England and the West Indies returned to action at Emirates Old Trafford for the second of their behind-closed-doors Tests yesterday (Thursday), with the Manchester venue adapting to a new reality in which “everything has changed”.
International venues were encouraged to submit their expressions of interest in hosting rights based on several fundamental criteria. Venues had to demonstrate key principles to create a bio-secure environment, meeting key criteria covering biosecurity, medical screening/testing provision, social distancing and venue/cricket operations.
Regarding why Emirates Old Trafford was chosen, Angela Hodson, sales director at Lancashire Cricket, told TheStadiumBusiness.com: “We’re obviously very capable of delivering large events anyway, such as through the concerts we host where you’re talking about 60,000-plus people coming into the venue at any one time.
“Last year was a mega year in terms of The Ashes, Cricket World Cup and the domestic season we delivered as well. So, we’re a venue that’s got a lot of credibility in terms of delivering events that safely cater to vast numbers of people coming in.
“But in terms of the bio-secure environment, from a venue perspective we’ve got the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel on site with 150 bedrooms, which is a massive attribute to the venue because it means we can safely host people within this space.
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Images: Lancashire Cricket