Inaugural Day/Night Investec Test hailed as a commercial success for Warwickshire County Cricket Club and Birmingham
With England continuing a run of three consecutive Test victories at Edgbaston, and five wins in the last six Tests in Birmingham, Warwickshire County Cricket Club Chief Executive Neil Snowball has praised the efforts of everyone involved in delivering a memorable first Day/Night Investec Test match at Edgbaston.
Edgbaston accommodated 70,000 spectators across the three days of play, recording sell-outs on the second and third day and, despite the shortened match, the venue’s retail catering sales were also the highest ever for a non-Ashes Test match.
"To become the first UK venue to stage such a fixture has been an honour and builds on our reputation for innovation at Edgbaston."
Neil Snowball, said: “One of the primary reasons for playing this Investec Test match in day/night conditions was to support Team England in preparation for this winter’s Ashes Test in Adelaide. However, to become the first UK venue to stage such a fixture has been an honour and builds on our reputation for innovation at Edgbaston.
“We also recognised the commercial opportunity and estimate that total ticket sales increased by 25 per cent as a result of the change in format and the increased level of marketing. Hospitality sales were also ahead of forecast and our merchandise sales were up 30 per cent when compared with the five-day Investec Test match against Pakistan last year.”
The Day/Night Investec Test match was also the 50th men’s Test to be played at Edgbaston, with the occasion celebrated with a lap of honour by legendary England players representing the previous 49 Test Matches, including Mike ‘MJK’ Smith for 1958, Sir Ian Botham for 1981 and Michael Vaughan for 2005.
Snowball added: “The debate will go on as to whether we need day/night Test Cricket in this country. There are a number of Test Match Grounds who are very good at selling Test cricket in this country unlike in other parts of the world so there is an argument to leave well alone. However, it was terrific to be able to make history by hosting the first ever day/night Test and that final session on Saturday night with Broad taking his 384th wicket, Anderson at his brilliant best and Roland-Jones wrapping it up at 8.55pm in front of a fantastic crowd really was something special.
"The city of Birmingham again showed its expertise in hosting marquee sporting events and our thanks go to Birmingham City Council, West Midlands Police and the other city stakeholders in supporting us with this fixture."
“From our perspective, the whole team at Edgbaston thoroughly enjoyed the experience of hosting the match and the combined attendance of nearly 70,000 shows that there is certainly an appetite. Projections from Birmingham Regional Observatory also suggest that the fixture has been worth nearly £15 million to the local economy.
“The city of Birmingham again showed its expertise in hosting marquee sporting events and our thanks go to Birmingham City Council, West Midlands Police and the other city stakeholders in supporting us with this fixture.”
Looking ahead, Edgbaston hosts England in a Test match against India in 2018, with Australia the visitors in 2019 for the home Ashes Series. The famous Birmingham venue hosts the biggest day in the domestic Cricket calendar on Saturday 2 September with the NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day.