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Coventry City stadium ‘master plan’ engineered by University of Warwick revealed

Warwick University are working on an infrastructure ‘master plan’ for the new Coventry City football stadium, the club has revealed.

The plans to construct the stadium on the University of Warwick campus were unveiled in July 2020, when a joint-statement by the two parties said: “Both the University and the Club are committed to a visionary, environmentally-friendly stadium in terms of materials, energy, noise, building and of course access.”

In a meeting with the Sky Blues Supporters’ Forum, the club’s Chief Executive Dave Boddy gave an update on the progress of the stadium. The minutes of the meeting state: “He explained that the University are creating a master plan for the whole area to incorporate road, rail, buildings etc.”

“There was no current timescale for this. Dave Boddy explained he doesn’t take day to day responsibility for the club regarding the new stadium as the owners are the ones liaising with the University of Warwick.”

The development of the stadium will allow Sky Blues to own their own stadium and to collect full match day revenue for their games. It is estimated that the stadium will have a capacity of 20,000 people once construction is completed.

Both the University and the Club are committed to a visionary, environmentally-friendly stadium in terms of materials, energy, noise, building and of course access

– Joint-statement, Coventry City FC and University of Warwick

There are also plans to create transport for fans to travel to the stadium. One such plan is the creation of a train station, which will include train links to Coventry city centre, Nuneaton, Leamington Spa, and other nearby areas.

The proposed Coventry Very Light Rail system (CVLR) has been developed by researchers from Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), who claimed in 2017 that the system “will be cheaper, quieter and more environmentally friendly than anything currently available.”

At the present time, Coventry have been tenants of St Andrews’ Stadium in Birmingham since departing the Ricoh Arena following the 2018/2019 season.

 

Editor’s Analysis: Sam Matthews Boehmer

The announcement of the stadium ‘masterplan’ has received mixed-reactions from students. The Saturdays and Tuesdays on which matchdays fall will undoubtedly change campus-life completely, as rowdy, passionate supporters commute to and from the stadium: walking, driving, and travelling through and around campus and student accommodations.

On these nights, what we consider to be the normality of student-life will certainly be altered, as the noise and sheer numbers of football fans could pervade, or perhaps invade, student haunts such as the Dirty Duck and Terrace Bar. The fact that the stadium will be built on green-field sites has also been a cause for concern.

Some of these fears, however, should be alleviated by the fact that the university and club have committed to an ‘environmentally-friendly’ stadium, while the Coventry Light Rail and new transport links should mean that the number of fans actually on campus would be limited.

What is without doubt is that the presence of the stadium will provide a unique student experience

– Sam Matthews Boehmer

What is without doubt is that the presence of the stadium will provide a unique student experience. Should Coventry continue their upward ascent, the greats of Manchester United, Arsenal, and the like could be traversing around Westwood and Sherbourne. For football-lovers the presence of a sizeable club on the doorstep can only be a positive.

These students could provide a wider backing for the club, bolstering attendances on matchday and consequently the stadium atmosphere as well.

For Coventry’s long suffering fans, the plans at last provide some stability after years of uncertainty and malaise, as the shadow of the Ricoh Arena is left far behind.

The University of Warwick have been contacted for comment. 

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