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London Wasps get green light for Coventry move

The London Wasps' move from High Wycombe to Coventry's Ricoh Arena has been confirmed this morning.

London Wasps

The £30million (NZ$61.5 million) takeover of Ricoh Arena came about after the Coventry council voted in favour of selling Wasps their controlling interest in Arena Coventry Limited (ACL), the company that runs the Ricoh stadium.

"Wasps are delighted that Coventry City Council have unanimously approved the sale of their shares in ACL to Wasps. Final details of the agreement will be confirmed tomorrow morning," the club said in a statement. 

"It is no secret that the Club has been searching for a permanent home for many years. We are very excited to be in a position to fulfil this ambition and to be able to move to the Ricoh Arena; it is an outstanding Arena in a truly fantastic City."

The move will see the English powerhouse move almost 140km north and there are also plans to build a new training base in Coventry, relocating from their west London set-up.

Coventry City, who play in the Sky Bet League, will continue to host home matches at the Ricoh ground, while Coventry politicians were at pains to safeguard the future of Coventry Rugby Club.

"We understand this is an unsettling period for our supporters and we will be holding a series of meetings for our Season Ticket Holders, starting this week, where we can speak face-to-face to explain our decision and to address their concerns. We are also writing to each of our Season Ticket Holders," the statement continued.

"This decision has not been taken lightly, it has been a very thorough and detailed process and we truly believe this is the best option to secure a successful long-term future for the Club.

"It's important to us to make clear that we see the Ricoh as the home of Coventry City Football Club and are committed to it staying that way, and that we are already working with Coventry Rugby Club to ensure both clubs thrive and grow.

"Our priority now is to work with our players, staff and fans on what this will mean for them. Once we have communicated to our supporters and staff we will be very happy to answer any questions the media may have at a press conference tomorrow. We will also issue a full media statement at 10am tomorrow morning."

The Wasps have won two Heineken Cup trophies, six Aviva Premierships and have featured former All Blacks Craig Dowd, Ross Filipo and Ian Jones.