Premier League hopefuls Coventry City are to stay at Coventry Building Society Arena for another five years under a new agreement with the venue’s owners.
Coventry – currently fifth in the second-tier Championship table – will play home games at the venue until the end of the 2028-29 season under the terms of the new licence agreed with Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group, which acquired the stadium last year. A short-term licence signed by the two parties shortly after Frasers Group secured ownership of the venue in November 2022 was due to expire in May 2023.
It has been reported that the football club will be the venue’s sole tenant, with former Premiership rugby club Wasps having played there until they entered administration and were suspended by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) in October.
A statement issued by Coventry today (April 28) said it is envisaged that the new licence agreement has been signed with a view to entering into a long-term partnership.
Doug King, owner of Coventry City, said: “We are delighted to sign this agreement, which we know will be welcomed by Sky Blues fans. This agreement will help to provide a period of further stability whilst we continue to build a positive future for Coventry City Football Club.
“The licence will enable us to play at our home, the Coventry Building Society Arena, for a minimum of five years and we will continue to positively engage with Frasers Group with regard to the longer term at the Arena.”
Speaking to the BBC, King added: “We have also agreed that we won’t have a groundshare for another home team. It will be for our use. There will obviously be internationals and whatever when they come and go and there will be concert season, but we won’t be back again in a one-in, one-out situation which is important for us to build what we want pitch-wise there for the future.”
Michael Murray, chief executive of Frasers Group, said: “Following our recent acquisition of Coventry Building Society Arena, we are committed to investing into the arena and the local community, and therefore supporting its future growth.”
King was in the process of taking the Championship club over when the interim agreement to finish the season at the CBS Arena was reached. At the time, the Sky Blues had hoped they might take ownership of the stadium after Wasps’ season was finished early. But, although King made a £25m offer, a court ruled that the offer had come too late – and allowed Ashley’s group to take over for a reported £17m (€19.4m/$20m).
Before the agreement was reached, the football club was issued with an eviction notice claiming that the club has no right to use the venue.