Friday, December 20, 2013

News: Coventry hoping for a fairytale like New York

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Coventry City Football Club have released images of a proposed new stadium as they hope to emulate the success of Rotherham United and move into their own purpose built venue.

Coventry's stadium saga echoes that of The Millers, with both clubs going through administrations and finding themselves playing "home" games outside their own towns. Now the Sky Blues are pushing ahead with plans for a new stadium as they aim to move forward just as impressively as Rotherham United has done.

Opened in July 2012, Rotherham United's £20m New York Stadium on the edge of Rotherham town centre, has helped to shape the new era for the club, bringing success, on and off the pitch, and helped to regenerate the town.

In their first season in the new stadium, Steve Evans' men secured promotion to League One, attendances are averaging over 9,000 and turnover has increased to £4.4m, an increase of nearly £2m on the previous year.
Seeing the success, Coventry City directors called on leading sports stadia architects AFLS+P to work on plans for a new stadium. The firm worked on designs for Rotherham United when they were known as S&P Architects. The details released today show that the plan is for a 12,500 seater stadium which can be expanded in stages, just like the New York Stadium.

Steve Waggott, development director at Coventry City, said: "There are several ingredients for creating a sustainable and successful club and owning your own ground is one of the main ingredients.

"A football club needs to squeeze every penny it possibly can out of its stadium both on matchdays and non matchdays in order to be able to invest on the pitch.

"Owning our own stadium as well as investing in our Academy and youth development are the key to the long-term future of the club.

"You only have to look elsewhere in football to see that this the only model for clubs moving forward.

"Rotherham have just moved to a stadium they own because they see how the non-matchday revenues can be invested to give them the best possible chance of becoming a Championship club – and then staying there."

Coventry staff, players and fans will get the chance to see what their future home may look like when the two sides meet at the New York Stadium on New Year's Day.

Coventry City website
Rotherham United website

Images: AFLS+P / Coventry City / Rotherham United

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