On this day in 2014: Wasps given go-ahead for £30m takeover of Coventry stadium

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Wasps were given the go-ahead for a £30million takeover of the Coventry Building Society Arena on this day in 2014.

Coventry City Council voted unanimously to accept a proposal from the rugby union Premiership club to secure the future of the troubled stadium.

The 32,600-capacity arena, which opened in 2005, had been built primarily to serve Coventry City Football Club.

The stadium was originally built to serve Coventry City FC
The stadium was originally built to serve Coventry City FC (Nigel French/PA)

However, the Sky Blues fell into financial difficulties and later administration amid a protracted and complicated rent dispute with stadium operating company Arena Coventry Limited.

The football club even moved out of the stadium, then known as the Ricoh Arena, and played at Northampton’s Sixfields for a period during 2013 and 2014.

Wasps agreed to purchase ACL, which was jointly owned by the council and the Alan Edward Higgs charity, and the deal was completed the following month.

The Sky Blues have returned to the stadium this season
The Sky Blues have returned to the stadium this season (Nigel French/PA)

It secured a permanent home for the rugby club after 12 years as tenants of Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park.

“We are very excited to be in a position to fulfil this ambition and to be able to move to the Ricoh Arena – it is an outstanding arena in a truly fantastic city,” read a Wasps statement, which acknowledged it would be an “unsettling” period for supporters.

Coventry returned to the stadium and played as tenants of Wasps until further problems led to a second move, this time to Birmingham’s St Andrews, in 2019. They moved back to the arena this season.

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