NEC Group set sights on Coventry Arena


NEC Group wants to buy Coventry Building Society Arena Image: WASPS Rugby

A familiar name to Midlanders (a native or inhabitant of the Midlands of England) has reportedly lodged a bid to buy the Coventry Building Society Arena in Coventry, England, UK.

‘Coventry Live’ stated that the stadium, which is home to both the Gallagher Premiership rugby side Wasps RFC and SkyBet Championship football club Coventry City F.C., is understood to be of interest to the NEC Group.

The Coventry Building Society Arena (often shortened to as the CBS Arena or just simply Coventry Arena, and formerly known as the Ricoh Arena) is a complex in Coventry, England, UK. It includes a 32,609-seater stadium which is home to owners, rugby club Wasps, and the Championship club Coventry City F.C.

The Wasps Rugby Football Club is a professional rugby union team currently in administration based in Coventry, England. They most recently played in Premiership Rugby, England’s top division of rugby.

The Coventry City Football Club is a professional association football club based in Coventry, West Midlands, England. The team currently competes in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. The club plays at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

Birmingham-based the NEC Group is the United Kingdom’s leading live events business operating in exhibitions, conferences, music, sports, family entertainment, and hospitality. Its vision is to be Europe’s most successful live events business, operating leading leisure, entertainment and business destinations.

It is reported a bid for the arena was lodged ahead of a deadline in the first week of October, but the sale process did not extend to an offer for Wasps itself.

‘Coventry Live’ further stated that the Birmingham-based group, which is owned by the US-based private equity behemoth Blackstone, is understood to be keen on acquiring assets in the Midlands and beyond.

The above report follows news of a bid from former Wasps Chief Executive, David Armstrong, working with investment firm Terminum Capital to buy the rugby club and stadium.

Twice Wasps Holdings Limited has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators, with the first coming on September 21st and the second on October 4th.

Within its (NEC Group) portfolio of brands is the National Exhibition Centre, located just 15 minutes down the M6 from the Coventry Building Society Arena.

The NEC Group also has the 8,000-capacity The International Convention Centre Birmingham, The Vox, situated within the Resorts World Birmingham, the 15,685-capacity Resorts World Arena, and the 15,800-capacity Utilita Arena Birmingham (formerly known as the National Indoor Arena).

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