rugby club players will still be playing on parts of their famous old
Coundon Road pitch when they kick off in their new stadium next year.
Coventry’s chairman Keith Fairbrother, who has big plans to bring
greyhound racing back to the city at the new arena, says:
"We shall be using some of the turf from Coundon Road to
repair the existing pitch at The Butts Stadium.
"It will be nice to think that players of the future will be
playing on the same grass on which the famous players of yesteryear
made their reputations."
Fairbrother will be submitting a detailed planning application for
the new stadium to the city council this month. He says:
"Construction work will start in April/May and we should
play our first match at the new ground before the end of this
He has big plans for the arena, although its intended capacity has
been halved to 5,000.
"The average gate in first division rugby is around that
figure, but if we achieve the top level then there is room to extend
the capacity by another 3,000 seats," he explains.
It is intended to play on the existing pitch at The Butts Stadium,
but to use turf from Coundon Road to fill in bare patches.
Coventry have the task of trying to increase their income when they
move into the stadium. They play only thirteen home rugby matches, and
to augment their income they will open up the arena to minority
It is hoped to stage the outdoor Asian sport of Kabadi wrestling,
grass track cycle racing, archery and to provide function rooms for
seminars and corporate entertaining.
"I used to own greyhounds in the late seventies and one of
my dogs won the Peterborough Derby, which is a big race in the
dog-racing world," says Fairbrother.
"It would not be too difficult to build a track around the
rugby pitch and to construct holding kennels to house the dogs.
"It would be on a restricted basis for family-based crowds
of no more than 500 people who would watch in comfort through
windows in the hospitality suites."
Greyhound racing used to be held in Holbrooks, Coventry after the
war and then switched to the Brandon Speedway Arena, but dogs last
raced there around fifteen years ago.