Ricoh Arena and Wasps are gearing up to support Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture after striking a major strategic partnership agreement.
The multi-purpose venue - which is home to Wasps Rugby, Wasps Netball and welcomes over 1.5 million people a year across more than one thousand events - is supporting the Coventry City of Culture Trust as a Regional Partner.
The partnership will see Ricoh Arena and Wasps working with the Trust and other city-wide stakeholders to host a series of events during an ambitious 12-month programme of activities that are being held across the city from May 2021.
Ricoh Arena hosts hundreds of conferences and exhibitions every year, alongside live sport, and music in the 32,609-seater stadium bowl.
The venue is also at the forefront of the digital curve by boasting 5G technology in its Vodafone Business Lounge, an innovation space where visitors can get a glimpse into the capability of the technology via virtual and augmented reality experiences, as well as offering businesses in the West Midlands access to digital expertise.
Martin Sutherland, Chief Executive of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Wasps and Ricoh Arena - a venue that is well versed in attracting visitors from all over the UK – and further afield – to the city.
“The venue has supported us from the very beginning, when we were bidding to become UK City of Culture. Their ongoing support for our vision, means we can deliver our promise to present a programme with appeal for everyone in the city and region as we utilise their top-class facilities to host a variety of events.
“We look forward to working with Wasps and Ricoh Arena as we continue to develop a programme that will live long in people’s memories.”
Stephen Vaughan, Chief Executive at Wasps Group, added: “Ricoh Arena takes great pride in the number of events and visitors it attracts to the city of Coventry every year and the wider economic impact which that has on the region, and being UK City of Culture presents a fabulous opportunity for the city to build a legacy on so many levels.
“We will be promoting Coventry’s City of Culture status so that by the time May 2021 comes around, all of our supporters and visiting fans will know that Coventry is the UK City of Culture.
“This is Coventry’s time to shine and show just how great the city is as it continues to transform and reinvent itself, and everyone at Ricoh Arena and Wasps is looking forward to playing their part.”
Sarah Taylor, Franchise Manager at Wasps Netball, said: “The Coventry and wider Warwickshire community is the lifeblood of Wasps Netball with the club engaging locally with thousands of adults and young people every year via our netball programmes, so we know first-hand that cultural diversity is one of the city’s strengths, and we are looking forward to supporting the city of Coventry during its twelve months in the national and international spotlight.”
Giselle Mather, Director of Rugby for Wasps Ladies, commented: “Whenever we have played in Coventry we have always had great support, and with an exciting period on the horizon for the city, we are looking forward to returning the favour over the coming months.”