Wasps today announce plans to build a retractable garden roof for the Ricoh Arena.
Building work on the new roof will begin on Monday 11 May, two days after the Club’s final home game against local rivals Leicester Tigers, and will be completed in time for the Club’s first league game in the Aviva Premiership Rugby 2015-16 season in mid-October.
The new garden roof, or Goof, as it will be known, will be open on Wasps match days providing a flourishing garden to visitors to the Ricoh Arena. The Goof will comprise of a large grass area with wild flowers, plants and small trees unique to Coventry’s natural habitat. A line of ash trees will also be planted on the West and East stands. A reinforced 12m2 window in the centre of the Goof will allow Wasps to offer a first of its kind sports hospitality experience where fans will be able to watch Wasps matches from 100ft directly above the game.
The Goof, which will measure 110 metres long, covering the entire bowl of the 32,600 seat stadium, will be split into two, super-reinforced 500ft retractable sections, supported by four newly erected 93 metre tall pylons. The two roof sections will be pulled by a number of winch cables. It is estimated that it will take 20 minutes to close the Goof.
As well as providing a unique experience for visitors to the Ricoh Arena, the Goof will ensure dry match day conditions so the Club can play exciting and expansive rugby and continue to entertain rugby fans in the region. Wasps have scored 63 trys so far this season in the Aviva Premiership, second only to Northampton Saints.
Nigel Otreal, Head of Stadium Development for Wasps, commented:
“The Goof will be the first of its kind. A retractable stadium roof which, when closed, will form a beautiful, tranquil garden environment for visitors to enjoy. We hope this new, ground-breaking development will attract visitors from around the UK.
“Our ambition is to develop the Ricoh Arena so it remains the number one destination for sport, exhibitions and events in the Midlands. The Goof is just one of the ways we’re changing the Arena to improve our guest experience and also ensure Wasps are able to play home games in dry conditions.”
Tickets for Wasps next match at the Ricoh Arena against Exeter Chiefs on Sunday 26 April can be purchased at the Ricoh Arena, online by visiting the Wasps website www.wasps.co.uk, by calling the Wasps ticket line on 0844 847 1867 or via Ticketmaster www.ticketmaster.co.uk/wasps
If you would like to be amongst the first to experience the Goof’s 100ft hospitality please register your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org