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[11 MAR 99] SPORTS NEWS
Coventry Rugby Clubs' New Stadium Unveiled

Coventry’s third new arena was revealed today as evidence that the city is facing boom times again.

Coventry rugby club, which called in the receivers last Summer, but is now under new management, today unveiled a model showing its new 10,000 capacity stadium at The Butts.

It follows on the announcement of Coventry City’s gargantuan 46,000 seater Arena 2000 at Foleshill, and the 4,000 capacity indoor arena at the Rank Leisure World in the city centre.

Ted Stocker, a director of the rugby club who has masterminded the move to The Butts, said:

"We hope to be a Premier Division club when we move in and we hope Coventry City will be in the Premiership soccer league. Coventry would then have two premier teams with two premier stadiums."

The new rugby stadium will be built in two phases each costing 2 million. Phase one will include a clubhouse and a pitch partially enclosed by covered seating. There would also be state of the art changing rooms and a training facility for Coventry Crusaders basketball team which will play its home matches at the nearby Rank Leisure Indoor Arena.

Phase Two would include an indoor training barn and gymnasium for the rugby club and the pitch would be fully circled by a cantilevered roof offering unrestricted views of the pitch. The stadium would then house 10,000 – 5,000 of whom would be seated.

The scheme includes parking for 400 cars at the adjacent Butts Technical College.

Mr Stocker, who used to be a director of Coventry City Football Club, said the rugby club had arranged with the city council for a 100 or 125 year lease on the site.

"We want to grow this club over the next ten, twenty, thirty years and we want to include the surrounding community.

"Coventry and Warwickshire have been famous for finding young players many of whom have gone on to play for their countries. We want to use our new facilities to continue with that."

"People says to me ‘will it happen.’ It will definitely happen. I have 1.5 million in place already for the first phase."

Councillor Bob Waugh, co-ordinator of the city council’s economic affairs policy co-ordinating committee said:

"We want a premier league rugby club with first class facilities. This city is going places. We have had a rough time over the last few years, but I believe there is a new sense of optimism in Coventry. I am looking forward to a booming city."
   

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CWN / Sport / Rugby / Coventry RFC / 11 Mar 99

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