Six-figure investment will improve Coventry’s pitch after another postponement

The stadium hosted 65 rugby sevens matches at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

By Press Association Published: 17 August 2022 - 5.46pm

Coventry have had a third Sky Bet Championship game postponed due to the condition of their pitch, but the Sky Blues have said that a “six-figure investment” this week will make the surface safe and playable.

Saturday’s league match against Huddersfield has been postponed to allow remedial work at the Coventry Building Society Arena to take place.

Coventry had sought to reverse the weekend fixture, but said Huddersfield could not accommodate the request due to timescales involved.

The Sky Blues have already had league fixtures against Rotherham and Wigan postponed, while their Carabao Cup home tie against Bristol City was switched to Burton’s Pirelli Stadium.

Coventry chief executive Dave Boddy called the situation a “mess” during a war of words with the club’s landlords – the Gallagher Premiership rugby union side Wasps – and has apologised to Rotherham, Wigan, Huddersfield and Bristol City for the inconvenience caused to them and their supporters.

The Sky Blues said promised investment of a pitch – which hosted 65 rugby sevens matches at the 2022 Commonwealth Games at the end of July – had not materialised.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games – Day One
65 rugby sevens matches were played at the Coventry Arena last month at the 2022 Commonwealth Games (Mike Egerton/PA)

Although Coventry have now had a third league game postponed, both parties have welcomed the “extensive work” that will be carried out on the surface that will allow them to host Preston on August 31.

A joint statement from Wasps Group and Coventry read: “A six-figure investment is being made into pitch improvements that will make the pitch safe and playable.

“There will be new synthetic fibres stitched into the ground throughout the pitch.

“These new fibres will give increased stability to the existing structure and then allow for better growth now and in the future.

“Also, areas which have been more widely damaged will be subject to extensive and increased maintenance work so they can be fully integrated with the existing pitch.”

Boddy said: “We are very pleased to bring news to our supporters that this work is taking place and beginning immediately.

“I would like to thank Wasps Group and the Arena for agreeing to this work taking place.

“I know that all our fans will be disappointed that the match against Huddersfield has been postponed.

“We are very pleased to bring news to our supporters that this work is taking place and beginning immediately”
- Coventry chief executive Dave Boddy

“But this work will address the issues that have been experienced at the Arena and put in place a pitch that will mean we will be able to get back to normal – for fans, players, staff and the football club as a whole.

“I know that our fans will be now looking forward to drawing a line under this saga, and we look forward to welcoming them back to the Arena on the 31st August.”

Wasps Chief executive Stephen Vaughan said: “Wasps Group is pleased that a solution has now been agreed with Coventry City to resolve the issues with the playing surface at the Arena.

“We appreciate this has been a difficult time for everyone involved, and are pleased that work is now under way to ensure Coventry City can return to the Arena by the end of August.”

BT Sport Monthly Pass

Join the home of live sport for just £25 per month. Get instant access to the BT Sport app, with no contract and no BT broadband required.