Tottenham Hotspur have held talks with taxi giant Uber over a £20m-a-year naming rights deal for the club’s new stadium, Squawka can reveal.
Discussions between Spurs and Uber are understood to have first taken place in July, with the club hoping to secure a long-term naming rights partner for the new stadium, which is due to open for the start of the 2018-19 season.
Squawka has obtained a photograph of a model of the ‘Uber Stadium’, as it would be known, featuring the transport company’s name on roof of the 61,000-seater venue.
Tottenham are keen to partner with a globally renowned business while Uber has been expanding aggressively to cement its position as worldwide leader of the on-demand transport market via its smartphone application.
Sources at Spurs say they have held talks with many potential naming rights partners and that a deal with Uber is unlikely at this stage due to strong interest from several financial institutions, communications companies and airlines.
Tottenham are seeking an agreement worth between £20-25m per year for anything between six and 15 years as they look to financially secure the construction of the £400m stadium, which is being built adjacent to White Hart Lane. Spurs are hoping for a front-loaded agreement that would ease the financial strain of the project.
The club have been talking to a number of potential naming rights partners, including the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the sovereign wealth fund which is looking for opportunities to associate itself with a Premier League club and is investing heavily in football ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
Uber reportedly made a loss of $1.2 billion (£980m) in the first half of 2016 but the company is valued at a stunning $69bn (£56.5bn) just seven years after it was founded by technology entrepreneurs Travis Kalanick and Garett Camp.
Uber has recently partnered with clubs including Olympique Lyonnais and San Jose Earthquakes – an official partner of Tottenham – to provide transport services for supporters as it looks to grows its user base. It could look to reach a similar deal with Spurs even if it does not secure the naming rights, with the club looking to agree a number of different partnerships relating to the new stadium.
Spurs believe they are an attractive proposition thanks to the recent success of the side under manager Mauricio Pochettino and the fact they have sold out more than 85,000 tickets for three Champions League matches at Wembley this season.
The club are also hoping to use their tie-up with the NFL to attract partners, with the new stadium set to host at least two games per season for 10 years once the stadium is complete. The venue has been designed with dedicated American Football facilities and a fully retractable pitch – and there is a hope that it could host a London-based NFL franchise in the future.
Spurs are expected to play at Wembley next season – where they will pay £15m in rent – after moving out of White Hart Lane at the end of the current campaign so that work can be completed on the new site.
The new stadium is expected to cost between £400 and 450m and the club have promised it will be the best ground in the Premier League, featuring state-of-the-art facilities, a huge single-tier stand and industry leading corporate hospitality.
Work on the rest of the scheme – including 585 new homes, a 180-bedroom hotel, offices, a health centre and a club museum – will take the total cost of the project to more than £700m.
Squawka revealed earlier this month that Spurs want to rename White Hart Lane train station as ‘Tottenham Hotspur’ but could be asked to pay as much as £12m by Transport for London.
Tottenham Hotspur and Uber declined to comment.