Tuesday, 23 Jul 2024

Coventry Building Society Arena: The Home of Coventry City

The Coventry Building Society Arena, formerly known as the Ricoh Arena, has been the home of Coventry City since 2005. This purpose-built stadium was a significant move for the club, leaving behind their historic home of Highfield Road. While the official opening took place in February 2007, the stadium had already hosted a full season of Coventry matches and an England under-21 game before that.

Coventry Building Society Arena is not just a football stadium. In 2013, the club had a rent dispute with the owners of the stadium, resulting in them temporarily playing their home matches at Sixfields Stadium in Northampton. They returned to the Ricoh Arena in September 2014. Shortly after Coventry’s return, the major shareholders of Arena Coventry Limited were bought out by the Wasps rugby union team, who then moved into the stadium. The Wasps played their Premiership rugby games there until going into administration in 2022.

Stats

  • Year Opened: 2005
  • Capacity: 32,753
  • Average Attendance: 19,950
  • Record Attendance: 32,128 (England/Italy & Belgium/South Korea on February 19th, 2023)
  • Pitch Size: 105 x 68 (7,140)
  • Nickname: The Ricoh
  • Former Names: Jaguar Arena, Arena Coventry, Arena 2000, City of Coventry Stadium
  • Owner: Frasers Group
  • Sponsor: Coventry Building Society
  • Clubs Hosted: Coventry City F.C., Wasps RFC
  • First Fixture: Coventry City v QPR on August 20th, 2005

Coventry Building Society Arena Photos

Coventry Building Society Arena

Coventry Building Society Arena Seating Plan and Where to Sit

The Coventry Building Society Arena is designed in a ‘Bowl Style’, which means it doesn’t have distinct and separate stands like traditional English stadiums. As the stadium is shared with the Wasps, the stands are named based on geographical location or sponsorship deals. Here is some information about the main sections of the ground:

  • The North Stand: Located behind the goal at the North end of the ground, this stand is single-tiered.
  • The East Stand: Similar to the North and South stands, the East Stand is a single-tiered section with a steep gradient that provides a close proximity to the pitch.
  • The South Stand: Directly opposite the North Stand, this single-tiered stand typically accommodates away supporters in the Western corner.
  • The West Stand: Considered the main stand, the West Stand has two tiers separated by a row of executive boxes. This stand houses the dugouts, players’ tunnel, and hospitality suites.
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Coventry City Ticket Prices

Coventry City has categorized their ticket prices since returning to their own stadium. However, all areas of the stadium cost the same to sit in. Here are the prices for adults and concessions:

  • Cat A: £33.00 / £28.00
  • Cat B: £25.00 / £20.00
  • Cat C: £20.00 / £15.00

How To Get Coventry City Tickets

The easiest way to purchase Coventry City tickets is online, though transaction fees may apply. Tickets can also be purchased in person or by calling the ticket office directly.

Where to Buy

For ticket comparison and purchasing, you can visit Ticket Compare.

Getting To Coventry Building Society Arena

Coventry is easily accessible from all over the country, similar to Birmingham and Wolverhampton. If you are farther away, alternative transportation options may be required. Here are some common routes to reach the stadium:

Train: Coventry Railway Station is the main station serving the city, but it is located six miles away from the ground. Instead, consider using Coventry Arena Train Station, which is right next to the stadium and reachable from London Euston in under two hours with a change in Coventry or Nuneaton.

Bus: While it may not be the most convenient option, there are bus routes available to The Coventry Building Society Arena. The Number 8 bus will take you from Coventry Railway Station to Coventry Transport Museum, where you can transfer to the Number 4 or Number 5 to Arena Park. A shuttle bus also operates from Coventry Railway Station to the stadium, costing £5 for a return trip.

Car: If you’re traveling from the North, take the M1 to Junction 21 and then join the M69. Merge onto the M6 and take Junction 3 for the A444. Follow the signs from there. From the North-West, follow the same instructions from the M6. If you’re traveling from the South, take the M40 to Junction 15 and join the A46. This road will lead to the A444, where you can follow the signs to the stadium.

By Air: Birmingham International Airport is the most convenient airport for Coventry. Direct trains run from the airport to Coventry, where you can then take a connecting train to Coventry Arena Train Station or a bus to the stadium.

Taxi: A taxi from Coventry Railway Station to The Coventry Building Society Arena will cost around £20 and take approximately 15 minutes. However, traffic in the West Midlands can cause delays.

Parking Near Coventry Building Society Arena

The stadium has three on-site car parks that can accommodate up to 2,000 cars. It is essential to book your car parking ticket in advance, as on-street parking is strictly prohibited in the surrounding area. Five ‘Park and Walk’ options are available.

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For available parking options near the Coventry Building Society Arena, refer to the official website.

Useful Resources

Coventry Building Society Arena Hotels

If you are looking for accommodation near Coventry Building Society Arena, Birmingham is within close proximity. However, Coventry also offers several enjoyable places to stay. Here are some top choices:

Pubs and Bars Near Coventry Building Society Arena

Coventry offers various options for a drink or two, although the out-of-city location of the stadium limits the choices within walking distance. Here are some highly recommended pubs:

Facilities

As a multi-purpose arena hosting football and rugby matches, as well as music concerts and other events, the Coventry Building Society Arena boasts excellent facilities. The concourses may lack some personality due to the stadium’s dual-purpose nature, but there are ample food and drink options available before and during events.

Prices

  • Programme: £3.50
  • Pie: £4.00
  • Cup of tea: £2.00
  • Beer: £4.00

Hospitality

Coventry Building Society Arena provides various hospitality packages, ensuring a memorable experience for guests. Here is a selection of the packages available:

  • The Vice President’s Club: Offering Director’s Box seating, access to the Jaguar Bar Lounge, interviews with former and current players, and complimentary half-time refreshments.
  • Legends Membership: Enjoy padded corporate seats, half-time tea and coffee, access to The Legends Lounge with a cash bar, and the opportunity to watch pre-match interviews.
  • VIP Match Day Hospitality: Available on a match-by-match basis, this package includes a three-course pre-match meal, watching the Man Of The Match interview and presentation, a padded seat in the corporate seating area, and a complimentary programme.

Private Hire

The Coventry Building Society Arena is not only a sports venue but also an award-winning International Event Centre, making it an ideal location for hosting private functions. The venue can accommodate conferences, meetings, exhibitions, dinner dances, parties, banquets, and even weddings, with capacities ranging from 7 to 7,000 delegates.

Stadium Tours & Museum

At present, the club does not offer tours of the Coventry Building Society Arena. However, you can explore the stadium through a Google Tour, providing a virtual experience of the venue.

About Coventry City

Coventry City Football Club was originally formed as Singers FC in 1883 and joined the Football League in 1919. The club was one of the inaugural members of the Premier League in 1992 and enjoyed 34 consecutive seasons in the top-flight until relegation in 2001. After 11 seasons in the second tier, they were relegated to League One in 2012, marking their first-ever appearance in the third tier.

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Despite recent challenges, Coventry City has achieved success over the years. They won the FA Cup in 1987 by defeating Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 in the final. Coventry also reached the semi-finals of the League Cup in 1981 and 1990. In 2007, the club narrowly avoided administration when SISU took over twenty minutes before the deadline. However, they couldn’t avoid it in 2013, and the Otium Entertainment Group took over the administration-laden club. Ten years later, local businessman Doug King became the owner.

Coventry Building Society Arena History

Before moving to the Coventry Building Society Arena in 2005, Coventry City played their home games at Highfield Road for over a century. The old stadium was the first all-seater stadium in England, setting an example for other grounds. However, its age and condition led the club to decide on a new stadium. The site for the Ricoh Arena was found in the Rowley’s Green area, and it opened with a capacity of 32,609.

The club initially planned for a larger, state-of-the-art stadium with a removable pitch and a retractable roof. However, financial difficulties resulting from relegation and England’s failure to secure the 2006 World Cup bid forced them to alter the designs significantly. Consequently, the Coventry Building Society Arena was built as it is today.

Over the years, rent disputes and other issues have caused Coventry City to leave the stadium temporarily. Their most recent relocation was to Birmingham City’s St Andrews ground from 2019 to 2021. However, a new 10-year deal with the Wasps allowed Coventry to return to the Coventry Building Society Arena in August 2021. The agreement was threatened when the Wasps went into administration in 2022, but Frasers Group purchased the stadium, ensuring the Sky Blues’ continued residency. After months of negotiations, a new 5-year deal was signed, extending Coventry’s stay at the stadium until 2028.

Future Developments

Given the stadium’s recent ownership change and relatively young age, significant changes are not anticipated in the near future. However, Coventry City has expressed intentions to build a new stadium near the University of Warwick, but any developments are not imminent.