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Warwickshire turns a profit due to ticket insurance, advanced sales

Warwickshire County Cricket Club generated a six-figure operating profit in 2020 largely due to ticket cancellation insurance and advanced ticket sales for its Edgbaston stadium.

The delayed cricket campaign was largely played behind closed doors, apart from a pre-season friendly at Edgbaston with a 1,000 crowd in July. This equated to the club seeing a decrease of around £1m on their estimated earnings before deductions.

However, advance ticket sales for international cricket and T20 Finals Day, and money from television deals helped boost revenues, while ticket cancellation insurance also benefited the club. It ultimately posted an operating profit of £281,000.

Warwickshire said it placed a large focus on managing the financial impact of COVID by investing in its stakeholder relationships. This saw more than 60 per cent of its members donating their annual subscription rather than asking for refunds.

Stuart Cain, chief executive of Warwickshire, said: “We were overwhelmed by the generosity and support of our Members, supporters. Huge thanks go to the many Members who donated their subscriptions and to the commercial partners who continued to invest in our match day activation and in the enhanced live stream of our matches, which was developed to support fixtures being played behind closed doors.”

Warwickshire received a further boost earlier this week when it was awarded a men’s Test match in England’s series with New Zealand, which begins on June 10. This is in addition to England men’s Royal London International versus Pakistan and Vitality Blast Finals Day; both of which are already sold out.

Warwickshire chief operating officer Craig Flindall added: “Strong sales of major match tickets and club memberships for the 2020 season put us in a good position to initially mitigate the impact of Covid.

“Major match ticket sales in March 2020 were significantly ahead of budget, with three days sold out, and we were able to retain these revenues through the game’s ticket cancellation insurance.

“Whilst the relocation of these matches did result in the loss of hospitality, catering and retail revenues, we are very grateful to the England and Wales Cricket Board and the overseas boards for the great efforts made to stage these matches in bio-secure venues in order to protect the whole game’s revenue.”

Over the course of the COVID pandemic, Warwickshire has led several major community response initiatives, including the donation of the car park at Edgbaston as a COVID test centre, staging a food storage and distribution hub for a charity fighting food poverty, creating a Christmas toy bank for disadvantaged families, and making phone calls to elderly members and supporters.