The 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony happens July 27 in London, with events scheduled to take place at venues throughout the United Kingdom. In addition to London's Wembley Stadium, soccer will take place on the pitch in stadiums in Glasgow, Cardiff, Manchester, Newcastle, and Coventry.
This is information about the City of Coventry stadium, the only Midlands venue to win hosting honors for the Olympics.
Capacity: 32,609, although Coldplay performed there in front of 40,500 this May when fans were allowed on the pitch as well.
Year of construction: 2005, officially opened in 2007.
Transportation: National Rail stops at Coventry Station, which is 6.5 km from the stadium. There is a free shuttle service from there, as well as the city center. There are park-and-ride lots available, as well as park-and-walk. Cycling to the matches is a great option.
Olympic fixtures: The first contest at City of Coventry stadium for the Summer Games was a test match between Senegal and Oman in April. The tournament proper begins July 25 with a women's doubleheader. Japan battles Canada and Sweden takes on South Africa. The next day, Belarus takes on New Zealand from the men's side.
July 29 sees another women's doubleheader. This time it's Japan vs. Sweden and Canada meeting South Africa. The men play again July 29, as Switzerland sees South Korea. On July 31, the New Zealand women play Cameroon. The men close out play in Coventry on Aug. 1, when Senegal takes on United Arab Emirates. There are no knockout-phase fixtures for the men in Coventry, but the bronze medal game for the women will be played there Aug. 9.
After the Olympics: City of Coventry will continue to be a multi-use stadium. It has what are described as great acoustics, and hosts big concerts. It's called the Ricoh Arena because of sponsorship, and return to that after the Summer Games. It will be one of the venues for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The stadium's home team is Coventry City FC.
Jeff Musall is a lifelong fan of the Olympics, both summer and winter. He also is an avid fan of international soccer, and is very excited about the upcoming Olympic tournaments for men and women.
- Sports & Recreation