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Coventry makes bid to be national stadium site

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COVENTRY THIS week emerged as the dark horse candidate for the site of the national stadium, claiming that it could get it built at a fraction of the cost of the stalled Wembley project.

Coventry's proposal is the cheapest at £250M compared to Birmingham's £324M alternative and Wembley's £700M.

The council's Phoenix Stadium already has planning permission for the 42ha brownfield site as the new location for Coventry City Football Club.

'The infrastructure is in place and we can start on site tomorrow, at a fraction of the cost of Wembley and without the huge risks of Birmingham, ' said Coventry City Council assistant director, Barry Butterworth.

Situated in an Objective 2 zone, the 90,000 capacity Phoenix stadium will attract a minimum £37M of European Union funding. The European Investment Bank will also be able to lend money for the project at a preferential rate due to the area's status.

Phoenix stadium will have its own railway station providing access from the cross country line linking Coventry and Leicester, and from the West Coast Main Line. The site is also within 5km of the M6 and is close to 12,000 car parking spaces and 770 coach bays.

Businessman Patrick Carter is expected to produce a report on the national stadium options for culture secretary Tessa Jowell within the next two weeks. She will then hand it on to the Football Association for a final decision on the site.

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