Coventry Stadium will play host to some of the rugby's brightest stars

Coventry Stadium: The 2022 Commonwealth Games sevens venue

Coventry Building Society Arena, commonly called Coventry Stadium, will host the rugby sevens tournaments at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Both the men’s and women’s competitions will be held at the stadium from 29 July to 31 July.

It has been the home of Gallagher Premiership club Wasps since they relocated to Coventry in 2014.

The Games will hold its wrestling and judo events at the adjacent arena, which is roughly 20 miles from host city Birmingham.

Originally built for Coventry City Football Club, a series of rent disputes mean the Sky Blues have had three separate stints at the ground.

History of Coventry Stadium

The stadium opened in 2005 to replace Coventry City’s Highfield Road ground, hence the light blue seats that do not match Wasps’ traditional colours.

Originally named the Ricoh Arena, it was opened and operated by Arena Coventry Limited (ACL) and rented to the football club.

Wasps first played there in 2007 against Northampton Saints in a Heineken Cup semi-final, winning 30-13. Their base at the time was in Wycombe and Saints were assigned as the home team.

Wasps play Northampton at Coventry Arena

Wasps first played at Coventry Stadium against Northampton Saints in 2007 (Getty Images)

The club’s first home game in Coventry came the following November, when Munster were welcomed for a Heineken Cup pool game.

In search of a permanent home, Wasps purchased a 50% stake in the stadium to become outright owners in November 2014.

Their first match following relocation was a 48-16 win over London Irish the following month.

Wasps Aviva Premiership game with Leicester Tigers in May 2015 broke the league’s record for the largest attendance at a club’s official home ground (32,019).

The stadium was overlooked as a venue for the 2015 Rugby World Cup but has hosted international rugby league, Davis Cup tennis and several high-profile concerts.

Coventry City returned to the facility in September 2014 after an 18-month exodus due to disputes with ACL over rent agreements and revenue sharing.

Failure to agree new rent terms with Wasps saw Coventry play elsewhere again for their 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons, but a fresh deal brought them back once more for the 2021/22 campaign.

Wasps and Coventry strike new deal

Wasps and Coventry executives struck a new deal in 2021 (Getty Images)

Away from sport, the complex has a connecting hotel, shopping centre, exhibition hall and casino.

How to get there

A half-hour drive out of Birmingham, the stadium is located away from the Games’ main hub.

However, it has strong transport links to the second city and its own on-site railway station, Coventry Arena.

Passengers coming from Birmingham New Street require a 20-minute train to Coventry before a seven-minute rail journey to Coventry Arena.

Birmingham International Airport is 20 minutes away by car, and London Euston railway station 55 minutes away.

The stadium is also close to the M1, M6 and M40.

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