Coventry City

Ricoh Arena

Capacity: 32,500 (all seated)
Address: Phoenix Way, Foleshill, Coventry, CV6 6GE
Telephone: 02476 992326/7
Pitch Size: 115 x 74 yards
Club Nickname: The Sky Blues
Year Ground Opened: 2005
Undersoil Heating: Yes
Shirt Sponsors: Allsop & Allsop
Kit Manufacturer: Puma
Home Kit: Sky and Navy Blue Stripes
Away Kit: White and Sky Blue

External View
External View
West and South Stands
West and South Stands
East Stand
East Stand
Looking Towards The North Stand
Looking Towards The North Stand
West Stand
West Stand
North Stand
North Stand
Jimmy Hill Statue
Jimmy Hill Statue

After being in exile at Northampton Town for over a year, the Club have made a much needed return to the Ricoh Arena. Like many grounds built in this country in recent years, the new Coventry stadium is functional and fairly conservative in its design. Three sides of the stadium, which are large single tiered stands are fairly bland affairs. Happily, the complex has an exhibition centre attached to its West side, resulting in a unique looking stand that gives more of a continental feel. Known as the Lloydspharmacy Stand, it has a small tier of seats overhanging the larger lower tier, with a row of corporate hospitality boxes, running along the back of the lower section. Along the top of the stand is a large area of white panelling (adorned with the logo of the stadium sponsors) that runs along the length of the stand and around the corners of either side of it. In one of these corners is located a Police Control box. Below the white panelling is a large windowed corporate hospitality area.

The stadium is fully enclosed with all corners of the stadium being filled with spectator seating and all the stands are of the same height, giving it a symmetrical look. There a number of clear perspex panels located in the roof at the South end of the stadium, plus a large strip of perspex that runs around the stadium just below the roof at the back of three sides. These measures allow more natural light to enter the stadium, which helps the growth of the grass pitch. There is also a large video screen type scoreboard located in one corner of the stadium between the South and East Stands.

Outside the stadium on the back of the East Stand, fans can admire the 'Sky Blues Wall Of Fame'. This consists of six large panels, each dedicated to former a Coventry City great such as John Sillett, Jimmy Hill etc... The panels contain bricks that have been purchased by fans, which have their choice of inscriptions on. Also outside the corner of the North and East Stand is a small open memorial area for fans to place wreaths etc.. of fans who have passed away. Whilst outside the Club Shop there is a statue of former manager and chairman Jimmy Hill.

The stadium was built by Laing O'Rourke, the same company who built the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. It is owned by Wasps Rugby Club who also play their home matches there. The stadium was opened in August 2005. Coventry City previously played at Highfield Road, their home since 1899.

Away supporters are mostly accommodated to one side of the South Stand (Blocks 6 & 7) towards the corner with the Lloydspharmacy Stand. Around 3,000 supporters can be seated in this area. The angle of the stand is quite steep, meaning a fair bit of effort to climb to the top. Normally a steep stand means that fans are close to the playing action, but not here. Not only is there a sizeable red coloured track surrounding the playing area, but the stand itself is further set-back from the pitch. This does lead to some viewing problems, especially when the action is taking place at the other end. The leg room is adequate for most and the stadium does have good acoustics, which helps boost the atmosphere.

Entrance to the stadium is through automatic turnstiles, where you have to put your ticket (which has a bar code on it) into a slot reader, which then allows the turnstiles admit you. Behind the stands there are spacious concourses and a number of food and drink outlets. Food on offer includes; Steak Pie (£3.50), Chicken Curry Pie (£3.50), Cheese and Onion Pie (£3.50) and Sausage Rolls (£3). The concourses also have a number of televisions which show the game being played inside.

Matt Walters a visiting Reading fan adds; 'The Ricoh, as the tannoy announcer puts it, is one of the more interesting looking new grounds when compared to others such as the Walkers Stadium. The acoustics are superb which creates a great atmosphere. However I found the seats to quite uncomfortable, which is disappointing bearing in mind that this is a brand new stadium'. I have also received reports of supporters being regularly ejected from the stadium for persistent standing, and stewards being somewhat heavy handed, so be on your best behaviour. After what seemed a mandatory 'pat down' search by the stewards outside the away turnstiles, entrance to the stadium is gained by putting the end of your ticket into a bar code reader. Sounds easy, but when the green light that lights up to show you that your ticket has been validated and you can now enter, is located up above your head, then many fans on my visit didn't see this and kept trying to put ticket back into the reader, leading to much confusion!

On one corner of the stadium, near to the Club Shop is the Grosvenor Casino, which has a bar, has Sky Sports television and admits both home and away fans on matchdays.

Robert Nunn a visiting Reading fan informs me; 'Myself and a friend parked in Longford, about a ten minute walk away from the stadium, and found a host of pubs situated along Longford Road. Whilst most looked quite partisan and only had Sky Blue shirts in, the "JK English Pub" was most welcoming. This Indian/Pub had a pub feel (pool table, jukebox, etc) but was also an Indian restaurant. On Saturday's it also does a £5 all you can eat lunchtime buffet'. To find this pub, coming away from the North Stand at the Ricoh, follow the towpath over the canal for about 400 yards passing the Tesco Extra on your right (which also has a cafe). When you come on to Longford Road, head right, towards Coventry City Centre and the pub is around 200 yards on your right hand side. Phil Cull a visiting Watford fan adds; 'You can also park your car in the JK English pub car park for a cost of £4. It is then around a 15 minute walk to the stadium. After the game there was no problem in driving back to the M6'. Also on Longford Road, but heading away from the City Centre are the Longford Engine and Coach & Horses pubs which both welcome away fans. The visitors turnstiles are around a 15 minute walk away, by walking along the canal tow path by the Longford Engine pub (just follow the sky blue shirts...). There is also a handily placed fish & chip shop located across the road from the Longford Engine.

Jamie Greenway adds; 'The Black Horse Pub, in-between Longford and Exhall has been attracting a fair amount of away supporters for most games. If you go to the top of Longford Road and around the roundabout towards Exhall, its on the right and normally has a burger van outside'. It is also only five minutes walk from the Leisure Island Parking area (see below) and also offers some limited free car parking at the pub itself. Also in this area is a Novotel that also has a bar.

Adrian Taylor a visiting Birmingham City fan informs me; 'The Greyhound Pub on Sutton Stop is a hidden gem. A traditional canalside pub that is also listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. You need to come off the M6 at Junction 3, but then drive away from the ground, towards Bedworth, on the B4113, turning left (under the M6) at the first roundabout. You then take the first right at the traffic lights, just after the Black Horse pub, into Blackhorse Road and follow the road for a couple of miles until you reach a mini roundabout at which you turn right to go over a narrow canal bridge. You then take the next left for the Greyhound pub. The beauty of this place if it is a fine day, is that you can leave your car at the pub and then take the 20 minute walk along the canal to the stadium. After the game you can have another drink or at least avoid the congestion near the ground'.

Alternatively alcohol is also available inside the stadium in the form of bottles of 500ml Carling Lager at £3.40 each or Magners Cider (300ml) at £3.50. Although on my last visit I wasn't too impressed to be served a warm bottle from an open tray, rather than a chilled one.

Leave the M6 at Junction 3. Take the A444 towards the city centre and after one mile you will reach the stadium on your left.

Ricoh Arena Official Car Parks

Parking at the stadium is mostly for permit holders, although the Club do sell on the day spaces in Car Parks A, B and C at £10 per car, although it is best to book a space in advance. Blue badge holders can also park at the stadium itself but again at a cost of £10. The Club are also utilising a number of car parks within walking distance of the stadium, in such places as factory units and local schools. The cost of these official car parks varies on venue but are around £3-£5 per vehicle. See the Ricoh Arena Parking website for more details.

Other Parking Options

The nearby Tesco/Arena Retail car park is well 'policed' on matchdays. Free parking is restricted to just two hours only unless you spend £25 or more in one of the shops on the Retail Park, otherwise if you over stay you can end up with a £50 parking ticket. Stores include Next, Boots and Marks & Spencers, but the minimum £25 spend does not include the Tesco Petrol Station, Burger King or Pizza Hut. You show your receipt on exit. In addition an extensive 'residents only' parking scheme has been put in place for all residential streets within a least a mile of the ground.

There is also a private car park run by Leisure Ireland, located a few minutes drive away from Junction 3 of the M6. It has 200 spaces and is then a 15 minute walk away from the stadium. It advertises as secure parking and apparently getting back to the motorway after the match is very easy. The cost to park there is £3 per car and to find the car park, follow the 'pink arrow' signs/take the B4113 towards Bedworth from Junction 3 of the M6. Fans are encouraged to pre-book their places online. However please note to then get to the stadium you have to cross a rather busy dual carriageway, so please bear this in mind if you have young children or older person in your party. Please note that this car park closes one hour after the final whistle. Closer to the stadium in Oban Road (opposite the Longford Engine CV6 6HH) are two private car parks run by Ricoh Arena Event parking. Spaces can also be pre-booked online and cost £4 per car.

Coventry train station is about three and half miles away from the stadium and really is too far to walk. Either take a bus from the Pool Meadow Bus Station or jump in a taxi (costs around £10 to the stadium).

Coventry train station is about three and half miles away from the stadium and really is too far to walk. Either take a bus or jump in a taxi (costs around £10 to the stadium). There is a bus stop directly outside the train station, from which you can catch service Number 8 to Coventry Transport Museum or onto Coventry Pool Meadow Bus Station. From either you can then take a Number 4 or 5 to Arena Park, which is the Retail Park adjacent to the Ricoh Arena. It is then around a ten minute walk to the stadium. Timetables and fares can be viewed on the National Express website.

Tim Sansom a visiting Ipswich Town fan adds; 'After the match there was a massive queue for the six football special buses going back to the city centre. We decided not to wait and walked up to the to the roundabout (signposted Holbrooks) by the stadium and caught the number 13 service back into the city'.

A new railway station is currently being constructed at the stadium. It is due to open in August 2015.

East Stand (Centre):
Adults £25, Concessions £18, Under 16's £13*
Family Area:
Adults £18, Concessions £13, Under 16's £9**

All other areas of the stadium including the Away Fans section:
South Stand:
Adults £22, Concessions £15, Under 16's £11*

*A further discount on this ticket price is available for Junior Sky Blue Members in the home sections dependant on age.

The prices shown above are for tickets purchased prior to matchday. Tickets bought on the day of the game can cost up to £2 more.

Official Programme £3.

At The Ricoh Arena:
31,407 v Chelsea
FA Cup 6th Round, March 7th 2009.

At Highfield Road:
51,455 v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Division 2, April 29th, 1967.

Average Attendance (at Sixfields Stadium)
2013-2014: 2,348 (League One)

Average Attendance (At The Ricoh Arena)
2012-2013: 10,997 (League One)
2011-2012: 15,119 (Championship League)

For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the Level Playing Field website.

Coventry City FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).

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Coventry City v  Exeter City
Johnstone's Paint Trophy
Tuesday, October 7th, 2014, 7.45pm
Gary Parker (Exeter City fan)

As I am ticking off all league grounds in my quest to do the 92, I have been waiting for Coventry to return home for some time. As luck would have it, my beloved Exeter City drew them in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy just weeks after returning home. Even better news was that Coventry were charging just £5 to visiting supporters.
 
My working hours are pretty flexible these days so I set off for Coventry from Swindon at around 3pm, deciding to take the scenic Fosse Way route rather than chewing up a load of miles on the motorway. I arrived in Coventry at about 5pm and found the ground well signposted from the A46 (south of Coventry).
 
Having planned to arrive in plenty of time, I drove back towards the city centre in search of a curry house. I found one called the Bengal Delights just five minutes drive away at 166-168 Holbrook Lane, Coventry, CV6 4BY.  I cannot recommend this highly enough, fantastic food at very reasonable prices and so close to the stadium.
 
Having enjoyed a very good curry, I made my way to the ground and was able to park in one of the official car parks for just £5. The Ricoh Arena looks quite impressive from outside.  Once inside, apart from a unique little shelf of seating along one side (presumably for corporate guests) the rest is pretty much the same as all new stadiums these days. Still it was spacious and had good leg room and the stands were quite steep. Although there is a large and seemingly pointless gravel track surrounding the pitch, you still feel quite close to the action. The stewards were few and far between and were not called upon at all, so I can't really comment.
 
The game itself was nothing much, Exeter were without their goalkeeper and central midfielder who were away on England Under 20 duty. We were also missing three first team players, so it was a young side that played and whilst they played well and gave it their all, a 3-1 defeat was probably about fair.
 
There were only 7,200 at the game and 600 of those were Exeter so the atmosphere wasn’t all that great. But the travelling fans certainly gave it their all. Due to the low attendance I was able to get away fairly quickly, although they do keep the car parks closed until the majority of fans have made their way past the exit roads and this was around five minutes.
 
The ground is right by the M6 and I was on the motorway before 10pm and back in Swindon shortly after 11:15!
 
A shame about the result but it was a good game by two sides playing attractive football, in a nice stadium, the only down side though was…..and shame on Coventry City for this……NO Bovril being served in the away end!  9/10 overall would have been a 10 but for the lack of a Bovril.

Coventry City v Exeter City
Johnstone's Paint Trophy
Tuesday, October 7th, 2014, 7.45pm
Steve Ellis (Exeter City fan)

1. Why were you looking forward to going to this ground?

This was to be my 40th of the current 92 clubs and one ground I never thought I would get the chance to get to. But the moment this fixture was drawn I pulled out the stops to get the day off.

2. How easy was your journey and finding the ground?

I travelled up on the supporters coach, leaving Exeter at 2pm, arriving in Coventry, just after 6pm. There was no hassle in finding the ground as it's visible from the M6.

3. What did you do before the game, pub, chippy....home fans friendly?

Before the game we opted to go to the Grosvenor Casino, which is part of the Ricoh complex and open to visiting supporters. Drinks started at prices of £3.50, food starting at £5. I didn't join in the gambling on this occasion. The home supporters I encountered in there seemed friendly enough.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground,  first impressions of away end and then other sides of ground?

Once through the turnstiles you come into a nice size concourse then you have to take two flights of stairs up into the stadium. Inside I thought it looked fantastic, and like most modern stadiums it is all enclosed. There is also plenty of leg room in the stands.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, refreshments etc.

The game was a slow starter for Exeter and due to a couple of defensive errors we went in 2-0 down at half time, the game eventually ending 3-1 to Coventry. The atmosphere was superb as you would expect in a stadium like this, with the 486 Exeter fans singing from start to finish. Once again the stewards were helpful and non-obtrusive, toilets under the stand were clean and refreshments looked good but were quite pricey.

6. Comments on getting away from the ground after the game.

No issues getting away after the game as the coaches were parked right outside the exit gates. Just before boarding the coach couple of Coventry fans came over said we were the best travelling fans they'd seen so far this season.

Coventry City v Swindon Town
League One
Saturday, March 2nd, 2013, 3pm
Ronan Howard (Swindon Town fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

Though I’d been to the Ricoh before due to work, I’d never watched a match there. Certainly looked a good ground and better than many in League One. Coupled with what was to be a very big away following, this was shaping up to be a good day out.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

From Basingstoke it was a 115 mile trip, although relatively straightforward – M4/A34/M40, before skirting around Coventry and back in from the M6. Due to the wonders of google street view I knew exactly what to expect and where to go, and signposting is excellent.

Parked in the Ricoh car park free of charge, as I’d arranged this as a “football package” (two tickets for the match, with a night in the hotel adjacent for me and the missus for around 80 pounds). I cannot recommend this enough as it’s great value and meant once the car was parked we could really relax. Parking is ample at the stadium itself.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

As we arrived early (around midday) there was plenty of time to take a wander across the road to the retail park and have a burger. Then to the casino adjacent to the Ricoh – spacious, decent selection of beverages, Sky Sports on the many TVs, it was yet another selling point for the ground. There was plenty of time to watch the early kick off match and have a couple of pints before taking a short stroll to the away end. It should be noted that there’s very little else in the way of pubs in the immediate vicinity of the ground so it’s just as well the casino is large enough to accommodate a big away (and home) following.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

The Ricoh looks pretty impressive from the outside but seems smaller than first impressions once you’re actually inside. Whilst it’s perfectly adequate and comfortable there’s little to distinguish it from similar modern stadiums. As a “bowl” type stadium all areas look fairly uniform, with the exception of the large row of executive boxes on one side of the ground to our left.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

I had mixed feelings before the match, as we’d seemed to have a downturn in form, and had just appointed a new manager – confidence wasn’t exactly high. As for the game, it was a rollercoaster to say the least – after going one nil down within the first couple of minutes due to some absolutely shambolic defending, the town rallied themselves and started to threaten. It was yet another match where we ended up dominating and creating a host of chances only to squander them repeatedly. Andy Williams seemed to be having a nightmare with three gilt-edged chances wasted, before finally equalising in the 86th minute. Although I would’ve taken a point at that stage, we did one better and defender Darren Ward scored a rare header to win it on the 90th – cue delirium from the 2000+ town fans in the away end!

The atmosphere was mixed throughout the match other than that, with the home fans making little noise and with some problems finding seats for the away fans – as I’d got into the ground early I experienced no problems, but did hear of some having to watch the game on TV on the concourse – it would seem Coventry grossly underestimated the amount of fans who would attend, and after allowing unreserved seating, found it difficult to get everyone sat down. There were a number of frustrated exchanges with stewards that I saw, however to their credit all the stewards I spoke to were excellent and very relaxed.

Didn’t eat or drink in the ground, however there seemed to be adequate facilities and the toilets were ample and well maintained.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

As I was staying over at the hotel I can’t really comment, however the car park layout was fairly good and I wouldn’t imagine there would have been too many problems – the traffic getting back on the M6, possibly more problematic.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

In terms of result and performance, a fantastic day. Atmosphere from the home fans was fairly flat, and with only around 10-11,000 home fans in a ground that holds 31,000, there were big gaps in the seating and little opportunity to get any singing going on. Nice enough stadium, easy to get to and with good facilities. Would definitely visit again in the fairly likely event we’re still in League One next season!

Coventry City v Shrewsbury Town
League One
Tuesday January 1st 2013, 3pm
Rus Teece (Shrewsbury Town fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground:

Like many fans, I really enjoy going to matches over the Christmas/New Year period, it gets you out of the house and away from all that food! There were also a number of other reasons for looking forward to this trip; it was a new ground for me as it was Town's ever first visit to the Ricoh. It was one of our shortest away trips of the season and the team had managed to turn the corner after a very iffy spell. The only negative was that Coventry were in superb form so I travelled more in hope than expectation.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

The Ricoh must be one of the easiest grounds to get to by road. I drove and it is dual carriageway/motorway pretty much all the way. As it was a public holiday even traffic on the M6 was moving at a good pace which meant the journey took just under an hour to complete. We managed to find free parking in an industrial estate off the A444 on the left just before the stadium. I'm not sure whether parking is allowed on a normal Saturday matchday, but as there was a mixture of home and away fans parking there  we decided it would be OK. I'm happy to report that no parking tickets were issued.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

This turned out to be Coventry's largest home attendance of the season so far, including over 1,400  Town fans, but I never witnessed any problems as fans mingled outside before and after the game. We headed straight for the turnstiles where we found the stewards and staff to be friendly and helpful. Once inside it appeared as though Coventry hadn't realised that little old Shrewsbury might bring more than a couple of hundred fans as the queue for the only food outlet was huge and the food in short supply, I heard the too few and harassed staff behind the counter telling people that the pies and burgers would be ready by half-time, not what they wanted to hear.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

From the outside the ground looks a large and impressive structure, a lot different to many of the grounds we have visited this season. For me this makes the occasion more memorable, you get the feeling that you are visiting a "Big Club" and you have to remind yourself that it is a league fixture.

This feeling continues once you are inside, the number of steps you have to scale gives some clue to the size of the stand. Some people refer to the ground as a "soulless bowl" but I thought it was a superb arena. I like the completely enclosed design as it helps to keep any noise in and a lot of the cold wind out. The main stand is different to the other three sides and this helps to break up the lines.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game felt like payback for all the matches this season where we have conceded late goals to drop vital points, it had happened far too many times. We certainly rode our luck at times and while we forged a number of very decent chances there is no denying that Coventry had more of the game and the better goalscoring opportunities, only Gary McSheffrey will know how he missed a golden opportunity presented on a plate by a poor back-pass. Marvellous Marvin Morgan gratefully accepted his best chance of the match to send us all into delirium. What followed was some decent defending and superb goalkeeping and we managed to hold out for our first away win of the season.

Despite there being over 15,000 inside the ground the atmosphere generated by the home support was non-existent. I don't know how much we could be heard by the home fans but  it is safe to say that the Town fans were the only ones making any noise - especially after the 62nd minute goal.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

The only drawback of the free parking was the fact that our location meant we had to drive towards the ground and negotiate the traffic-light controlled roundabout before swinging back towards the M6. This took a lot longer than expected but once we were headed north things went very smoothly.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Best away day of the season so far - quality ground offering an excellent view of the action, large turnout of Town fans, good opposition in excellent form vanquished for our first away win of the season, free parking and I didn't have to pay to get in. What is there not to like?

Coventry City v Crawley Town
League One
Tuesday November 6th 2012, 7.45pm
Geoff Day (Crawley Town fan)

Our visit to the Ricoh Arena was to watch Crawley Town play their first league game against Coventry City and to visit the impressive Ricoh Arena for the first time. Getting there by supporters coach was a long but pleasant journey on a Tuesday evening. We took around 300 travelling fans and found the stadium lived up to our expectations.

The Coach parking was close to the ground and after the game the coaches were waiting immediately outside the gates to save us the short walk back and allow a quick exit for the journey back home.

Before the game we sampled the ground catering facilities, which were standard fare and average priced. Service was quick and friendly. We had little contact with the home fans but never felt any hostility, apart from one youngster’s over exuberance after the game, which was quickly dealt with, the police brought him to the coach to apologise for his gestures, good old fashioned policing!

Walking up the steps into the arena itself was quite surreal, as you entered the stadium on a very dark night. It felt almost as if the stadium was isolated in a bubble.

The acoustics were excellent and even a few hundred supporters can make a lot of noise. Views of the game were much better than anticipated, despite the “track” around the pitch it did not feel too far away.

Contrary to some reviews read before our visit, we found the stewarding friendly and helpful and low key. We stood for the first twenty or so minutes of the game without any intolerance from the stewards, perhaps because we were relatively few in number or perhaps because we came without any rivalry or threatening behaviour. The facilities were as good as you would expect from a new ground.

The game itself was disappointing for us, as we lost, but we still managed to have a good game experience, as this is undoubtedly a very impressive stadium, although the crowd was only around eight and a half thousand, much less than half full, it still had a good atmosphere, with the Coventry fans woken up by their scoring and finally generating their own noise.

Getting away from the ground was easy, as the stewards and police held traffic to allow the coaches to leave together.

Overall, a worthwhile journey, although it would have been nice to visit the city whilst there, something you miss when the coach brings you straight to the ground.

Japan v Sweden
Women's Olympic Football Tournament
Saturday 12noon July 28th 2012
Andy Hutchcraft (Just there to savour the Olympics!)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

As someone who has mainly visited old grounds, I was looking forward to seeing a new build, particularly as it was hosting an Olympic event.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Journey from Peterborough along the A14 then the M6 was perfect until the slip road for the stadium turn off, it was there that the queues started. It took nearly half an hour inching bumper to bumper to get parked in one of the designated Olympic car parks about 20 minutes walk from the ground. But the queue snaked right past the stadium so I got to see a good view early on. Signposting was very good.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Walked at top speed to the stadium as we'd been warned that security checks outside the ground could create delays. But once at the ground we walked in with no problems, just a quick body search from a security guard. Note: the ground operates a barcode turnstile to allow you through.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

The ground itself was exceptional. We had an excellent view of the action despite being situated towards the corner. Concourses beneath were wide, and access areas plentiful. The tannoy was suitably booming, and the big screen in the corner was very easy to see. The clear roof gave a wonderful sense of light on what was a sunny day.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game ended 0-0 but not for the want of trying, certainly by the Japanese who missed several great chances. The skill level of the teams was very high, the killer instinct in front of goal perhaps not quite so high. Atmosphere was great as you'd expect for an Olympic tournament, with many families and obviously many foreign visitors in attendance. Queues for food at half time were long, but the food was of excellent quality, and the toilets plentiful if somewhat spartan inside.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Left for the 20 minute walk back to the car park, getting away was far easier than getting parked, back on the motorway in no time.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

It was always going to be something of a unique experience seeing an Olympic event in a British stadium, and the experience was wonderful. Coventry City have got a great asset with that ground which is certainly Premier League quality!

Coventry City v Ipswich Town
Championship League
Saturday February 4th 2012
Myles Munsey (Neutral fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

Having cleared all the clubs in the South, I was now turning my attention to the Midlands where three or four more were required. Coventry is pretty close to home and after a winter recess I decided to resume activities in February not anticipating a foul day weather-wise!

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

The journey to Coventry by train was straightforward and I arrived at 11.30am with bags of time on my hands. As a keen walker and as a means of keeping warm on a bitterly cold day (mad some might say), I walked to the stadium from the City Centre. It took an hour and five minutes. My internet print out map proved useful for checking position and although a bit of a slog I had no trouble locating the Arena.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

I took an early lunch in Coventry Market where I also bought a much needed pair of emergency gloves. The only slight bother was getting to the start of the Foleshill Road which is near the bus station. This road, once located takes you right up to the stadium.  After a long drag through three miles of rather monotonous ribbon development, I located Tescos where I bore left through the shopping centre (as advised). I eventually emerged close to the stadium where a pedestrian underpass below the Coventry to Nuneaton railway line brought me outside the stadium.

I had already requisitioned a ticket from the club so spent time taking pictures including one of the Jimmy Hill statue (not too sure about the likeness) and speaking to the stewards one of whom summoned me across as he had spotted my Torquay(!) scarf. The scarf turned out to be a real conversation piece and I found all the stewards extremely helpful and chatty.  

I visited the well-apppointed club shop and invested in a CCFC tie - one of the nicest ties I've seen for  long time.

The weather forecast predicted snow for three o'clock and was unerringly accurate as flakes started falling right on cue.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

Very much as I expected from a modern stadium. Everything was very well organised and my seat next to an aisle was comfortable.  The seats in the Evening Telegraph stand mercifully had plenty of legroom (I'm 6'3") although the view down to the far end where four of the goals were scored (curses) was a long one. There were replays shown on the screen in the far left corner admittedly, but these weren't a lot larger than what could be seen with the naked eye.

One minor crticism was that the yellow painted row letters for the seats were ridiculously small -only about 5 inches high so it took me a wee while to find my seat.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

Given that both teams were at the wrong end of the table and with a swirling wind I was expecting a cagey affair with ball control difficult. In fact both teams mastered the conditions admirably and a see-saw encounter with the lead changing three times saw Ipswich nick it 3-2 with a deft header from Chopra deep into injury time.
 
Although there was a good turnout (13,000) on a foul day the atmosphere was pretty muted. The stewards were great and the toilets in good order and clean (sky blue decor!).
   
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
I was out of the stadium in five minutes. There was a bit of a log jam getting through the underpass. Once through I noted, as in earlier reports, that there were long queues for the stadium special buses. So, with an hour and a half until my train left Coventry I embarked on the long walk (again!) and was as warm as toast by the time I got to the station at 18.00.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Despite the sub-zero temperatures and periodic icy blasts, this was a good spectacle and a very enjoyable day out. Comfortable stadium, good view - albeit I was straining a bit to see the action down the far end, no hassle from anyone. But please make those row identification letters larger!

Coventry City v West Ham United
Championship League
Saturday November 19th 2011, 3pm
Tom Taylor (West Ham United fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
 
It was the one away game of the season that I was most looking forward to visit, purely to see the Ricoh Arena! A large following from West Ham (around 6,300 fans) were to be in attendance and I was expecting a fierce and electric atmosphere in this modern arena. The game and stadium certainly didn’t disappoint!

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
The stadium itself is very easy to find. There are ample signs pointing you towards the Ricoh once you have come off the M6. There are also various car parks available to fans. The car park I parked my car in was a very reasonable £5 and about a 10-15 minute walk from the ground – Ideal.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
 
There were a few shops as we walked to the ground selling hot food, however I didn’t see many pubs near where we had parked so we got a beer in the ground instead. Home fans were very friendly and had no problem with us wearing our away colours both walking to and from the ground.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
 
I had seen various pictures of the Ricoh Arena before I arrived at the ground, and the whole spectacle did not disappoint. The outside of the ground was a modern as you like, the sky blue seats and pitch was perfection. The away end was largely spaced out as you enter through the turnstiles and they had various TV’s showing Sky Sports. The away end seats were near the only large screen in the stadium which was also a bonus. The rows of seats are very steep, giving a great view of the pitch and its impressive surroundings.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..
 
The atmosphere from the Coventry fans were okay, having such a modern and steep stadium, the noise did carry. Coventry took a deserved lead going into half time so the singing of the Coventry fans was very good. However 2nd half West Ham dominated and scored twice in the last quarter to win the match. 6,300 away support was a credit to our club, and I’m sure the noise was incredible when we scored our winner. Credit to Coventry who on another day probably deserved a point - but we headed home the happiest.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
As we had a large following, getting out of the ground took a little bit of time, but once out the ground, because of the width from the stadium to the road, it was very easy to leave. As we had to cross the busy road, they have a large bridge, allowing plenty of fans to cross the road, and not get too crowded.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Superb day out, if we do fail to get promoted, I hope to visit again soon as the stadium is by far one of the best in the football league. Beautiful stadium and very much recommended!

Coventry City v Southampton
Championship League
Saturday November 5th 2011
Steve Ridgley (Southampton fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I’ve visited the relatively new ‘Ricoh Arena’ once before. In 2007 I saw Southampton lose 4-1 in front of the Sky cameras in what was a terrible night for the Saints. However this season we were on a very good run heading into this game, and as I loved the ground and the surroundings so much last time, I’d thought I’d visit again! Also prior to the game Coventry had a battling home record, which would prove to be a wise test for Saints.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We travelled up by car with a very settled journey. Going into Coventry it was extremely congested along the A444 keeping us halted for around about half an hour! This congestion continued right through to Phoenix Way were the Ricoh Arena is situated. For car parking there are endless places to park with a few massive ones surrounding the stadium. Next to the ground is a modern, popular shopping centre named ‘Arena Park’. To park in there for longer than two hours would cost a whopping £25! However if you purchased an item at the shopping centre equivalent to £25 then parking is free. You do though need to display your receipt(s) on your dash board to show you’ve spent £25. Hence my dad and his friends loaded up with beer from the Tesco Extra!

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Throughout the area there were loads of restaurants, fast food places, so finding places to eat was fairly easy. However it is advisable you eat well before the match as all places can get very busy and you may run out of time in getting to the Stadium! We had a takeaway Burger King which we took away as the restaurant was chocker! Whilst being outside the ground, home fans seemed very friendly with no problems or major banter. Lots were helpful on directions to get to the away end.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

As before I think the Ricoh Arena is a fabulous ground. It has very steep stands (which I like) with the roof being very high above you. The sound system was spectacular; it was one of the best I’ve heard throughout the league before with loud/well chosen music before and during the game. For example, when Coventry scored the ‘Chelsea Dagger’ was blasted out. Overall the ground was very impressive with a great infrastructure.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

The game itself had all the ingredients to being a great game of football. Southampton took the advantage going into half time with a 2-0 lead, goals from Chaplow and Do Prado. Saints fans thought the game was settled, but with the Coventry City’s backing of their fans and subs they got one back seconds after the restart, 2-1. Then with 20 mins to go Coventry equalised which made it 2-2 with the Ricoh Arena going crazy making a deafening noise to send saints fans into worrying moods.

But with our backing to strive on the team we got two late goals to make it 4-2! What a game to still keep us top of the league. During all the action the stewards let both Saints and part of Coventry fans beside us stand up all match not hassling us once, however going into the stadium stewarding is a bit over the top with normal procedures. Toilets were unbelievably crowded like any ground. Not the greatest, but there’s nothing they can do during the match as there were 3,000 saints supporters using them!

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

After them match it took 45 minutes getting out of the car park! However allfive5 of us were able to enjoy the 909 phone in with Saints fans complimenting the display. Once out of the car park surprisingly roads were very clear apart from a few queues in and around the A444.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall I really enjoyed my day out in and around the Ricoh arena with an outstanding game in all aspects and two of course keep us top of the league! And still, at this moment in time, having a laugh! Great, great display and also a great atmosphere, with 90% of the noise coming from the Saints fans!

Coventry City v Blackpool
Championship League
Tuesday September 27th 2011, 3pm
Dean Williamson (Blackpool fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be): 

The Ricoh stadium was for me the penultimate Midlands ground I'd yet to visit. I'd also heard that concerts were good at the stadium so was looking forward to experiencing the atmosphere at a football match there.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We drove down and found the best option was to park at one of the many car parks around the ground. It's standard to park for £5 at any of the sites. There is manned security throughout the game so this is a safe option. I would advise driving as no trains stop outside the stadium.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

As The Ricoh is on a business estate and some distance from the city centre the few pubs within walking distance are strictly home fans only. We went into the casino in the stadium which lets you in even if your not a member, away fan or wearing colours. The casino was novelty and a great opportunity to speak to home fans.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

The Ricoh is one of the best stadiums in the football league. For both size and atmosphere this is also one of the best new all seaters. Both modern and providing great views of the pitch this is a real football experience. You can create lots of noise in the stadium and when full would enable you to have good banter with the home fans who are in the corner closest to the away fans. The stadium is fully connected at all corners and has a large screen that unlike some grounds is completely visible.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

The game itself was exciting and another one in which we dominated but failed to put away more of our chances. However, we did go into half time with a 1-0 lead. This wasn't to last though. There was controversy in the 78th minute when our central defender was off the pitch receiving treatment for an injury and the ref should wouldn't let us bring on a sub. Ironically from the resulting corner Coventry equalised to make it 1-1. There heads were up at this point and scored a second soon after only for us to equalise in the dying minutes!

The Blackpool fans sang all game but the same can't be said for Coventry who struggled to fill the stadium and so the spaced apart home support were not unified. The steward were very well mannered and had a hands off approach. If the away attendance is not full they will let you sit where you want. Unbelievably they ran out of pies before the game and so I had to settle for a £4 hot dog. Finally, The toilets were large and easily accessible.
 
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Unless you want to leave the stadium quickly at the end of the game,  be prepared to sit in traffic for long periods, even with a low attendance. The traffic lights around the stadium appear to have a mind of their own and this caused many cars to go through on red lights. Highly dangerous and something the local council needs to address. Aside from this the area around the stadium is a vast and open therefore the crowds are not overbearing when leaving the stadium.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:  

I had a good evening at Coventry and will definitely be going again. This time to hit the table in the casino before the game!

Updated 26th March 2015

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