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Coventry City

Coventry Building Society Arena

Capacity: 32,753
Address: Coventry Building Society Arena, Judds Lane, Longford, Coventry, CV6 6AQ
Telephone: 02476 933444
Club Nickname: The Sky Blues
Year Ground Opened: 2005
Shirt Sponsors: Boyle Sports
Kit Manufacturer:Hummel
Home Kit: Sky Blue
Away Kit: Navy Blue & Pink


                    
                    

The Exterior

When you first arrive at the Coventry Building Society Arena, which until 2021 was known as the Ricoh Arena, you’re likely to be drawn to the fact it’s not your bog standard rectangular shape; instead you’ll find you will see it has the standard stadium look with a substantial semi-circle building attached; this is a conference centre, hotel and casino, which is currently operated by Grosvenor. Regardless of your thoughts on this, there is no denying it makes Coventry stadium one of the more striking buildings you come across. Beyond the size and shape of the stadium and adjoined building, there is huge amount of glass frontage with colours of the team – light blue – a prominent feature along with the white steel structures that form triangular shapes above the stadium roof.

The Interior

Once inside the Coventry City ground you’ll find that all four stands, which are blandly named owing to the shared ownership between Coventry and the Wasps rugby team, merge into one another owing to the modern day bowl design. This ensures there are no restricted views and gives all fans a good view of the action. Seating is single tiered and steeply inclined from the field of play. This applies all around the pitch with the exception being the West Stand; here there is a small second tier specifically to allow those in VIP boxes to enjoy the outside atmosphere.

If you’re planning on grubbing up outside of the stadium then you don’t have much in the very immediate vicinity. You’ll find a Nandos and Burger King located just over a five minute walk from the ground itself; both are located near to the Tesco Extra, which is pretty hard to miss. They’re your main choice for a Saturday afternoon kick off. If, however, you’re heading to a night game you can cross the canal and check out either Nashaa (an Indian restaurant) or China Garden. Both are near one another on Longford Road with a pub, the Coach & Horses, next door to the Chinese. All of these establishments can be reached in just over 10 minutes. If you are just looking to wet your beak, Dhillons Brewery is located much closer to the stadium.

Given a rather light offering outside the ground, you might prefer to get your pre-match fill inside Coventry’s Building Society Arena. The most relaxed option is the Coffee and Bakehouse at The Mill. If you’re looking for something a little extra though you can check out the busy but brilliant Anecdote or The Mill itself, which serves booze and decent food. Other than that, you’ll be looking at your standard football grub on the concourse.

Away supporters are usually located in the South Stand but positioned towards the west corner. As with most grounds, you’re tucked up a corner but with the modern sculpting of what was the Ricoh Arena you still have decent views of the pitch. In terms of accessing the ground, it’s straight forward from the train station whilst Car Park C is just a pedestrian bridge away. Burger King, Nandos and that large Tesco we mentioned are that much closer to that side of the stadium too.

One of the most important things to organise your trip to the football is how to actually get there; with respect of the Coventry City stadium, this is easy. There is a train station aptly named ‘Coventry Arena’ located towards the south east corner of the ground; this is serviced by West Midlands railway with London’s Euston station under an hours ride away.

If you are planning on driving into the stadium then you’ll be pleased to know that the Coventry ground is well serviced for car parking with several thousand dedicated parking spaces. The other reason that Coventry becomes a great away day for so many is because of it’s positioning in England; as it is centrally located, it means most of the population are within easy travelling distance. As with many newly developed stadiums, its out of town positioning also mean access is straight forward. In this instance, the M1 and M40 are nearby with the M6 junction 3 just a mere 800m away.

  • Adults from £20 – £30
  • Under 18s from £0 – £20
  • Concessions from £15 – £25

As touched on already, for many people a visit to Coventry’s Ricoh Arena – or as it’s now officially known the Building Society Arena – is likely to be a day visit. If, however, you’re one of the 25% of the population located more than a couple of hours away you may opt to rest your head nearby and make more of your trip. You are in luck. There is a DoubleTree by Hilton at the stadium already with 121 bedrooms and as part of the development that has seen the Coventry ground become rebranded there will be another hotel added; this will again be under the Hilton umbrella but part of their Hampton range. It will add a further 150 rooms.

If staying at the stadium isn’t for you then you have a couple of alternative options. There is a Novotel located just off the M6 and, despite being situated off the main road, the stadium is walkable from here. At circa £50 per night, it will save you around £30 compared to the DoubleTree. Other than that, you’ll be looking at hotels in city centre. There are a plethora of options here but it is four miles away so you’ll need to utilise transport to get to and from the stadium.

The Building Society Arena is obviously recently renamed and revamped from an already modern base i.e. the Ricoh Arena but, for many generations, it’s not the ground that is synonymous with Coventry. Prior to the Ricoh Arena the Coventry stadium was Highfield Road; the Sky Blues played there games here for 106 years between 1899 and April 2005.

2005 saw the birth of the new Coventry stadium – the Ricoh Arena. Coventry played their home games here up until the 2019/20 season. At this point, there were legal issues between Coventry and the landlord, Wasps; it resulted in Coventry playing their games as Birmingham’s St Andrew’s stadium for two seasons.

Latest Developments

The latest change at the Coventry stadium is the renaming from the Ricoh Arena to the Building Society; this took place in July 2021 and will remain the case for a decade. Off the back of this, Coventry City have returned to their own stadium for the 2021/22 campaign.

Coventry have a range of rivalries but the ferocity of many of these has waned over the years with clashes often few and far between. Locally, the club fiercest rivalries have traditionally been with Aston Villa and Leicester City.

Wolves, West Brom and Walsall are also considered grudge matches but to a lesser extent. A more random rivalry exists with Sunderland, who are located some 200 miles north; this dates back to 1977 when it’s believed that Coventry (and Bristol City) effectively contrived to get Sunderland relegated on the final day of the season.

  • Game Attended

    Coventry City v Cardiff City

    Competition

    The Championship

    Date

    15/09/2021

    Kick Off Time

    7-45pm

    Team Supported

    ‘Doing the 92’

    Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the ground itself?

    I’m doing ‘the 92’ and this was one of league grounds that I had not visited. Previously I had been to the old Highfield Rd ground and therefore was looking forward to seeing how things had changed.

    How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

    I travelled up on a coach with the Cardiff City Supporters Club. The trip was extremely well organised

    What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

    We arrived at the ground approx an hour before kick-off. I used this time to walk around the impressive stadium and did not encounter any problems from the Coventry fans.

    What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?

    The ground is very modern. However, outside it is quite different from other new stadiums as it incorporates an exhibition hall and a casino. Inside the ground I was impressed with the uniformity of stands.

    Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

    I was in the away section of the ground and the atmosphere created by the Cardiff fans was first class. Facilities in the away end were average and I had to queue for some time to get refreshments. The game itself was frenetic and both sides had early chances. Coventry took the lead after 15mins and from that the point onwards certainly had the better of the game.

    Comment on getting away from the ground after the game

    Extremely easy as the supporters coaches were parked only a short walk from the stadium.

    Summary of overall thoughts of the day out

    An enjoyable and well organised trip. Credit to all at the Cardiff City Supporters Club.
  • Game Attended

    Coventry City v Bristol City

    Competition

    Championship

    Date

    06/11/2021

    Kick Off Time

    3pm

    Team Supported

    Bristol City

    Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the ground itself?

    A relatively short trip and a ground I’ve not visited before.

    How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

    We travelled by train. The journey to Coventry from Bristol was fairly straightforward but the onward journey much less so. It would be nice if Coventry City put up some bus guidance at or near the station. We worked out we needed a number 3 or number 20 bus which could be picked up from the centre.

    What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

    On our way to find the bus we saw the Litten Tree pub which had plenty of Bristol City fans in it. There was plenty of singing but it was all good natured and there was no bother with the home fans there. The beer prices seemed pretty reasonable. We had difficulty finding the right bus stop so took a Taxi instead which cost just under £15

    What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?

    The ground was well out of the centre of Coventry. The view from the away end was very good and there was plenty of room, even for 3,000 of us. The part of the ground that our tickets were for was already forwarded but the stewarding was relaxed so you could sit/stand wherever you liked.

    Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

    CIty took the lead at the end of a fairly even first half when Coventry gave away a penalty and a straight red card. That was as good as it got however as 10 man Coventry dominated the second half and ran out deserved 3-2 winners, with the winner coming in the 92nd minute. The Coventry fans were excellent throughout and got right behind their team, even when they were twice behind. The loudest home fans I’ve heard in a long time. Bristol City fans were much less impressed at full time! Letting in very late calls has become a regular and worrying habit.

    Comment on getting away from the ground after the game

    We had no real idea how to get back to the station and traffic was at a standstill so we tried to walk it. We followed City Centre signs and asked a few locals. We got to a Sainsbury’s and got an Uber the rest of the way as the route back didn’t seem particularly pedestrian friendly. All of the Coventry fans we spoke to were friendly.

    Summary of overall thoughts of the day out

    Bitterly disappointed to lose again, although we half expected it given our very poor form. It looked like Coventry had the extra man, not City. At this rate we could well be visiting League One grounds next season. It was an exciting game but we could have done without the 92nd minute drama. An undeserved point would have made it much more enjoyable.
  • Game Attended

    Coventry V Peterborough United

    Competition

    Championship Game

    Date

    24/09/2021

    Kick Off Time

    19:45

    Team Supported

    Peterborough United

    Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the ground itself?

    Easy to get to from South Lincs, done the ground a few times before but glad they are back in Coventry

    How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

    Journey easy, left after work (Friday night game), I'd street parked previously near one of the footpaths but this was permit holder only this time so parked at the excellent Byatts Brewery approx 10 mins walk away. It's risky but locals were parking all over the place in permit areas so I don't know how much it's policed especially night games

    What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

    Had a pint in said brewery, chatted to home fans who were friendly, then to the ground, I didn't have a ticket and it was cash only so had to run to Tesco cashpoint,

    What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?

    It's a decent ground, similar bowl to other new build and branded Wasps more for obvious reasons, views and seats decent

    Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

    We held on until approx 60 mins then 3 goals for Coventry, they were flying at the time and the place was rocking when they scored. Pie ok and I thought the Stewards did fine especially as we had a fairly large 'risk' element

    Comment on getting away from the ground after the game

    10 minutes walk back, bought a crate of excellent beer to drown my sorrows (after driving home obviously)

    Summary of overall thoughts of the day out

    Glad they are home and a decent away day, we just never get a result there!
Updated 19th June 2020