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Birmingham’s Edgbaston Stadium has been officially recognised for having the best atmosphere of UK cricket venues in a study of all match days in 2015 undertaken by the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

The atmosphere on the third day of last summer’s Investec Ashes Test Match at Edgbaston received a score of 9.5 out of 10 by the spectators in attendance, which was the highest score of any international fixture or final played in the summer of 2015.

Gareth Roberts, Commercial Director at Warwickshire County Cricket Club, said:

The atmosphere at Edgbaston is world-renowned and differentiates the stadium from any other cricket venue in the country. We are very proud that the atmosphere is ranked by the spectators in attendance as the best in the country.

In recent years we have invested in all elements of our match day experience to ensure that our spectators have a memorable day out at Edgbaston. This has included operating shuttle buses from the city centre, improving parking facilities around the stadium, an increased food and drink offering and more entertainment around the bowl of stadium.

It’s fantastic to see this investment recognised in the scores given by spectators who attended our matches in 2015, and we hope that this will lead to many fans returning in the new season.

The ECB issues post-match surveys to ticket buyers of all UK international and NatWest T20 Blast games, with an opportunity to score 10 elements of the match day experience, including atmosphere, seating, public announcements and the food and drink offering.

Steve Elworthy, ECB’s Director of Events said:

Putting fans at the heart of the game is one of the ECB’s key priorities and the atmosphere at Edgbaston last summer shows how passionate people are about this sport.

The team at Edgbaston are to be congratulated on tapping into this passion and the needs of their community in order to deliver a great event for everyone involved.

It is vitally important for all sports fans to know they are going to be offered a fantastic experience when they come to a cricket match.

This summer, Edgbaston hosts England in the Royal London One-Day International (ODI) on Friday 24 June and the Investec Test Match against Pakistan from Wednesday 3 to Sunday 7 August. Edgbaston also hosts the NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day on Saturday 20 August.

 

Image: Spectators in Edgbaston’s iconic Eric Hollies Stand during the Investec Ashes Test Match. BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – JULY 30, 2015: During day two of the 3rd Investec Ashes Test match between England and Australia.  (Photo by Sam Bagnall – AMA/Getty Images)

 

Our forthcoming Q1 edition will include a special roundtable featuring a number of industry experts from global sports venues – including Melbourne Cricket Ground, Sydney Cricket Ground and Twickenham – discussing the latest initiatives and solutions to optimise Fan Engagement and the Fan Experience.

 

Lord's Cricket Ground redevelopment rendering.

MCC has been granted planning permission by Westminster City Council to redevelop the south-western corner of Lord’s.

The South-Western Project will begin in autumn 2019: new Tavern & Allen Stand – a single structure to replace the existing two – 5,200 seats, an increase of 1,082 seats compared to the existing stand; new Thomas Lord Building with a street-facing reception, a banqueting suite, and offices for MCC staff; new Tavern pub, opening into the Harris Garden as well as onto the street.

  • Enhancement of the area around the Grace Gates to establish a more welcoming, pedestrian-friendly public realm.
  • A new Harris Garden Building with a bar facing out onto the Garden and additional dressing rooms both for squash and tennis players, and to better accommodate double header matches.
  • Reorganisation of the Pavilion to enlarge the dressing rooms, and convert a current office, physio room and women’s toilets on the corridor between the two dressing rooms into space for team management and a players’ gym.
  • An enlarged and deepened basement which will enable vehicles to make deliveries directly to catering facilities etc. underground, removing the need to use the Grace Gate entrance.

Work on phase one of the Masterplan for Lord’s, the redevelopment of the Warner Stand, began in September this year with the new stand to be completed by the 2017 season.

The stand will however be in use during the 2016 season, to allow Lord’s to operate at full seating capacity during major matches.

New stand approved at Lords cricket ground

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An artist's impression of the new stand. Courtesy: Populous

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has been given planning permission for a new 2,922-capacity stand at Lord’s Cricket Ground in north London. Designed by Populous, the new £21m structure was given the green light by Westminster City Council and will replace the historic Warner Stand.

The innovative design has a number of eco-friendly aspects, including solar panels and a waste water collection system. The new stand will be covered by a semi-translucent fabric cover, which will be supported by an oak-beamed roof structure. Facilities within the stand will include a 135-seat restaurant with views over the Ground and the project is being funded by the MCC.
The new stand is Phase 1 of a £200m, 14-year redevelopment of the ‘home of cricket’, which will increase the venue’s capacity from 28,000 to 32,000, and make it the largest cricket ground in Europe.
The MCC hopes to complete a significant amount of the redevelopment work at the Pavilion End of Lord’s, which includes new Allen and Tavern stands, in time for the 2019 World Cup.
Derek Brewer, MCC CEO, said:

This will be a wonderful new addition to Lord’s. We want Lord’s to be the world’s finest cricket ground, and the new stand combines the best in architecture with world-class facilities to help achieve that.

 

Group sponsor for UK cricket stadiums

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The group of cricket stadiums holding Test Matches in the UK has secured a joint sponsor in Liberty Mutual Insurance as ‘the official insurance partner of test match grounds’.

The sports marketing business Essentially Group brokered the partnership. As part of the deal, the LMI logo will appear prominently at nine of the country’s most well-known cricket grounds – Edgbaston, Swalec Cardiff, Emirates International Cricket Ground Durham, Headingley, Lord’s, The Kia Oval, Emirates Old Trafford, Trent Bridge and The Ageas Bowl.

Sean Rocks, President and Managing Director of LMIE, said:

It’s great news for both us and our broker panel that we’ve been able to sign this sponsorship deal. While we are all big cricket fans and proud to support England, from a business perspective having the Liberty brand highly visible at the country’s top cricket grounds and in television coverage will help raise our profile considerably in the UK.

 

Gloucestershire develop in Bristol with Lindley’s help

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Gloucestershire County Cricket Club (GCCC) has awarded Lindley Venue Catering a six-year catering and events management contract as the club embarks on an extensive development programme at the Nevil Road ground.

GCCC has planning approval to expand and enhance the facilities at the Bristol County Ground. As well as installing a state-of-the art media centre, the development will incorporate a purpose-built conference centre aimed at benefiting the local community and businesses, and a key part of Lindley Venue Catering’s remit is to provide a comprehensive sales and marketing programme to maximise usage of the new centre.

Work began on The Pavilion – the first phase of the development which aims to increase the match-day capacity of the ground to 17,500 – in October 2012, and is expected to be completed by the end of July 2013, with the new facilities being fully operational ahead of the 2014 season in readiness for one of the prestigious England vs India 2014 fixtures. The ground is also scheduled to host an England vs Sri Lanka one-day international match in the 2016 tour.

Last summer Lindley Venue Catering was awarded a single-season contract and responsibility for managing all of the match-day and non match-day catering and events.

Tom Richardson, Gloucestershire CCC’s Chief Executive, said:

Teaming up with Lindley Venue Catering over the 2012 season provided us with a great opportunity to gain an insight into the way they work and to benefit from their knowledge and experience as we seek to expand our catering and hospitality services.

We’ve been delighted with the enhancements they have made to our match day catering, we have been impressed by their professionalism and sales and marketing expertise, and although they faced some tough competition in tendering for the contract, they demonstrated that they have the skill set which will maximise the potential of the new facilities, in particular outstanding new conferencing facilities, as well as providing cricket fans with a fantastic match day experience.

Adam Elliott, the Lindley Group´s Chief Executive Officer, added:

The new development opens up a whole range of opportunities to make much greater use of the new facilities and we are delighted to have been selected as the club’s catering and events partner from the inception of the new plans.

SCG development scaling new heights

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Sydney Cricket Ground

Sydney Cricket Ground

Construction of the new Northern Stand at the Sydney Cricket Ground has reached new milestones ahead of its public opening during the Ashes cricket Test between Australia and England on 3 January 2014. SCG Trust General Manager Major Projects, Piers Thompson, said:

With the commencement of the Level 2 concrete pours, the construction is now moving skywards providing a greater visual impact for fans and Members coming to the SCG.

In recent weeks, the first concrete pours to Level 2 have been conducted while a new 273 metre squared video screen, the largest at a sporting ground in Australia, is now completed and operational. Some 3,000 concourse seats have been installed for Sydney Swans home AFL competition matches and the project also saw the refurbishment of Light Tower 1.

Over 85 per cent of the basement slabs have been completed allowing the fit-out and installation of services such as plumbing, electrical, fire and mechanical services.

Level 2 will accommodate the new members Sports Bar and will have sweeping views down the SCG towards the Victor Trumper and Churchill Stands to the south of the ground.

The new 48,000 capacity Stand (as yet un-named) replaces the Noble Stand (circa 1936), the Bradman Stand (circa 1973) and the Messenger Stand (circa 1984).

Lords to expand to 32,000 over 13 years

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MCC's masterplan for Lords calls for two phases of construction

MCC’s masterplan for Lords calls for two phases of construction.

MCC has announced a new Masterplan for the development of Lord’s Ground which will take capacity to 32,000. The phased plan will commence with the redevelopment of the Warner Stand in the autumn of 2014 and finish with the reconstruction of the Compton and Edrich Stands in 2027. MCC puts the cost at between £180 million – £200 million.

The first phases of development, totalling £90 million from 2014-2019, will be funded entirely from the Club’s own resources. The remaining phases, from 2021-2027, will be funded through a combination of MCC funds and sensible levels of borrowing.

Colin Maber, the Chairman of MCC’s Ground Working Party (GWP) and Estates committee, said:

The Masterplan has been designed to provide a framework within which Ground development over the next 15 years can be set. The phased approach allows room for flexibility and evolution. Our key principles – on the absolute need to retain the size of both grounds, on keeping Lord’s as a Ground rather than making it a stadium, on the importance of green open spaces, and on enhancing the experience for every visitor – will underpin all we do. It is advanced work in progress, but can be flexed to reflect changing economic circumstances, technology and research.

A priority of the GWP – under the chairmanship of Colin Maber, the architect responsible for the redevelopment of Trent Bridge, working alongside Populous – has been to improve the circulation in the Ground. This will be achieved by incorporating more bar and restaurant facilities within the new stands and the development of subterranean access facilities to reduce service traffic. The plan includes:

  • Rebuilt Warner, Tavern & Allen, Compton and Edrich Stands.
  • The re-siting of the Nursery Ground towards the Wellington Road, over the Club’s leasehold land.
  • A new entrance on Grove End Road which will be the main point of access on non-match days, and will supersede the Grace Gates as the Members’ entrance on match days.
  • Extensions to the Pavilion to reinstate its symmetry and establish more pitch-facing facilities for players and match officials.
  • An increase to the capacity of Lord’s by 2,700 to 32,000.
  • New buildings at the North, East and Grace Gates incorporating banqueting facilities, retail space and offices for MCC and ECB staff.
  • A Food ‘Street’ behind the Compton and Edrich Stands to replace the existing Food Village.
  • Subterranean car-parking, access routes, waste management, catering and storage facilities.
Lords will expand over 13 years of renovation.

Lords will expand over 13 years of renovation.