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Last Updated: Monday, 6 June, 2005, 11:15 GMT 12:15 UK
Arena not finished for new season
Ricoh stadium
The football club is holding talks with the league
Coventry's new 113m arena may not be open in time for the Sky Blues first home game, the city council has said.

The Ricoh Arena will open on 20 August, nearly three weeks behind its expected completion date.

The new football season gets under way on 6 August although the fixture list has not yet been announced.

Coventry City Football Club is holding talks with the Football League about its first home match. It is possible it could be postponed until 20 August.

Football club chairman Mike McGinnity said: "It's regrettable the Ricoh Arena will not be open in time for the start of the season but we hope the Football League will look favourably upon our application.

This has been a massive undertaking, creating hundreds of jobs and capturing the enthusiasm of people right across the city
Council leader Ken Taylor
"As tenants, the construction of the stadium is out of our hands.

"I hope our supporters understand the situation we're in and that we're trying to resolve this issue as best we can."

The development has been hit by several problems.

Original sponsors Jaguar pulled out in December and were later replaced by IT specialists Ricoh.

Last summer's bad weather and a fire earlier in the year also hampered things.

Council Leader Ken Taylor said the end result would be something everyone could be proud of.

"This has been a massive undertaking, creating hundreds of local jobs and capturing the enthusiasm of people right across the city," he said.

"Now we can set our sights on the finishing line. We've got a firm date for the first match at the new Ricoh Arena and we're now looking at ways of making sure local people have the chance to get an early look at the stadium for themselves."

He added building the stadium had been a massive and complex feat of engineering with 5,000 metres of steel transported to the site.

The arena will also house an exhibition and events hall, a health and fitness complex, a 1,000-seater banqueting hall and overnight accommodation.


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