Away Days - Coventry City (Ricoh Arena)

First Impressions -- Around the ground -- Facilities -- The Stand -- Overall -- Pictures

Fixture: Coventry City V Preston North End
Coca Cola Championship
Ricoh Arena
Saturday 1 April 2006
Kick off:
Final Result:
0-1 Whaley

First Impressions

The first sightings I got of Coventry's new ground, the Ricoh Arena, were from the M6 motorway. It certainly looked an impressive sight to say the least and really imposed itself.

The ground is by far the easiest to get to - just drive off the M6, down an A road and you're there! The ground seemed a world away from the old Highfield Road - that was tight in Coventry, whereas the Ricoh is right out in the open towards the outskirts.

My initial thoughts about the ground were that it was quite impressive. Of course it had some resemblance to certain other grounds, but from the outside it did have more difference - the concert arena just next to it for once.

The disappointing thing about the ground was, despite the excellent access, was it was quite "out in the sticks", therefore there was very little pubs. Instead we opted to just drink inside the ground instead.

Around the ground

Before entering through the turnstiles, we opted to take our usual stroll around the ground. We first had to walk from the coach park, through a subway and up towards the ground. At first we were facing towards the away stand - it looked quite impressive but as we walked round the ground, one thing that ruined it for me is the fact 'Ricoh' was plastered everywhere.

Anyway, we carried walking down the side of the NTL East Stand were we bought a programme and then looked the Wall of Fame, which features fan's personalised bricks and each wall named after a Coventry legend.

One thing I also noted was that, like Reading, there was no 'imposing frontage' for the main entrance. This is one feature I normally like, but still, the appearance was better than the Madjeski Stadium.

Overall, I thought it was very impressive.


This is where the Ricoh Arena really excelled. Upon entering through the turnstiles, there was a big/long catering bar to our right and another, smaller one across the concourse near some shutters. What really impressed me was the big space for the concourse and the excellent organisation at the catering bars. Me and my brother got a bottle of Carling each (plastic ones of course!), which I thought was an excellent idea, as that meant the beer wasn't watered down like you get at some other grounds. We got served within a couple minutes, which was a massive surprise considering its usually 10 minutes or over!

The toilets were also of a high standard of course.

The Stand

Another thing I really liked about the stand was the steepness. Although there was a track in front, which initially sets you back from the pitch, it was more than made up by the steepness of the stand. Although i've experienced better views, it was still quite a decent view.

The legroom was also quite plentiful too, but for a new ground, I felt there could've been a bit more.

To our right was a screen, which came in handy for seeing any replays of incidents.


Although some might brand it as one of the 'identikit' grounds, I thought there was enough about the Ricoh Arena to set it aside from that 'group'.
Overall, I thought it was an excellent ground with top-notch facilities. Its just a shame there was hardly any pubs around!


Appearance: 8/10
Facilities: 10/10
Enjoyment: 8/10
Fans: 7/10
Stand: 8/10

Overall: 8/10