Football - Sky Blues unveil stadium plans

Coventry have unveiled the first plans for their new stadium, although a potential site is yet to be announced.

The ground will be built in modular phases so that the midlands club can move in as quickly as possible, with an initial capacity of 12,500, before being expanded in stages to a potential 23,000.

The impressive images of the new design come with the Sky Blues still at loggerheads with Ricoh Arena management company Arena Coventry Limited (ACL) over a lengthy and bitter rent row.

The Sky Bet League One club moved out over the summer and are currently groundsharing with Northampton at Sixfields Stadium having in July agreed a three-year deal, which could stretch to as long as five years.

Coventry are now working with property consultancy CBRE to secure their preferred site for the new ground.

City chief executive Tim Fisher said: "We are very pleased and excited to be able to share these initial images with supporters as, ultimately, we want this to be a home the fans can be proud of.

"A great deal of time, effort and investment has gone into bringing the plans to this stage and it has been a real team effort to develop the technical aspects of the stadium.

"We've come a long, long way in a very short space of time as we only reconstituted the club in August and are now announcing our plans for the new stadium."

Fisher continued: "I understand that the key question on everybody's lips is: where is it going to be? We are working very hard with CBRE to purchase our preferred site and we will, of course, keep supporters informed when that happens.

"At that stage, we can then start to plot a timeline of applying for permission, time it takes to build and when we could open."

Coventry fans have voted with their feet over the decision to groundshare 34 miles away in Northampton.

Sixfields has seen average attendances of around 2,000 for 'home' matches this season compared to 11,000 last term at the Ricoh Arena, which now stands unused as a football venue.

Coventry development director Steve Waggott is adamant stadium ownership is crucial for the long-term future of the club.

"There are several ingredients for creating a sustainable and successful club and owning your own ground is one of the main ingredients," he said.

"A football club needs to squeeze every penny it possibly can out of its stadium both on matchdays and non-matchdays in order to be able to invest on the pitch.

"Owning our own stadium as well as investing in our Academy and youth development are the key to the long-term future of the club.

"Of course, the first team is the day-to-day priority because what they do in 90 minutes determines our next 90 hours of business.

"But this is about the long-term sustainability of the club and is also about creating a home for the supporters of Coventry City Football Club."

Coventry, hit with a 10-point deduction at the start of the season, have climbed into the top half of the League One table and currently sit 11th with one eye on the play-offs.