June 14, 2018 / 11:27 AM / 4 days ago

Soccer: Tottenham's new ground to stage first match in September

LONDON (Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur will hold their first test event at their new stadium the week before the Premier League season kicks off on Aug. 11 but will not play their first competitive match there until the middle of September.

Chairman Daniel Levy confirmed the schedule on Thursday as the fixtures for the new campaign were announced.

Spurs will play three of their first four games away while the home game against Fulham on the weekend of Aug 18-19 will be staged at Wembley — the club’s temporary ground last season.

Liverpool will be the first Premier League club to visit the new stadium on the weekend of Sept 15-16.

Tottenham’s former White Hart Lane ground was demolished last year and a gleaaming 850 million pounds ($1.14 billion), 62,000-seater stadium has risen in its place, although it is still far from ready.

Spurs plan to stage three test events before welcoming Liverpool for their first competitive match at the stadium

“I am absolutely delighted to announce the date of our first match in our new home,” Levy said. “Our fans have been hugely supportive and this has been much appreciated during a challenging but momentous time.

“I should also like to thank Richard Scudamore and the Board of the Premier League for having regard to exceptional circumstances, along with the Board of Watford for agreeing to reverse our fixture on Matchday 4 to an away game.

“We had always intended to request a few games away at the start of the season. The coaching staff were keen to place a home game within the early fixtures so we shall have one home game at Wembley.”

Despite initial fears, Tottenham adapted well to life at Wembley last season, losing only twice in the league there.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino said playing their first home game at Wembley is preferable to the club starting the season with four consecutive away games.

“I think it is a good solution to have an earlier home game,” he said. “Wembley was great for us last season and we are even more used to that than we are the new stadium.

“We are excited about the season ahead and making the new stadium our new home.”

($1 = 0.7445 pounds)

Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ken Ferris

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