Coventry City is planning on returning to the Coventry Building Society Arena for its game against Preston North End on August 31 after an agreement was reached for extensive work to be carried out on the stadium’s pitch.
Coventry has been forced to postpone its first two home league matches of the season as the CBS Arena pitch has been deemed unplayable after it hosted rugby sevens games during the recent Commonwealth Games.
The games against Rotherham United and Wigan Athletic are set to be rescheduled for a later date. The club was also forced to switch its Carabao Cup match against Bristol City to the Pirelli Stadium, home of Burton Albion.
Coventry’s home match against Huddersfield Town on Saturday has now also been postponed, but the club said this will allow time for the necessary improvements to be made for the Preston game at the end of the month.
The club has reached an agreement with Wasps Group, which owns the stadium, to carry out the pitch improvements. A six-figure investment is being made to make the pitch safe and playable.
Coventry had sought to reverse the fixture against Huddersfield, but the Yorkshire club could not accommodate the request due to the timescale involved.
Improvements to the pitch will include new synthetic fibres, which will give increased stability to the existing structure and allow for better growth now and in the future, Coventry said. 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.
Coventry chief executive Dave Boddy said: “We are very pleased to bring news to our supporters that this work is taking place and beginning immediately.
“The extensive work will begin immediately – while this is not soon enough for Saturday, we will then be able to return to the Arena for our home game against Preston North End on Wednesday, August 31.
“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, 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.”
Stephen Vaughan, Wasps Group chief executive, added: “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 underway to ensure Coventry City can return to the Arena by the end of August.”