Sunset over Edgbaston during NatWest Blast finals day © Getty Images
Warwickshire are celebrating a financial turnaround on the back of an Ashes year. Australia’s appearance at Edgbaston for an Ashes Test helped to lift turnover by a remarkable 47% and enabled the club to announce pre-tax profits of £699,427 compared to a loss of £1.2m the previous year.
The county had to ask Birmingham City Council for a holiday from loan repayments as their finances worsened following a £32m development in 2011, but they are now on a more stable footing with revenue rising over the past three years.
Craig Flindall, Warwickshire’s finance director, said that there were positive signs for the county that went beyond the usual boost caused by an Ashes series.
Warwickshire also enjoyed a rise of 43 per cent in revenue and 86 per cent in attendances in the NatWest Blast where they now play under the guise of Birmingham Bears.
Flindall said: “This was the first occasion that Edgbaston has hosted an Ashes Test Match since the £32 million redevelopment and the new facilities and increased capacity has led to a £2.6 million increase in turnover in comparison to 2009, when we last hosted the Ashes.
“Revenues from major match days are the main driver of the club’s turnover and, whilst we cannot replicate the impact of an Ashes Test Match every year, we have an excellent allocation of fixtures confirmed until 2019, which underpins our strategic plan and financial results for the coming years.”
Edgbaston accommodated an average of 24,556 fans on each day of the third Ashes Test Match, which one financial study estimated benefited Birmingham by £26 million.
Edgbaston will host England twice next summer with a Royal London ODI against Sri Lanka on June 24 and an Investec Test against Pakistan in August. The stadium will also host the biggest day in domestic cricket again, with finals day in the Blast scheduled for August 20.
A further financial boost is also anticipated across the first-class game when England hosts two global tournaments in coming years. Edgbaston will host five matches – including a semi-final – of both the ICC Champions Trophy and ICC Cricket World Cup in 2017 and 2019 respectively.
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo