England’s first ever day/night Test match helped reap a double-digit uplift in ticket sales and match revenues for hosts Warwickshire County Cricket Club.
Neil Snowball, chief executive of the owners of Edgbaston stadium, told Sport Business International that the game against the West Indies last week gave it a “point of difference…[that] could work for us commercially”.
He said ticket sales for the day/night Test were swift from the off, and added that comparable matchday sales were well up year-on-year despite more fans attending the game against Pakistan – a bigger draw – last summer.
Snowball said: “Maybe you’d hope to get to 70,000 over the course of the whole Test featuring West Indies in a busy season, but we did that well in advance, so I think we’ve probably seen about a 25 per cent uplift on where we think we’d be.
“Hospitality sales were also ahead of forecast and our merchandise sales were up 30 per cent compared with the five-day Investec Test match against Pakistan last year.”
In a wide-ranging interview with SportBusiness International, Snowball also gave an update on plans to develop Edgbaston.
“There’s a plot of land just across the road for a hotel that would be tremendous because that would really help boost the conference and events market,” he said.
“We’ve also potentially got plans ourselves for a hotel in the next few years but we need to put the plans together for that.
“We’ve got 375 apartments going to be built on site but the ground floor of those will be retail, including cafes, bars and restaurants, so that will add to that desire to be a 365-day destination and it will also give us a new entrance, a new spectator plaza, enhanced car parking and it will really finish off the stadium.”
IMAGE: Will Noakes