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Top Facts about Coventry Building Society Arena

Sun 20 March 2022 | 11:30

Stadiums are the heart of football where all fans gather together and cheer their team. Today we are going to read about one of these stadiums in Sportmob's top facts about Coventry Building Society Arena.

The Ricoh Arena which was previously known as the Coventry Building Society Arena is a sports and entertainment complex in Coventry, England. It contains a 32,609-seater stadium, which is home to the owners, the rugby club Wasps, and the football team, Coventry City F.C., as well as other amenities such as a 6,000 square meter exposition hall, a hotel, and a casino.

Arena Park Shopping Centre, which has one of the UK's largest Tesco Extra hypermarkets, is also located on the property. It is named after its sponsor, Coventry Building Society, who signed a ten-year sponsorship arrangement in 2021. It is built on the site of the Foleshill gasworks. The stadium was renamed the City of Coventry Stadium for the 2012 Summer Olympics when stadium naming sponsorship was prohibited.

The stadium was formerly owned and run by Arena Coventry Limited (ACL), with Coventry City as tenants. It was built to replace Coventry City's Highfield Road facility. Coventry City Council and the Higgs Charity shared ownership of ACL.

Coventry City vacated the venue in 2013 after a protracted rent dispute with ACL; they played their home matches in Northampton for nearly a year until returning in September 2014. Wasps, a rugby union Premiership rugby team, bought both shares in ACL within two months and relocated to the stadium from their previous home, Adams Park in High Wycombe.

Coventry City left the Ricoh for a second season due to a dispute with Wasps ahead of the 2019–20 season. Wasps and Coventry City signed a ten-year pact in March 2021 to return to the arena and the city of Coventry. The story continues so let's start our 

Top Facts about Coventry Building Society Arena

right away.

Here we start! Top Facts about Coventry Building Society Arena

Before we start diving into Top Facts about Coventry Building Society Arena, we will get into some quick facts to get to know our stadium better. Of course, these quick facts will be explained later in our article.

  • Former names:

    Ricoh Arena, City of Coventry Stadium

  • Location:

    Phoenix Way, Rowleys Green, Coventry, England CV6 6GE

  • Public transit:

    National Rail Coventry Arena

  • Owner:

    Wasps Holdings Ltd

  • Operator:

    ACL

  • Capacity:

    40,000 for concerts 32,753 for football and rugby matches

  • Record attendance:

    32,019

  • Field size:

    120m x 68m

  • Surface:

    XtraGrass

  • Scoreboard:

    Yes

  • Construction:

    Built 2005

  • Opened:

    2005

  • Expanded:

    2010

  • Construction cost:

    £113 million

  • Architect:

    The Miller Partnership

Coventry Building Society Arena History

 Let's start Sportmob's Top Facts about Coventry Building Society Arena with this stadium's history. In 1997, Coventry City F.C.'s then-chairman Bryan Richardson decided to relocate the team from Highfield Road to a new stadium with a greater capacity, better road connectivity, and parking facilities.

The new stadium was supposed to open in time for the 2000–01 season. In the spring of 1999, permission was granted for the construction of a 45,000-seat stadium, with an expected completion date of August 2001. The stadium, however, was delivered four years late and was less elaborate than envisaged in the initial plans.

Along with London and Birmingham, Coventry was one of three cities to bid for England's new national stadium. Coventry City Council chairman Nick Nolan asserted in 2001 that their proposal was always the strongest since the development could be completed in three years.

The council planned to spend £250 million to create a 90,000-seat all-seater stadium. However, it was determined that the national stadium would be built at Wembley Stadium in London.

The arena's original design called for a cutting-edge stadium with a retractable roof and a pitch that could be slid out to show a hard surface for performances. The plans were considerably scaled to reflect new realities following Coventry City's relegation from the Premiership in May 2001, several contractor/financier withdrawals, and England's failed bid to host the 2006 FIFA World Cup. In its stead, a more basic 32,500-seat stadium was planned by the summer of 2002.

What Should we call it?!

The Ricoh Arena's first name stemmed from a multi-year sponsorship contract with Ricoh, a camera and photocopier company, said to be worth £10 million. During development, the stadium was known as the Jaguar Arena, Arena Coventry, and Arena 2000, among other names.

The stadium's first sponsor, luxury car manufacturer Jaguar, was forced to withdraw due to economic issues resulting from the contentious closing of the big Jaguar assembly facility at the city's Brown's Lane, which had previously been a major source of employment in Coventry.

The new stadium would be named the Jaguar Arena in a deal for up to £7 million till 2015, which was revealed on August 4, 2004, 12 months before the stadium's debut. The agreement, however, was terminated on December 17, 2004. Jaguar did, however, keep the name rights to the Exhibition Hall at the Arena. On April 26, 2005, Ricoh confirmed its sponsorship of the new stadium.

The Coventry Building Society Arena will be renamed the Coventry Building Society Arena on May 5, 2021. As part of a 10-year naming rights arrangement with the UK's second-largest building society, the name change took effect in summer 2021.

Coventry Building Society Arena Football Life

In August 2005, the stadium staged its first football match. On February 24, 2007, Dame Kelly Holmes and Sports Minister Richard Caborn gave the arena its official opening after it had already hosted a sell-out England U21 football match against

Germany

and a complete season of Coventry City matches.

Coventry City's home games were moved to the arena for the start of the 2005–06 season, after 106 years at the Highfield Road stadium. On August 20, 2005, the stadium hosted its inaugural competitive football match, against

Queens Park Rangers

, in front of a reduced to 23,012 capacity crowd.

The game ended 3–0 in favor of Coventry, with Claus Bech Jorgensen scoring the game's first goal. Hull City made history by becoming the first away team to win at the Ricoh Arena, winning 2–0 on September 24, 2005, with both goals coming from John Welsh.

The stadium has never hosted a Coventry City match with a capacity crowd of 32,600, however, their greatest attendance was against Chelsea in an FA Cup quarter-final in 2009. The game was officially a sellout because the fan section stretched up an entire block and all available tickets were sold, resulting in a total attendance of 31,407.

Freddy Eastwood earned the first hat-trick at the arena in December 2009, when he scored three goals against Peterborough United. Eastwood scored two goals before halftime, but Craig Mackail-Smith equalized with a brace in the second half.

Coventry City, on the other hand, earned three points in the Championship match after Eastwood scored the game's final goal just a minute after Peterborough had equalized. Until Coventry City loanee Jacob Murphy scored a first-half hat-trick in a League One match against Gillingham on November 21, 2015, Freddy Eastwood was the only player to score a hat-trick at the Ricoh Arena.

After Coventry City fans collected £100,000, a bronze monument of Jimmy Hill was erected at the stadium's entrance on July 28, 2011. From 1961 until 1967, he was the club's manager, and he was in charge of taking it to the first flight. Despite this, Hill left his position as manager to pursue a career in television, but eventually returned as managing director before becoming chairman of the Sky Blues. Fans paid tribute to him by laying flowers and scarves near and around the statue after his death in December 2015.

On 4 October 2016, Coventry striker Dan Agyei recorded the fastest goal ever at the stadium when he converted just 19.5 seconds against

Northampton Town

. Reading's Grzegorz Rasiak set the previous record after 27 seconds in 2009, when Reading defeated Coventry 3–1. Rasiak's goal is still the fastest scored by a visiting team in the stadium. Let's continue our Top Facts about Coventry Building Society Arena with the bad luck stadium encountered with.

The Renting Issues

SISU Capital, the owners of Coventry City, became entangled in a high-profile dispute with ACL in December 2012 about the rent arrangement and a lack of access to matchday money. The previously negotiated rent was £1.2 million per year, although it did not include matchday earnings for Coventry City.

ACL set a deadline of December 27, 2012, for overdue rent. After the deadline had gone, the High Court issued a winding-up order. After ACL announced its intention to put Coventry City FC Ltd into administration, the club went into administration itself, accepting a 10-point penalty from the Football League as a result.

When ACL declined to accept the terms of a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) proposed by the administrator, they were docked another ten points. Otium Entertainment Group has since purchased Coventry City Football Club.

After a long conflict with the club about rent and access to matchday earnings, Coventry City relocated all of its workers and club shop merchandise from the facility on March 23, 2013.

To ensure that their fixtures were completed, Coventry City agreed to play their home games at Northampton Town's Sixfields Stadium. ACL threatened to sue Northampton Town if they continued to host Coventry City's home games as a result of this. Northampton Town issued a statement in which they stated that they "will not be bullied or threatened." Northampton Town's legal lawsuit against ACL was later dropped.

Coventry City will return to the venue in 2014 after a two-year agreement between ACL and Sisu. The club also has the option to play there for another two years; their first match back there was against Gillingham on September 5, 2014. This followed SISU Capital's payment of £470,000 to ACL in response to a Football League judgment. The contract was eventually extended for another year. As a result, Coventry City will remain at the Ricoh Arena until May 2019, before moving to St Andrew's for two seasons to ground-share with Birmingham City.

On March 10, 2021, it was announced that Coventry City and Wasps had reached an agreement on a ten-year deal, with the club returning to the stadium for the 2021–22 season. The team still plans to build a new stadium at the University of Warwick on the city's southern outskirts, thanks to a break clause in their contract that allows them to leave the Ricoh for their future home. Coventry's first game back was a pre-season friendly against Wolverhampton Wanderers on August 1st, which they defeated 2–1.

Football on an International scale

Two England under-21 internationals were held at the venue. The first was a play-off match against Germany's under-21s for the 2007 European U-21 Championship on October 5, 2006. The hosts defeated the visitors 1 – 0 thanks to a goal from Leighton Baines in the 77th minute.

The other was a Group 9 qualifying match for the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship versus Macedonia's under-21s on October 9, 2009. The hosts won 6–3 over the visitors, with Kieran Gibbs, Micah Richards, Andy Carroll, and Zavon Hines scoring the six goals.

The England U-19 team faced the Netherlands U-19 team in an Elite qualification group round match on May 17, 2007. The game ended in a 2–1 victory for the Netherlands.

In addition, the stadium held 12 tournament matches during the 2012 Olympic Football Games. The stadium was temporarily renamed the City of Coventry Stadium due to the International Olympic Committee's prohibition on sponsors on site names.

On April 23, 2012, Oman played Senegal in the Olympic Qualifier 'play-offs' in preparation for the Olympics. Senegal won 2–0 and finished last in the 2012 Olympic men's draw. The first Olympic match took place on July 25, 2012, in Group F of the women's competition, between Japan and Canada.

The bronze medal match between France and Canada took place at the City of Coventry Stadium on August 9, 2012. With a goal from Diana Matheson in stoppage time, Canada claimed the bronze medal.

Other football-related activities

Arsenal and Bristol Academy participated in the 2011 Women's FA Cup final, which was held at the stadium. Arsenal won their eleventh FA Cup with a 2–0 victory in front of a crowd of 13,885.

In January 2014, Football CV Reds of the Football Conference Youth Alliance Midland Division committed to play eight games at the stadium during Coventry City's absence. Due to wet grounds at the original venues, Leicester City's under-21 development squad played twice at the Arena on 29 January and 3 February 2014.

The first game was held behind closed doors, while the second, against Manchester United, was held in front of a large crowd. Coventry City Ladies confirmed in August 2014 that they would be moving to the stadium for the 2014–15 season. During the season, however, the squad was forced to return to the Oval in Bedworth due to the Wasps' ownership of the venue.

The History of Rugby Games

The arena staged its debut rugby union match on April 22, 2007, when Northampton Saints took on Wasps formerly known as London Wasps in an all-English Heineken Cup Semi-Final. Saints Captain Bruce Reihana scored the first-ever try in the stadium in front of 16,186 people, but the London Wasps battled back to win 30–13 and advance to the final.

On the 10th of November 2007, London Wasps hosted Irish team Munster in a Heineken Cup match at the arena. Wasps won by a score of 24–23. In the same season, the stadium hosted another Heiken Cup semi-final, this time between Saracens and Munster. Munster won by two points with a score of 18–16 in a close match.

The venue hosted the EDF Energy Cup semi-finals on March 28, 2009. Gloucester defeated their Welsh opponent's Ospreys 17–0 in the first semi-final. A total of 26,744 people attended, with many of them also witnessing Cardiff Blues' 11–5 victory over Northampton Saints.

When England was named as hosts on July 28, 2009, the arena was one of several venues that put in a bid to host Rugby World Cup matches in 2015. However, the stadium was unsuccessful in its bid, with Villa Park and Leicester City Stadium being chosen to host tournament matches in the Midlands.

Wasps (previously London Wasps) were in talks to transfer permanently to the arena from their home at Adams Park in High Wycombe, according to Simon Gilbert of the Coventry Telegraph. Wasps confirmed in October 2014 that they would begin playing their home games at the Coventry Building Society Arena in December 2014.

Wasps confirmed the purchase of the final 50% of the stadium's shares from the Higgs Charity on November 14, 2014, making them the outright proprietors of the facility. Wasps announced in November 2014 that the north stand would be renamed "The Higgs Charity Stand" after the club purchased the remaining 50% from the Alan Edward Higgs Charity and that 50 pence from each ticket sold in that stand would be donated to the charity.

On December 21, 2014, Wasps faced London Irish in their maiden home match as owners at the stadium. Andy Goode, a Coventry native, broke a Premiership Rugby record for the most points scored in a single contest with 33. It wasn't the only record broken at the time; the 28,254 in attendance was the highest for a Rugby Premiership match at a recognized home venue.

When Leicester Tigers visited the venue, the Rugby Premiership attendance record was beaten once more. The overall attendance of 32,019 was the biggest for a sporting event at the stadium, as well as the largest crowd of a Rugby Premiership match at a recognized home field. On their debut visit to the stadium, Leicester Tigers defeated Wasps 26–21.

When Samoa faced Wasps on September 5, 2015, they became the first international side to play at the stadium in a Rugby World Cup warm-up match. Wasps won the Champions Cup for the first time on October 15, 2016, when they defeated Italian side Zebre 82-14 after scoring 12 tries.

Other events Coventry Building Society Arena

What is the

Top Facts about Coventry Building Society Arena

without knowing other uses of the stadium?! On 5–7 April, the arena will host the Group One second round encounter between Great Britain and Russia in the 2013 Davis Cup tennis competition. After trailing 2–0 in the tie, the United Kingdom shocked Russia with a 3–2 triumph.Dmitry Tursunov of Russia defeated Dan Evans of the United Kingdom and Evgeny Donskoy of Russia defeated James Ward on Friday, giving Russia a 2–0 lead after Friday's ties.

Great Britain won the double pairs event on Saturday, April 6th, when Colin Fleming and Jonny Marray defeated Igor Kunitsyn and Victor Balada. Great Britain completed their comeback on Sunday, April 7th, when James Ward defeated Dmitry Tursunov and Dan Evans defeated Evgeny Donskoy.

The arena was chosen as the venue for the first competition since 1980 after the Champion of Champions snooker tournament was revived. Following a successful event, the Coventry Building Society Arena became the competition's yearly venue until 2019, after hosting it in 2014 and 2015.

The facility hosted Premier League Darts on two occasions, the first on February 21, 2008, and the second on February 19, 2009. The PDC has not been a venue for audiences due to increased demand for tickets. Other minor PDC tournaments, as well as BDO competitions, are held at the venue during the COVID-19 epidemic.

The stadium staged its first American football game on May 6, 2007, when the Coventry Cassidy Jets defeated the London Olympians, who were then the British national champions, 27–20. The Jets had hoped to meet Madrid Bears in their first EFAF Cup encounter on April 29 but were forced to move venues to Nuneaton's Manor Park Stadium. The Heineken Cup the week before the Madrid encounter had prompted CCFC to raise concerns about possible pitch damage.

The stadium staged a rugby league match for the first time on May 8, 2016, when Coventry Bears took on Keighley Cougars in a League 1 match. The Coventry Bears were defeated by the Cougars in front of a record crowd of 1,097 at home.

In November, the stadium hosted a 2016 Rugby League Four Nations double-header, with England defeating Scotland and Australia defeating New Zealand in front of 21,009 fans. At the 2022 Commonwealth Games, the arena will also host rugby sevens, wrestling, and judo events.

Coventry Building Society Arena Stands

The Coventry Evening Telegraph stand, which was the main stand for Coventry City supporters who sang during games when the ground originally opened, was known as the Coventry Evening Telegraph stand.

After the sponsorship contract for the stand expired, it was renamed the North Stand, but after the Wasps purchased the Alan Higgs Charity part of Arena Coventry Limited, it was renamed again.

Following a dip in attendance due to anti-ownership protests, Coventry City announced that the stand will be closed for football matches for the 2014–15 season due to expenses, but would reopen if demand exists; nevertheless, tickets for Wasps' matches could still be purchased there. The North Stand at Coventry City has reopened ahead of the 2021–22 season.

Stand on the West Side

It is the stadium's sole two-tiered stand, with a bigger bottom deck beneath the upper tier, which houses corporate hospitality boxes. Hotel rooms with a view of the pitch are also located on this side of the stadium. A police control box is located in the corner between this stand and the South Stand. This is the only stand with cushioned chairs, as well as seating for directors and members of the media.

Stand on the East Side

Until 2018, the East Stand offered a video screen in the corner by the South Stand. This section quickly became known to Coventry fans as the singers' corner, as Aidy Boothroyd dubbed it when he was the Sky Blues manager. The main cameras are positioned in this area.

Previously, the stand was known as the NTL Stand and the Tesco Stand. In 2021, the black seats that formerly spelled Ricoh were reconfigured to spell Wasps in response to a sponsorship contract with Coventry Building Society.

Stand to the south

This stand is reserved for away fans during Coventry City football matches, and it only opens for rugby matches when there is high demand. However, in the past, the stand has been opened for home supporters for Coventry City meetings against Gillingham and Crewe Alexandra due to high demand from the home support but low attendance from the away side.

Chelsea, West Ham United, Leicester City, Wolves, Sunderland, and Leeds United have previously sold out the stand. Because of sponsors, the stand has had previous names. The capacity of the stand was lowered in October 2018 when a new huge screen was built between the South and East stands to replace the existing one. Thanks for reading Sportmob's 

Top Facts about Coventry Building Society Arena

. Come back and check other intresting articles written for you.

 

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