IT MIGHT have provoked outcry and even a petition but Wasps’ decision to move further still from their London roots is already showing signs that it will prove a success.
Club chiefs are confident the first match at their new home, the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, later this month could set a new attendance record for a Premiership fixture.
Wasps have allocated more than 22,700 tickets already, meaning the clash with London Irish on Sunday 21 December is already set to draw the biggest top-flight crowd of this season.
That came at Leicester Tigers, who attracted 22,639 earlier this term and also boast the all-time Premiership best of 24,000, though that honour now looks under threat.
Wasps have 10 days to fill up more of their 32,000-seater stadium. Children aged under 10 get in free with an adult, while the club have given away 3,500 tickets to local schools and rugby teams.
“Professional rugby players want to play in front of big crowds, so it’s massively exciting to see that the game has sold so many tickets,” said captain James Haskell.
“The match is just around the corner now and the squad are buzzing about the prospect of playing in front of a packed Ricoh. It should be some atmosphere in 11 days’ time.”
Wasps, who were formed in London but have played in High Wycombe since 2002, announced their move to Coventry in October