LONDON – London Mayor Boris Johnson urged Tottenham on Wednesday to press ahead with plans for a new stadium, saying the project would help revitalize an area torn by last month's riots.
Tottenham was recently given local planning permission to build a new stadium on an industrial site just north of its current ground at White Hart Lane.
However, Tottenham also hasn't given up hope of moving into the Olympic Stadium in east London after next year's games. Spurs have mounted a legal challenge against West Ham's winning bid.
Johnson and leaders of the local Haringey Council met Wednesday with senior Tottenham executives, including chairman Daniel Levy, to put forward a joint 17 million pound ($26 million) offer to help fund improved transportation links and infrastructure works.
Four days of rioting, triggered by a fatal police shooting on Aug. 4 in the Tottenham area, were the worst civil disturbances to hit Britain since the 1980s. More than 1,700 people have been charged and nearly 200 jailed for offenses connected to the riots that spread to several other English cities.
''Last month's riots were a telling reminder of just how important it is for Spurs to press ahead with the development at Northumberland Park and to help kick-start a much wider regeneration project that would create jobs and give Tottenham the economic boost it deserves,'' Johnson said.
White Hart Lane has been Tottenham's home ground since 1899, but a capacity of 36,000 restricts income from ticket sales and match-day revenue compared to that of many Premier League rivals.