COVENTRY City Football Club will play their home games back at the Ricoh Arena from next season after a ten-year deal was agreed between the club and Wasps Group.
The Sky Blues have played their home games at Birmingham City’s St Andrew’s stadium for the past two years and will complete this season there before ‘coming home’ for 2021/22,
Coventry City Chief Executive Dave Boddy said it was fantastic news for the club, the community and, more importantly, the supporters.
“We are thrilled to announce that the agreement for Coventry City to return to the city of Coventry and to the Ricoh Arena was signed in the last 24 hours.
“I would like to pay tribute to the hard work of our owners, Joy Seppala and the club’s senior management and to the owners of Wasps Group, Derek Richardson and Wasps senior management to agree this deal.”
He added the club was looking forward to building a positive and co-operative relationship with Wasps Group over the term of the agreement and the length of it which allowed the club stability as it looked to continue its progress on and off the field.
“The deal is also the best that the club has had at the Ricoh Arena in terms of access to commercial revenues, which will further aid the development of the football club.”
He said although there was much work to do, planning had already started and he could not wait to see the fans return to the ground.
“We know that the day that our fans are able to come back and watch their team in Coventry is one they will be already looking forward to.”
Both parties thanked West Midlands Mayor Andy Street for the role he played in bringing the parties together to allow the deal to happen.
Stephen Vaughan, Wasps Group Chief Executive, said he was delighted, calling it ‘great news for the city’ and adding ‘it was time to put the past firmly behind us’.
“There has been a massive amount of work going on behind the scenes to get us to this point as both organisations felt it was very important that we agreed a long-term deal to bring certainty and continuity, which would in turn allow us to build even stronger futures.
“August will now mark the start of a new era for both Wasps Group and Coventry City.
“This year will see the arena host events for the City of Culture celebrations and the Rugby League World Cup, as well as start preparations for the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
“The news we will be welcoming Coventry City back is yet another positive piece of news for the area and a real boost to everybody as we come out of what has been an extremely difficult time for many people.”
Click here for reaction to the news from West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and MP Zarah Sultana