Warwickshire CCC is already starting to benefit from the biggest redevelopment in Edgbaston’s 128-year-old history with a major income boost.
The club has sold £500,000 worth of hospitality packages as part of the new development, which will see seating capacity expand to 25,000, a new conference and banqueting suite for 700 guests, new executive boxes and state of the art playing, corporate and member facilities.
The Bears will officially launch the new development on August 10, the first day of the showpiece Test Match against India – and £250,000 worth of tickets have already been sold for the clash against Sachin Tendulkar and teammates in just 10 days.
Warwickshire CCC is bidding to get a member of the Royal Family to the world-renowned Test Match arena to put a special seal of approval on the £32 million project, the club’s most important revamp since its foundation in 1882.
Warwickshire CCC chief executive Colin Povey said: “This is the biggest redevelopment of the ground in its history, the building project is on track, the contract date is for completion by July 1, and Wednesday, August 10, will be the official opening on the first day of the Test Match.
“We have already written to Buckingham Palace to request a Royal presence for the opening.
‘‘We are also looking to get the great and good from Warwickshire’s past here, including honorary life members, vice-presidents and the like.
“This is a great showcase opportunity for us, India are a fantastic side, hopefully Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott will play and it may be the last chance to see Sachin Tendulkar.”
Earlier this year, the Bears announced the signing of a three-year sponsorship deal with Jaguar, which will become the official naming rights partner to the ground’s premium hospitality lounge, the Jaguar Club.
The Jaguar Club is billed as the “creme de la creme” of corporate packages, with 100 memberships available for 2011-2016, costing £5,000 and including 11 days of international hospitality, 17 days of international cricket, individual seat and dining areas, all domestic fixtures and other VIP benefits.
“We have already sold £500,000 worth of packages and we would like to get the figure up to £1 million,” Mr Povey said.
He said the Bears were aiming for a big pay-day from the India Test Match. “Last year, we suffered a bit because people thought Edgbaston was a building site but we want to be sold out, particularly for the first two or three days.”