7 October 2014 20:53
Councillors in Coventry have “unanimously agreed” to back a deal that would see London Wasps move to the city’s Ricoh Arena.
The Premiership side currently play their home matches at Wycombe Wanderers’ Adams Park, but have been searching for a new permanent home.
Having identified the Ricoh Arena as a potential solution, the club have now seen their approach to purchase Coventry City Council’s share of ACL – the stadium’s owners – approved.
Wasps confirmed on their website that they would now hold a series of meetings with those involved with the club, including supporters, to “address concerns” about the move to the Midlands.
“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,” they said in a statement on the club’s official website.
“This decision has not been taken lightly, it has been a very thorough and detailed process and we truly believe this is the best option to secure a successful long-term future for the club.”
The news had raised concerns with fans of Coventry City Football Club, who currently play their home matches at the stadium having recently returned after a season playing in Northampton following problems with ACL.
However, both Wasps and the council have confirmed they have no intention of evicting the football club from the Ricoh.
“This deal would not have happened if it threatened the future of the Sky Blues or Coventry Rugby Club,” said council leader Ann Lucas, while Wasps reiterated the stance in their own statement.
It read: “It’s important to us to make clear that we see the Ricoh as the home of Coventry City Football Club and are committed to it staying that way, and that we are already working with Coventry Rugby Club to ensure both clubs thrive and grow.”
The council also revealed that Coventry City would have primacy over fixtures should the deal be completed.