POSTED: June 3rd 2010

Coventry replaces Aston Villa to complete football 'team' at London 2012

Coventry's Ricoh Arena /
Coventry's Ricoh Arena /

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

LONDON, Jun 03: Coventry City has been added to the football stadia schedule for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, thus completing the venue list.

The stadium, known for domestic competition as the Ricoh Arena, is one of the new generation of English stadia and takes over the Midlands slot left vacant by the withdrawal of Villa Park, Birmingham, because of scheduled redevelopment.

The venue will be re-named the City of Coventry Stadium for the London Games so as to commercially 'clean.'

Seb Coe, chair of LOCOG, said: "The stadium is a great venue, and will be an excellent host. It is ideally located in the centre of England and the city already has strong links with London 2012. I congratulate Coventry and extend my thanks to all the Midlands clubs who applied to be a venue. All were a very good standard, and this shows the excellent standards of football stadia in this country."

Coe has another reason to express his satisfaction with the cutting-edge state of domestic stadia since he is a member of the bid committee seeking to win host rights for England to the 2018 World Cup.

The decision was welcomed warmy by Hugh Robertson, the new Minister for Sport and the Olympics, by Arena chief executive Daniel Gidney and by former athlete David Moorcroft who is chair of the West Midlands Leadership Group for the 2012 Games.

Moorcroft said: "This is fantastic news. It's a real boost for the region and for Coventry as it will bring real economic benefit as the Olympic teams and their fans visit the city. Personally, as I am Coventry born and bred, I am delighted to see my home city identified so the 2012 Games will take place on my doorstep.’

Coventry has other strong links to London 2012, having been confirmed as a London 2012 Live Site venue, while several businesses in the region have been awarded Games-related contracts.

A ‘Godiva Awakes’ project has been commissioned through Artists Taking the Lead, and forms part of London 2012’s Cultural Olympiad and is funded by Arts Council England.

Keywords · English football · London 2012 · Coventry · Aston Villa

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