The home ground of English Championship football club Coventry City and more commonly known as the Ricoh Arena, the City of Coventry Stadium will be the host venue for eight football fixtures during the London 2012 Olympic football tournaments, including the bronze medal showdown in the women’s competition.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) have done an excellent job of sharing the Olympic events out across several established venues in London and around the country, with the football tournaments in particular giving fans a chance to enjoy the Olympic action in several locations.
The City of Coventry Stadium is one of six venues hosting the London 2012 Olympic Football tournament, the others being Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, Hampden Park in Scotland, Manchester’s Old Trafford, Newcastle’s St James’ Park, and Wembley Stadium in London.
The Coventry venue is required to drop its Ricoh Arena title for the Games due to sponsorship restrictions. The stadium is part of an award-winning multi-purpose complex which includes the main 33,000 capacity arena, a hotel, a giant exhibition hall, a shopping centre, a leisure club and a casino.
The stadium already has the Olympic stamp of approval having been officially opened by Double Olympic gold winning athlete Dame Kelly Holmes and former sports minister Richard Caborn, in February 2007. By that stage, an England under-21 international match and a full season of Coventry City fixtures had already taken place at the ground, having been completed in 2005.
The stadium has since hosted numerous entertainment, sports and business events including The Women's FA Cup final, Premier League Darts, rugby matches and concerts by the likes of Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart, Bon Jovi, Take That, Oasis and Coldplay. It will also feature as a 2015 Rugby World Cup venue.
Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman of LOCOG visited the stadium in September of 2011 to approve the preparations for its use in the Games and to oversee the planning for improvements to Coventry city centre ahead of the Olympics.
Public facilities: Refreshments stands, toilets and baby changing facilities and a London 2012 Shop. There will also be information points for venue and sports information, transport updates, lost and found services and pushchair and wheelchair storage.
History: Built on the site of the former Foleshill gasworks, the City of Coventry Stadium was completed in 2005 and is the replacement for Coventry City’s former home ground at Highfield Road.
What’s On?: Olympic Football Tournament
25 July Women’s: Japan v Canada 17.00; Sweden v South Africa 19.45
26 July Men’s: Belarus v New Zealand 19.45
28 July Women’s: Japan v Sweden 12 noon and Canada v South Africa 14.45
29 July Men’s: Mexico v Gabon 14.30; Korea Republic v Switzerland 17.15
31 July Women’s; New Zealand v Cameroon 19.45
1 Aug Men’s: Japan v Honduras 17.00; Senegal v UAE 19.45
3 Aug Women's: Quarter Final teams tbc 19.30
9 Aug Women's: Bronze Medal match tbc 13.00
Find the City of Coventry Stadium on the map: here.
How do you get there?: The nearest train station is Coventry, which is a 6.5km from the stadium. There is a free shuttle bus service running to the stadium from Coventry city centre with a journey time of approximately 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, if you’re driving, the City of Coventry stadium is located on the northern side of Coventry, on the A444 road from Coventry to Nuneaton. It is less than a mile south of junction 3 of the M6 motorway. There are park and walk options available for drivers, see this map for more details.
Location – in relation to other venues: Coventry is approximately 100 miles north of London and can be easily reached by road or rail.