LONDON — The new stadium being built for English Premier League club Tottenham isn't ready to host the NFL this year.
The first NFL game at Tottenham was due to feature the Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders on Oct. 14. That will now be played across north London at Wembley Stadium on the same day.
Tottenham said "issues with the critical safety systems" had been exposed during tests.
"We appreciate the support our partner the NFL has shown since the extent of this issue became evident today," Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said Monday.
Wembley will also stage the Oct. 21 game between the Tennessee Titans and the Los Angeles Chargers, and the meeting between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Jacksonville Jaguars a week later.
Tottenham's 62,000-capacity venue is being built on the site of the now-demolished White Hart Lane stadium.
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It was designed with NFL-sized changing rooms and to ensure the grass soccer pitch can be retracted and kept under lights below the stands when the artificial surface is required for the NFL.
But the start of a 10-year contract for games at Tottenham has now been delayed.
"We totally understand the issue," Mark Waller, the NFL's executive vice president of international, said. "We shall continue to work with them towards making our future games at Spurs a huge success. The new stadium will be an amazing venue for the NFL and we are very excited about our long-term partnership with Tottenham Hotspur."
Tottenham has been forced to continue playing home games at Wembley after its new stadium wasn't ready for this month's Premier League season start.
"Urgent follow-up meetings with (construction firm) Mace and the trade contractors are now taking place," the club said in a statement. "We are reviewing the situation and planned timetable to rectify and re-test, after which we shall be in a better position to outline a revised timetable."
Tottenham has postponed test events that were planned for Aug. 27 and Sept. 1. They are yet to be rescheduled so local authorities can decide whether to grant the stadium with a safety certificate.
Tottenham will now have to play at least three home league games at Wembley. The club said the venue for home games in the Champions League group stage, which starts in September, will have to be "determined following discussions" with tournament organizer UEFA.
© 2020 Associated Press