Ricoh Arena: Coventry City

Phoenix Way, Coventry, West Midlands, England, CV6 6GE

The Ricoh Arena opened in 2005, with Coventry City relocating from their historic home of Highfield Road in order to take up residence in the new, purpose built stadium. Interestingly the ground wasn’t officially opened until February of 2007 when Dame Kelly Holmes and Richard Caborn, the then Sports Minister, did the honours. By that point, however, the stadium had already hosted a full season of Coventry matches as well as an England under-21 game against Germany.

The stadium isn’t only used for football. In 2013 Coventry City had a rent dispute with the owners of the ground, Arena Coventry Limited. It resulted in the club playing their home matches at Sixfields Stadium in Northampton, not returning to The Ricoh Arena until September of 2014. Within two months of Coventry’s return both major shareholders of Arena Coventry Limited had been bought out by Wasps rugby union team, with the club moving into The Ricoh in December of the same year. They have played their Premiership rugby games there ever since.

Stats

Ricoh Arena Stats
Year Opened2005
Capacity32,609
Average Attendance9,118
Record Attendance31,407 (Coventry v Chelsea (2009))
Pitch Size105 x 68 (7140)
NicknameThe Ricoh
Former NameJaguar Arena, Arena Coventry, Arena 2000, City of Coventry Stadium
OwnerWasps Holdings Ltd.
SponsorRicoh
Clubs HostedCoventry City F.C., Wasps RFC
First FixtureCoventry City v QPR (20/08/2005)
Coventry City Stats
Year Founded1883
NicknameThe Sky Blues
Club MascotSky Blue Sam
RivalsLeicester City, Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Wolverhampton Wanderers
Previous StadiumsDowells Field, Stoke Road, Highfield Road, Sixfields Stadium
KitSky Blue (Home) / Black, Grey & White (Away)
Training GroundSky Blue Lodge
Shirt SponsorAllsopp & Allsopp
Team OwnerOtium Entertainment Group
Record GoalscorerClarrie Bourton (182)
Record AppearancesSteve Ogrizovic (601)

Ricoh Arena Photos

Ricoh Arena Seating Plan & Where to Sit

Julieanne Savage [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

As is the case with most modern stadiums, The Ricoh Arena is built in a ‘Bowl Style’, as opposed to the more traditional ‘English Style’ of having four distinct and separate stands. Because the stadium is shared with Wasps there is a blandness to the names of the stands, with either their geographical location or else a sponsorship deal determining what they’re called. Here is some information on the main sections of the ground:

  • The Alan Higgs Charity Stand - This structure is single-tiered and stands behind the goal at the North end of the ground.
  • The East Stand - Much like the North (Alan Higgs) & South stands, this structure is a single-tiered section of seating with a steep gradient that means that even the seats furthest from the action feel like they’re quite close to the pitch.
  • The South Stand - As the name suggests, this single-tiered stand is directly opposite The North Stand and tends to house the away supporters in the Western corner.
  • The Lloyds Pharmacy West Stand - This is the only section of the ground that has two tiers that are separated by a row of executive boxes. This is considered to be the main stand at the stadium as it houses the dugouts, the players’ tunnel and the hospitality suites.

Coventry City Ticket Prices

Match ticket prices for Coventry City games are split into two main categories and then broken down, but are still quite easy to understand. Since the club doesn’t categorise their games, prices are the same for all matches, but you can choose either Standard Zone or Premium Zone tickets. The only things that will affect the price you’ll pay after that, are your age and when you buy your tickets, with advance purchases being the cheapest option.

There are also Match Packages available in 6 or 12 game blocks, making you a decent saving by buying in bulk.

Here are the advance and on the day prices of tickets for adults and concessions for Coventry City games at The Ricoh Arena:

  • Adults: Standard £22 - £25/Premium £24 - £26
  • Concessions: Standard £15 - £18/Premium £16 - £18

How To Get Coventry City Tickets

The easiest way to buy tickets for Coventry City matches is online, especially in advance as you’ll get a cheaper rate if you do so (although transaction fees apply). You can buy tickets in person from Butts Arena on Butts Road in Coventry or from the club’s official shop in the Arena Shopping Park, but if you do it on the day it will cost you more. You can buy tickets by calling the ticket office directly, but you can’t do that on match days. Instead on match days you can pick up tickets from the Match Day Ticket Office at The Ricoh Arena or at the Cash Turnstiles.

Where to Buy

Getting To Ricoh Arena

Coventry is in the West Midlands so, much like Birmingham and Wolverhampton, it’s reasonably easy to get to from all over the country. Of course if you’re in the Hebrides or you live on the white cliffs of Dover it will be slightly trickier, but that’s your own problem. Here are some of the usual routes you’ll want to turn to for your journey:

Train - Coventry Railway Station is the main station serving the city of Coventry but it’s six miles away from the ground so it isn’t the best option available. Instead you might want to look to Coventry Arena Train Station, which is right next to the ground and reachable from London Euston in less than two hours with a change in Coventry or Nuneaton.

Bus - It’s not exactly easy to get to The Ricoh by bus, but it’s not hell on earth either. The Number 8 bus will take you from Coventry Railway Station to Coventry Transport Museum where you can change on to the Number 4 or Number 5 to Arena Park. When it drops you off there’s an underpass that will take you to the main entrance. There’s also a shuttle bus that runs from Coventry Railway Station to the ground and costs £5 return.

Car - From the North take the M1 to Junction 21 then get onto the M69. Get onto the M6 and leave that at Junction 3 for the A444 then follow the signs. From the North-West just follow those instructions from the M6. From the South take the M40 until Junction 15 then get onto the A46. That will join the A444 and you can follow the signs from there.

By Air - Birmingham International Airport is your best bet for Coventry, with direct trains running from there to Coventry where you can either get a connecting train to Coventry Arena Train Station or get the bus.

Taxi - A taxi from Coventry Railway Station to The Ricoh Arena will cost in the region of £20 and should take about fifteen minutes. Traffic in the West Midlands is notoriously bad, however, so if you get stuck in it then it will take longer.

Parking Near Ricoh Arena

The Ricoh has three different on-site car parks that can host up to 2000 cars, though you have to book your car parking ticket in advance. There is a very strict no on-street parking rule in the area around the stadium, though there are five ‘Park and Walk’ options available.

Useful Resources

Ricoh Arena Hotels

Birmingham isn’t too far away if you really can’t resist the bright lights of the Second City, but Coventry is not without its own fun places to stay. Here are some of our choices:

Premiere Classe Coventry - £40+

4 Wigston Road, Walsgrave, Coventry, CV2 2SD
This 47 bedroom hotel is very much in the ‘no frills’ category, but it’s cheap and cheerful with a bar and a meeting room on offer as well as free parking. It’s also just under three miles from the ground. More details.

Novotel Coventry M6/J3 - £60+

Wilsons Lane Longford, Coventry, CV6 6HL
This member of the Novotel chain of hotels is just a mile away from the stadium and offers a rooftop terrace, a fitness centre, a garden, a restaurant and a bar. There’s also self-parking and free Wi-Fi. More details.

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at the Ricoh Arena - £75+

Phoenix Way, Coventry, CV6 6GE
How close to the stadium do you want to stay? Will actually sleeping in it suffice? The DoubleTree by Hilton boasts two restaurants, a fitness centre, self-parking and some rooms that actually look out onto the pitch. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Ricoh Arena

Coventry’s quite a fun place to go for a drink or two, though the ground’s out of city location means there are limited choices within walking distance. These pubs coming highly recommended:

The Coach & Horses

Longford Road, Coventry, CV6 6BG (02476 365 795)
Located about twenty minutes away from the ground is The Coach & Horses, a popular pub with both home and away fans. It offers decent food, a good selection of real ales and several TVs as well as a large screen to watch sport on.

The Aylesford Pub

The Ricoh Arena, Phoenix Way, Coventry, CV6 6GE (0844 873 6500)
One of two ‘pubs’ located inside The Ricoh Arena itself, The Aylesford is named after the Inn where Coventry City Football Club was born. The food options are limited to the sort of thing you can buy throughout the rest of the stadium, though there are a number of drinks offered and plenty of TVs around the place.

The Castle Grounds

7 Little Park Street, Coventry, CV1 2UR (0247 663 0862)
Located in the centre of Coventry itself is this pub and kitchen that serves food until 9pm every day. They’ve got loads of TVs showing as much sport as they can as well as viewing areas for groups as small as 5 and as large as 25.

Facilities

As an arena that hosts not only football and rugby matches but also music concerts and other events The Ricoh Arena’s facilities are pretty excellent. Owing to the fact that it isn’t the home of just Wasps or just Coventry City, of course, there is a slight lack of personality on the concourses, but it’s nothing to complain about in the grand scheme of things. There are plenty of places to buy food and drink before and during the match, so what more do you want?

Prices

  • Programme: 3.00
  • Pie: 3.50
  • Cup of tea: 2.00
  • Beer: 4.00

Hospitality

Casino at Ricoh Arena - Alex McGregor [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

They might not have clocked onto the idea that they can make money from stadium tours, but the club isn’t soft when it comes to hospitality packages. There are a number you can choose from, including the chance to host a children’s party in an executive box. Winner. Here is some information on the packages available:

  • The Vice President’s Club - Billed as the oldest corporate club in British football, The Vice President’s Club offers Director’s Box seating, access to the Jaguar Bar Lounge and the cash bar therein, the chance to watch interviews with former and current players and complimentary half-time refreshments.
  • Legends Membership - With this package you’ll enjoy padded corporate seats, half-time tea and coffee, access to The Legends Lounge that has a cash bar and the chance to watch a pre-match interview or two.
  • VIP Match Day Hospitality - Available on a match-by-match basis, this package includes a three-course pre-match meal in the VIP Match Day Restaurant, the chance to watch the Man Of The Match interview and presentation, a padded sear in the corporate seating area and a complimentary programme.

Private Hire

When it’s not being the home of Coventry City or Wasps, The Ricoh Arena calls itself an award winning International Event Centre, so it’s fair to say you can host a range of private functions there. We’re not kidding when we say any range, either; you can host conferences or meetings with anywhere from 7 to 7000 delegates in attendance. The arena can also be used to host exhibitions, dinner dances, parties, banquets or even, should the whim take you, weddings. How romantic.

Stadium Tours & Museum

At the time of writing the club doesn’t offer tours of The Ricoh Arena, which is a bit odd to be honest. You can do a tour if you’re a Wasps season ticket holder, but then you’d have to watch rugby and no one wants to do that. One thing you can do, though, is a Google Tour of the stadium, which is basically the same thing as physically being there and walking around all of the places you’d never normally get to see, isn’t it?

About Coventry City

esartee / Flickr.com

Coventry City Football Club was formed as Singers FC in 1883, not joining the Football League until 1919. The Sky Blues, as they are known, were an inaugural member of the Premier League when it was formed in 1992 and enjoyed 34 consecutive seasons in the top-flight prior to their relegation in 2001. They then spent eleven seasons in the second-tier of English football before their 2012 relegation to League One. That was the first time in their history that Coventry had played in the third-tier of the English footballing system.

Despite their recent plight the club has enjoyed some success over the years. Their only major trophy win was the FA Cup, which they won in 1987 when they beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 in the final. The win coincided with the club winning the FA Youth Cup at the same time, making them one of only five teams to do an FA Cup and FA Youth Cup double. They also reached the semi-finals of the League Cup in 1981 and 1990. It’s not always been plain sailing for Coventry, however, with the club narrowly avoiding going into administration in 2007 when SISU took over the club with twenty minutes to spare. They could not avoid it in 2013, however, with the Otium Entertainment Group taking over the administration laden club.

Ricoh Arena History

Ben Sutherland / Flickr.com

Between 1899 and 2005 Coventry played their home games at Highfield Road, a stadium that was synonymous with the club. It had become the first all-seater stadium in England in 1981, years before the Taylor Report into the Hillsborough Disaster would demand all top-flight grounds followed suit. By the late 1990s, however, the ground was showing its age and club directors decided it would make more sense to build a new stadium than to renovate the old one. A site was found in the Rowley’s Green area of the city and the 32,609 capacity Ricoh Arena was opened in 2005.

The Ricoh Arena is an impressive location in its own right, but it could have been even more so if the club’s original plans had gone through. Initially the plan was to move to a state-of-the-art 45,000 seater stadium with a removable pitch and a retractable roof. Unfortunately the club’s relegation from the Premier League meant that they were hit with financial difficulties. The new stadium was also intended to be used for the 2006 World Cup, should England have won the bid to host the tournament. The failure for that to happen meant that the designs had to be changed rather radically and The Ricoh Arena as we know it now was built instead.

Future Developments

By Jez Sutton (Wikipedia Takes Coventry participant) (Uploaded from Wikipedia Takes Coventry) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Given the relative youth of the stadium and the fact that it was only bought by Wasps in 2014 it is unlikely that any changes will be made to it in the near future.

User comments

There are no user comments for this listing.