5 years ago was the last time I had been to White Hart Lane, I still remember it well. Thursday 01/01/15 and we beat Chelsea 5-3.
This time was different altogether, it wasn't just about the football but about the New Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. I appreciate not everybody is a fan of football but there is a feat of engineering to admire, at a cost of £1 billion you would hope to be excited by it.
And I was.
The Journey from Nottingham down was smooth for the best part but the last 6 miles were more difficult than the previous 131 miles....road closures + peak traffic x London = 1 extra hour sat in the car getting more excited.
I was kindly given the tickets so all I had to do was get myself there. My wife and I arrived a little later than we would have liked but plenty of other fans weren't in a rush to head inside. It reminded me a little of Wembley on approach, in how you flow into the stadium as opposed to reaching a turnstile barrier as many old football grounds do.
We sat in the south stand which is the largest single-tier stand in the UK and it just so happened to be the end with the lions share of the action.
Once we took our seats the first impressions blew my mind, it just didn't look real, almost like I was watching Fifa in virtual reality. The floodlights create the illusion that the grass is backlit, the whole experience became HD. I won't pretend the stadium was filled with noise throughout but I put that down to the negative spells within the match. However when the fans were in full voice, the acoustics travel and bounce around the whole bowl-shaped stadium with authenticity and purpose.
We had a beer at half time with a first for me at the football, five bean chilli and nachos. There's a sense of cutting waste and improving the footprint of matchday which is good to see from Spurs.
The result went Spurs way on the day, with pockets of good football played by both sides. For me though it was all about experiencing the stadium. I would love to get down there more often and have more time before kick-off to see more of the stadium including the 65m-long Goal Line Bar.
9 hours door to door, I couldn't think of a better way to spend date night. The wife may disagree but then again she's a Liverpool fan.