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SBD Global/September 4, 2014/Facilities

League One Coventry City Ending Year-Long Exile From Ricoh Arena On Friday

League One side Coventry City will return to the Ricoh Arena "for the first time in over a year as they welcome Gillingham in Friday's Sky Bet League One clash," according to SKY SPORTS. More than 20,000 fans are expected to "turn out for the club's first appearance at the stadium since they were forced to play elsewhere after a rent dispute with stadium owners Arena Coventry Limited" in May '13. ACL Chair Chris Robinson said that "preparations are well under way for the clubs highly anticipated return." Robinson: "It's been a little bit dusty without the fans for the last year but they should find it in pretty good condition on Friday night" (SKY SPORTS, 9/3). In Coventry, Simon Gilbert reported the team has "announced plans to put 1,000 more tickets on sale for the club's first game back at the Ricoh Arena." The club has said that it will "make the tickets available after approval from the Safety Advisory Group to open up more seats in the South Stand." Tickets in Block 11, which holds just more than 1,000 supporters, will be put up for sale at 9:30am on Thursday -- "but will only be available to purchase in person at the CCFC Superstore in the Gallagher Retail Park." They will "not be available online or over the phone" (COVENTRY TELEGRAPH, 9/3). Also in Coventry, Matthew Bates reported "Coventry's economy will get a much-needed boost from the Sky Blues return to the Ricoh Arena, it has been claimed." The north of the city could "especially benefit with extra spending in nearby clubs and shops, on transport and car parking and at the stadium itself." One social club member said that his venue was "just weeks away from closure after missing out" on £25,000 ($41,150) in "beer takings alone during the Sky Blues' exodus in Northampton last season." Another club said that it missed out on around £20,000 ($32,900) and had "only managed to survive because its bowling green helped to bump up takings." R.A.O.B Club steward Richard Foreward said, "We were on the brink of closure -- just a few weeks away from shutting the doors. This has given us a second chance and hopefully they can stay up at the Ricoh this time" (COVENTRY OBSERVER, 8/28).
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