The Ricoh Arena is set for a £3 million investment that will see the southern side of the venue transformed, although it will not increase the outdoor capacity of the stadium.
Instead the move, aimed to attract more indoor concerts, conference and exhibition business to the venue, will increase the stadium's indoor capacity to 10,000. Two new halls will be added for exhibitions and conferences, with a new 650-seat auditorium and new entrance amongst the other additions.
The changes will mean the venue's non-football activities are less restricted by Coventry City's fixture schedule. An additional £500,000 is expected to be spent on the venue later in the year. Coventry City have played at the Ricoh Arena since 2005, moving into the newly built ground after more than 100 years at Highfield Road. Last year saw the stadium's first sell-out, for Chelsea's visit in the FA Cup quarter final.
"We have always intended to expand the Ricoh Arena because we needed an indoor auditorium and the additional halls three, four and five will have retractable walls which will allow us to target a whole new market," said Daniel Gidney, chief executive of the Ricoh Arena, to Stadia. "In the past we have had to turn down bookings for weddings, conferences and exhibitions because the E.ON Lounge was being used for corporate hospitality on Coventry City matchdays and we couldn't always confirm bookings because of the potential changes to the club's fixture list.
"This will take away that problem because guests will be able to arrive and depart by a separate entrance to use the new conference and banqueting suites."