As Birmingham Bears bid to reach a third consecutive NatWest T20 Blast quarter final on Friday evening, Warwickshire County Cricket Club has revealed further growth of its NatWest T20 Blast attendances.

Birmingham Bears played six NatWest T20 Blast matches at Edgbaston in 2016 (fixture against Yorkshire Vikings abandoned due to rain) with the average attendance per game increasing by five per cent to 8,699. The most popular was the Bears’ first home game against Worcestershire Rapids, which attracted 13,007 spectators and represents the biggest attendance for an opening NatWest T20 Blast game at Edgbaston.

There has also been a 32% growth in the sales of T20 season passes with Bears fans committing to a package that gave access to all home games for £77.

Neil Snowball, Chief Executive of Warwickshire CCC, said: “We’ve made good progress in developing our NatWest T20 Blast offering in recent seasons and again in 2016 we are very encouraged to see our average attendances grow despite the unsettled weather conditions this summer.

“Most importantly, we’re getting more children following the Bears. We took the decision last season to make entry for under 16s completely free to NatWest T20 Blast matches at Edgbaston as long as they are accompanied by an adult and this year we have accommodated over 8,000 youngsters at our games which is a record.

“We’re committed to making the T20 game as accessible to as many supporters as possible and we believe that we are building a great platform for further growth in the future.”

As part of the development of the Birmingham Bears brand, the Club introduced a new community programme with Birmingham City Council and supported by Selco Builders Warehouse in May, which included distributing 1,000 plastic cricket bats to local school children and community projects, free Friday night cricket coaching and family cricket sessions local parks.

Birmingham Bears play Lancashire Lightning at Emirates Old Trafford in the final round of group stage matches on Friday evening with a win guaranteeing a quarter final place.

The competition will reach its conclusion on Saturday 20 August, with the Bears’ home of Edgbaston hosting its fourth consecutive Finals Day. Please click here or call 0844 847 1902 for ticket information.