DEC 00] CWN COMMENT
Hold Your Breath For The New Stadium
City’s eventual openness about the new arena is welcome, but is
the city going to end up with a big white elephant?
project directors know that there are huge risks with grandiose
schemes. Costs can easily soar, and the new stadium in north
Coventry is no exception.
fact that the NEC Group is to get involved with the stadium is good
news. It makes it highly unlikely that a crippling rival is built
ten miles away at the NEC.
with a leisure-based operation comes expensive extras. Banqueting
facilities, conference space – the sort of thing that recently put
the Wembley project in the balance.
the Sky Blues’ scheme is smaller, yet still highly impressive. The
fact that a proven local operator that could otherwise be a
competitor is on board is more heart-warming than seeing Ken Bates
at the helm.
this put football in the shade though? Coventry City performances
hardly inspire huge crowds to turn up – even home games against
Manchester United and Aston Villa have failed to sell this season.
isn’t impossible, statistically at least, for the Sky Blues to be
in the third division by the time the stadium is now expected to
this mean that the club’s interest will be shunted to one side? If
the football side isn’t paying its way, will players have to be
sold to make up?
the moment we are being assured that this is not the case, that
there is a different company to run the stadium’s affairs, but if
the club does decline it will become a barrier to more lucrative
what happens if the entertainment side fails, if the
leisure-industry bubble pops, if there is a recession by the time
the stadium opens.
people want to battle down the M6 to a huge cavern where people can
barely see the performance, when they won’t be able to park when
they get there because of a “green” directive issued by the
government during the planning stage.
are largely questions that only time can answer. The meticulous
approach the club seems to be taken must be applauded, even it is
frustrating for on-lookers.
can only hope that they’ve got their sums right, otherwise the
whole city could end up with egg on its face.
do you think about the new stadium? Email our letters page at email@example.com,
calling your message “New Stadium”.
[15 DEC 00] SKY
BLUES 'ARENA 2003' TO COST £172m
[15 DEC 00] COVENTRY
CITY ARENA STATEMENT IN FULL