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Report doubles price of Coventry Stadium bid

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COVENTRY'S NATIONAL football stadium would cost more than double its bid price, a leaked government report claimed last week.

In the report Patrick Carter, head of the government appointed national stadium taskforce, estimated that Coventry's bid would cost £576M, £326M more than that claimed in its bid document.

But leader of Coventry City Council Nick Nolan described Carter's figures as nonsense.

'We costed our plan at around £250M and we know we are far nearer the mark.

How can the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff cost £164M but England's new stadium cost four times that figure?' he said.

Birmingham's £324M bid was also massively increased by the report, which is now in government and FA hands.

The price hikes are believed to be due to the Midlands bids omitting fees for items such as insurance and borrowing costs, inflation and improving transport links, which have always been stressed in Wembley's figures.

Carter's report is believed to back Wembley on the grounds that revenue from executive seating becomes necessary to fund a £600M project. A government spokesman argued that a London bid is better able to generate money from corporate sources than one from the Midlands.

But Birmingham and Coventry bidders told NCE this week that the FA had not considered their bids seriously.

'Over the entire bidding period we have had no contact or feedback from the FA at all, ' said a Coventry City Council spokesman.

Meanwhile, engineers at Connel Mott MacDonald, which worked on the original multiplex bid for Wembley, are being geared up to start working on the project again.

'We are very optimistic that we will be getting back to work on the stadium in the next few days, ' said associate Stephen Logan.

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