A York City Knights fan guide to Coventry Bears and Coventry itself.
These are clearly good times for the Knights, it may be a little early to talk of promotion, especially with Bradford and Doncaster around, but if the Knights do go up this season, it may be a couple of years before the Bears join you and we play against each other again.
So, with the fixture at the Butts Park Arena rearranged for Saturday May 12th, here’s a guide to what travelling Knights fans can enjoy, we know it’s not Perpignan weather-wise but it’s well worth spending more than 80 minutes here.
Coventry Bears and the Butts Park Arena
Our ground is very close to the city centre and has a 3,000 capacity stand along one side. There is a members’ bar at the top of the stand, and another large bar under the stand which has a great atmosphere after the match. Before the game a suitable nearby watering hole recommended by Bears fans is the CAMRA acclaimed Broomfield Tavern.
We have a car park [£3], so that’s not a problem for drivers, while the stadium is only a 15-20 minute walk from the station.
The BPA has a strangely ‘Northern industrial’ feel to it with a railway high up on an embankment overlooking the ground.
We may appear like new kids on the block from the Midlands, but we have been around for twenty years, turning semi-pro four years ago. And now are at the centre of a network of teams and initiatives from Merthyr to Loughborough.
We also see ourselves as the proud descendants of a previous Rugby League team which played on this very spot from 1910 to 1913, before the First World War took its terrible toll.
Coventry-City of Culture 2021
York fans will all know Hull, but the mantle of City of Culture is now passing to another Rugby League city, Coventry.
At which point we’ve put together a few things York fans may want to do to make a day or even a full weekend out of their visit.
York has its Minster but we have an amazing Cathedral, or rather two Cathedrals. The first was almost destroyed in WW2 but was poignantly left in ruined state while a striking and iconic new cathedral was built in the 1960’s, along with much of Coventry’s City Centre. These are both free to enter and look around.
York has its Railway Museum, but here we have a Transport Museum also with free entry. And on the morning of the match it’s holding a vintage car event. And if you arrive in an old car there’s free tea and coffee! And if transport is your thing, there’s also the Midland Air Museum and just down the road [A45 that is] there is the National Motorcycle Museum.
There is also a Music Museum, with a focus on the Ska or two tone genre which hails from Coventry.
Around the City
Our mediaeval Spon Street is the closest you will get to the Shambles. Other city centre highlights include an IKEA, some great examples of 60s architecture [if you like that sort of thing], and a ring road also from the great days of sixties town planning [first-time visitors often spend quite some time on this].
There’s also a nicely restored canal basin, but we don’t expect many York fans to arrive by narrowboat.
If you are staying a little longer there’s two of Britain’s greatest castles on our doorstep;
Kenilworth Castle, English Heritage owned and possessing amazing Elizabethan gardens.
Warwick Castle, probably worth a whole day to itself it is so impressive and packed with attractions.
And did we mention Culture???
Culture vultures may wish to take in the Herbert Art Gallery or a performance at the Belgrade Theatre and then go on to sample the nightlife and music of a thriving University city.
Where to stay
There’s plenty of accommodation available to suit all tastes and budgets. There’s a comfortable Premier Inn almost next door to the ground and very handy for the city centre too.
The staff, players and fans at Coventry Bears look forward to welcoming York City Knights for a great game and more.
To find out more visit;