Warwickshire County Cricket Club has posted significantly improved financial results for the year ending September 30, 2021 as fans returned to Edgbaston following the COVID-19 shutdown in 2020.

Edgbaston was selected to stage the men’s Test match between England and New Zealand last June, with the fixture serving as the first Stage 2 event of the Government’s Events Research Programme.

The Test helped contribute to a 54% year-on-year increase in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of £2.8m (€3.4m/$3.8m). Warwickshire’s turnover was £17.6m, an increase of £6m from 2020, when all matches were held behind closed doors. Operating profit also increased by 330% to £1.2m.

As well as the England-New Zealand Test, which attracted 60,000 fans across four days, Edgbaston hosted England’s One-Day International match against Pakistan. Edgbaston invested in new technology to secure safe stadium entry and enhance the fan experience, with its new smartphone app receiving 314,344 views across the four days of the Test match.

Stuart Cain, chief executive of Warwickshire CCC, said: “We believe that our 2021 experience has created a blueprint for how many sporting events will operate in the future.

“The introduction of our app in 2021 allowed spectators to enter through tickets on their phone and order food and drink, with a delivery to seat option for disabled spectators. Further investment in the app will continue in the coming years as we strive to create one of the best spectator experiences in the world.”

Craig Flindall, chief operating officer of Warwickshire CCC, added: “This latest financial year was transformed by our successful bid for the England men’s Test match versus New Zealand and then both the Test match and One-Day International being part of the Government’s research programme investigating the safe return of fans to major events.

“Major match revenues represent the primary driver of income for the club and 2021 was initially budgeted as a modest year in which no Test match was scheduled, as part of the 31-day allocation of fixtures that the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) awarded to Edgbaston in 2018 for the 2020 to 2024 programme.

“The Hundred also proved to be incredibly popular in its first season, with two of the four games selling out and Birmingham Phoenix men’s and women’s teams finishing second and third in their respective competitions.”

Last year also saw Edgbaston’s exhibition hall operate as a vaccination centre, while Warwickshire hosted one of the first mass religious gatherings since the start of the pandemic as more than 500 worshipers attended prayers to mark Eid ul Adha.

Warwickshire has already sold out five of its seven men’s major match days in 2022. Edgbaston will also host the eight-day women’s Twenty20 tournament during this summer’s Commonwealth Games.

Image: Warwickshire CCC