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Impact of leisure and tourism on Birmingham

Warwickshire County Cricket Club

This blog post has been produced for the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce to provide industry insight on the findings of the Birmingham Economic Review.

 

The Birmingham Economic Review 2017 is produced by the University of Birmingham’s City-REDI and the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, with contributions from the West Midlands Growth Company. It is an in-depth exploration of the economy of England’s second city and is a high quality resource for organisations seeking to understand Birmingham to inform research, policy or investment decisions.

 

This post is featured in Chapter 10: The Visitor Economy of the Birmingham Economic Review which can be found here. You can read the full report and report summary here.

 

At Warwickshire County Cricket Club and Edgbaston Stadium we are very proud of the important role that we play within the vibrant tourism sector of the city of Birmingham and the wider West Midlands region.

Edgbaston Stadium has long been a major asset for the region - and we are determined to ensure that this remains the case in the future

Since hosting our first Test match back in 1902, the ground has attracted visitors from all over the world and never more so than in 2017 which has been a tremendous success with more spectators attending Major Matches at Edgbaston than ever.

This year we welcomed 203,770 spectators across our Major Match programme, an unprecedented figure which had a significant impact upon local businesses. The England v West Indies Test match, the 50th Test played at Edgbaston, generated nearly £15m for the local economy.

It was a great occasion notable for two factors synonymous with Edgbaston Stadium: an England victory (their record in Birmingham is better than any other international Cricket ground in England) and the unique atmosphere, renowned worldwide for its passion, colour and good-natured support.

That Test Match, in August, followed the ICC Champions Trophy, a global tournament for which our input as joint-hosts in June was universally praised. We hosted five games which generated £25.3m for the local economy.

It is clear that spectators will now travel to Edgbaston from across the world - and their perception of us as hosts, and the city in general, is very important to us. We want everyone to return home not just having watched some exciting cricket but also having enjoyed their time in a pleasant, safe, well-managed environment. It is vitally important that we deliver a good customer experience.

It is also important to note that 2017 was not all about international cricket - Edgbaston was once again sold out for the NatWestT20Blast finals day, the biggest day in the domestic cricket calendar.

We are currently in the middle of a very strong series of Major Matches through until 2019. This year the ICC Champions Trophy and the West Indies Test, next year a Test Match v India and an IT20 v Australia, then, in 2019 an Ashes Test and the ICC Cricket World Cup. That shows how highly-regarded we are, globally, but we are taking nothing for granted and are working hard, with the support of the City Council and Combined Authority, towards gaining another prime allocation of Major Matches from 2020-2026.

It helps a great deal that we have a very strong relationship with the City Council and the Combined Authority and I am delighted that we have such a great rapport with all our partner organisations. No successful business can exist in isolation and our successful delivery of Major Matches would not be possible without the co-operation of West Midlands Police, Birmingham City Council, West Midlands Combined Authority and Visit Birmingham, not forgetting the city's excellent transport links and all of the people operating the hotels, restaurants and other leisure destinations that make visitors to this great region return time and again.

Neil Snowball
Chief Executive, Warwickshire County Cricket Club