Wasps expected to announce move to Coventry

Wasps host Gloucester at the Ricoh Arena

Aviva Premiership Rugby Club Wasps are expected to announce next week that they will be moving to Coventry and making the Ricoh Stadium their home venue.

The Coventry Telegraph reported in August that Wasps were planning to play a number of high-profile matches at the home of Coventry City Football Club but it now appears that a full move is planned.

Wasps currently play at Adams Park on a groundshare agreement with Wycombe Wanderers but their arrangement will come to an end after this season.

Reports have now surfaced that Wasps have taken a majority share in the company that owns the Ricoh Stadium and the move to the new stadium will happen in time for the start of the new season in 2015.

Wasps are said to have agreed on a £30million deal to secure at least 90% of stadium owners Arena Coventry Limited after several months of negotiations.

Wasps announced in July that they were dropping the London from their name as they wanted to create a “clearer identity” for the club which could have been the first sign of the move.

The club have been based at Adams Park in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire since 2002 after losing their previous groundsharing agreement with Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.

The move to Coventry is an unpopular one with rival clubs according to The Telegraph as is has prompted objections from Worcester who were relegated last season.

Fellow midlands clubs Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers are also understood to be unhappy with the move as it could impact on their ability to draw supporters.

While Wasps are planning to move their home to Coventry it is understood that they will retain their training base in West Acton in London.

This season’s Premiership newcomers London Welsh are based at Old Deer Park in Richmond but play their home games in Oxford at the Kassam Stadium.

Wasps were saved from potential bankruptcy last year and the new owners want to ensure that their long term future is secure by being outright stadium owners rather than relying on ground share agreements.

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