefore the zones were never sold out.
The building included : -
|The Work Zone
This imaginary ride is a magical trip into the life of a
professional footballer that involves lots of virtual running, lots of
looking at a blackboard with strange shapes on it and not forgetting
lots of time at home with your feet up wondering what to spend all your
money on. Just on case you
think this is the life of Riley, then there is a special sub-area in
this part of the Dome called the “Hard Work” zone featuring an
animatronic Christian Gross putting the players through their paces.
|The Learning Zone
Take a trip into the virtual Spurs Lodge and find out how
youngsters and experienced players alike learn how to play the Tottenham
Way. The “And If You Know Your History” ride takes you through
the glorious past of the club, reminding you of what Tottenham stood for
in the far off days of the 20th Century.
|The Money Zone
A favourite among those with a keen financial mind.
See how Sir Alan Sugar managed to hang on to control of the club
despite the crash of his computer and electrical company and how many
famous brands bought into the club when Tottenham Hotspur shares hit
rock bottom. In the
Millennium Biscuit Tin exhibition, you and see a virtual reality pile of
money bigger than you have ever seen before in your life.
This is the Tottenham Hotspur transfer budget, which has remained
virtually untouched for over a year now.
See if you can spend it all and create a team in the “Who Wants
To Spend £30 million” computer game hosted by Chris Tarrant –
Financial Director of Tottenham Hotspur plc.
Also an interactive exhibit shows you how much you could earn
from a relatively small investment in the club.
|Our Town Stage
school kids are invited to play out great matches from Tottenham’s
past. Very few wanted to
volunteer for the part of Dave Mackay in the 1964 reserve match against
Shrewsbury Town, when he broke his leg for a second time, but
schoolteachers came up with some lucky children who had not been
behaving themselves in class and playing truant.
The same children were threatened with being made to play the
parts of Mitchell Thomas, Terry Fenwick, John Lacy, David Jenkins, Jason
Dozzell and Paul Price, but attendance levels at the schools surrounding
the ground increased dramatically.
|The Rest Zone
Stop here for a breather and to meet your favourite Spurs players
like Darren Anderton, Willem Korsten and Ramon Vega who are all availing
themselves of the opportunity to take a break.
|The Mind Zone
- An area for those
with an interest in protest and a chance to choose who you want to be
Manager/Chairman/Director of Football in an interactive computer display
of famous football personalities from the past.
Also the “We Want Our Tottenham Back” morphing machine helps
you create the team of your dreams.
You will find this alongside a set of stocks that contains an
animatronic version of George Graham that you can throw rotten tomatoes
at while you sing along to anti-Arsenal chants played through top
quality speaker systems.
|The Faith Zone
area where you can go to meditate on the meaning of Tottenham Hotspur
and how it came to be. Every
match day there are services held for the congregation and The High
Priest of Tottenham or St. Gary of Mabbutt as he is known, leads fans in
praise of all things Lillywhite.
|The Talk Zone
- or Fans Forum as it used to be
known. Speak to the
Director of Football and a player by video-link (or so you think).
|The Self Portrait Zone
place reveals more about players than anything else can. They are laid bare in self analysis for all to see as they
provide an audio visual self portrait of themselves for all to see.
Under psychiatric supervision they are taken out of their
body’s to reveal their fears and dreams. Most interesting is Chris Armstrong’s sudden aversion to
celebrating goals and an early experience in Darren Anderton’s life
that makes him feel strangely drawn to nurses uniforms.
|The Home Planet Zone
safe and welcoming area where you can be happy that the team will win
more than they lose. There
was going to be an accompanying Away Planet zone, but this was thought
to have been far too depressing for fans to visit.
|The Living Island Zone
area contains a history of White Hart Lane, being on the island
surrounded by High Road, Paxton Road, Park Lane and Worcester Avenue. How the ground has gradually grown to take over the island
and how in future it will expand to reach the land across the divide and
bridge to the school land and beyond.
|The Journey Zone
virtual reality ride. Imagine
being on a coach trip and you have to sit next to someone who can tell
you the Spurs team from the away match against Grimsby Town on 2nd
March 1929. Imagine a
journey to the ground that takes four hours, through rain and motorway
jams and service stations. Imagine
being subjected to the most vile abuse by Neanderthal home fans when you
are in the minority of visiting supporters.
Imagine being herded into a ground like cattle and kept behind
after another defeat for 30 minutes.
This is the journey zone.
|The Shared Ground Zone
fantasy area, where you can see what it would have been like if the
Alexandra Palace stadium had come to fruition in the 1970’s, when
Spurs and Arsenal were to share a super stadium together.
Not a pretty site (or sight) and not recommended for those of a
|The Body Zone
A giant model of Les Ferdinand and Darren Anderton lying side by
side was commissioned for this zone and there is the ability to move
around within it to witness all the injuries they have had in their time
at Tottenham. If you look
carefully when you reach the top, you can see chinks of light breaking
through the stitching that holds Les’ many head wounds together.
|The Play Zone
- The pitch itself, where the team go to work on the
opposition. The crowd are
seated surrounding the greensward, which becomes the focus of attention
for the next one and three-quarter hours.
Half time entertainment comes in the shape of a musical
extravaganza created by Peter Gabriel, featuring actors and tumblers
provided by Liverpool FC.
|Skyscape - A massive arena
where live transmission of the game is relayed by new technology onto
the pitch to show those who were unfortunate enough not to be able to
get tickets, the live action in the form of a virtual match played out
in front of them. Using
lasers and high-resolution projection equipment, holographic images are
projected to replicate exactly what is going on next door in the Work
Zone. Formerly known as the
White Hart Lane stadium. The
original stadium also doubled as a place for reserve, youth and junior
matches to be played when first team matches were not on.
The old stadium and the screenings were sponsored by BSkyB TV who
bought a percentage (believed to be a 1000th of the total shareholding
to make them the major shareholder in the company after the great
Amstrad collapse of Spring 2001) of the shares in the club when they
were at an all time low of 7.4p per share.
|So, why not pay a visit to
this wonderful attraction. Don’t
believe all the negative press that the club gets in the media.
Make up your own mind and who knows, you might have one amazing
day (when Spurs win the Championship) !!
|(Grown at vigorous speed from an original seed
of an idea from Bruce Lewis)