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Coventry pursuing stadium sites

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12 Jul 2013 09:32:00

Coventry pursuing stadium sites

Coventry are closing in on exclusivity on two potential sites in the local area on which they intend to build their new stadium.

Chief executive Tim Fisher in May revealed plans to move into a new stadium claiming City had been given no choice but to leave the Ricoh Arena as their lengthy and bitter rent row with stadium management company Arena Coventry Limited (ACL) rumbles on.

Earlier this week, the Football League reluctantly approved the Sky Blues' application to play their home games at Northampton's Sixfields Stadium for an initial period of three seasons while their new ground is being built, although it could stretch to as many as five.

The groundshare has been met with anger from the vast majority of City supporters, but the League One club are planning for a brighter long-term future away from the Ricoh - and Fisher is using Rotherham's recently-opened New York Stadium as the blueprint for Coventry's new home.

Fisher told Press Association Sport: "We've got a small number of sites which we are negotiating with, we are looking to get into exclusivity. Within the next week for sure for one, and potentially the second within a week as well. It will be in the Coventry area, we've got a number of sites both in the north and all around the Coventry boundary. They are very, very close.

"Ideally I'd like to get exclusivity on two, simply because it gives you the right to exclusive negotiation to close them and, frankly, you don't go into the final furlong of a horse race (with one), you want to get two lined up.

"Then we'll have the whole development of the scheme, the masterplan and all the commissioning that will be required. On Friday, we've got the beauty parade of architects, we've got the highways consultant - we are pushing like crazy."

Fisher, who plans to bring Coventry fans on board for full consultation, added: "The model is Rotherham's New York Stadium, it's a great stadium. It's modular so it grows as the club grows. Attendance? Around 18,000, and I will argue that 18,000 is enough. Then if things go well over time, it grows.

"Also, all around the bottom of the site, we want to add a scheme and that is going to be where the real value is in this because there will be a mix of commercial, residential - again, depending on the final site we go with.

"And this is why I really like Rotherham United's model because it's set up so they're building a hotel, it's by the river Rother where it's designated as regeneration so built into the bottom of the stadium are retail units, cafes, you name it, it's brilliant."


PA

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