Lancashire Cricket Club: Member Update
It has been a busy winter at Emirates Old Trafford, and ahead of the first home game of the season Lancashire Cricket is pleased to inform and update Members on a number of different items that have been developed, progressed and implemented, before Glen Chapple’s side take on Worcestershire in the Royal London One-Day Cup on Wednesday 17 April. A number of these updates were communicated recently to the Members’ Representative Group (MRG), with the next step to ensure all Members are updated on progress made this winter.
Following significant investment over the last month, new sightscreens will be installed at the James Anderson (Pavilion) End for Lancashire’s first home Specsavers County Championship fixture of the season. Following a number of discussions with the wider membership and the Members’ Representative Group (MRG), the Club has sourced technology that will enable Members to watch the game through the (white) sightscreens when situated in the Pavilion for First-Class fixtures at Emirates Old Trafford. The decision has been endorsed and supported by Director of Cricket Paul Allott and Head Coach Glen Chapple, as well as a demonstration to England’s new Director of Cricket Ashley Giles.
In recent weeks, the Club has seen the installation of two new LED jumbo screens/scoreboards at Emirates Old Trafford. The new 60 metre square screens (compared to 45 metre ones previously) will deliver a much improved matchday experience for supporters, with a better on-screen resolution which will provide enhanced visibility of cricket information for Members. Following on from the big screen installation, mid-tier LED ribbons will also be installed on the front of the middle section of both Stands B and C. Lancashire Cricket will be the first cricket ground in the UK to have the mid-tier LED boards, which will enable us to further improve matchday communications with our Members and provide a much more sophisticated overall experience for those inside Emirates Old Trafford. The Club will be progressing different approaches to how best to present information, messaging and content across the course of the season.
In order to achieve this, which includes full installation before the start of the ICC Cricket World Cup at Emirates Old Trafford starting in June, there will be a few considerations to take note of. Stand B will be closed for a short period of time when the LED ribbon is installed in Stand B, and vice versa for Stand C. This will affect a few of the fixtures in April and May. As an example though, when Stand B is closed, the Club has worked with Head Groundsman Matt Merchant as well as the cricket department, to ensure the positioning of the wicket will be on the Stand B side, where Members will be able to sit, and vice versa for when Stand C is closed.
The big screens and the new LED mid-tier boards will enhance the overall shape and plan for the matchday experience for Members and supporters, providing improved presentation of scoring, graphics, animations, and video. The Club has also installed and introduced stadium wide Wi-Fi, which will provide wireless connectivity across Emirates Old Trafford, delivering real-time and reliable access to applications and services on mobile devices to all members, as well as for the major high profile matches and the sell-out 23,500 capacity crowds. The new Wi-Fi is provided by Sky and is called _The Cloud. Supporters will be able to connect to the network and create an account. Once you’ve created the account and logged in, you won’t need to do it again.
In other news, earlier this week the Club announced that John Gwynne has been appointed as Lancashire Cricket’s new Public Address announcer, following Matt Proctor’s retirement at the end of the 2018 campaign, after 27 years’ service to the Red Rose. Gwynne, a life-long Red Rose supporter, commentated on Lancashire for 11 years for the BBC in the 1990s and has since gone on to report on darts and football for Sky Sports. His first day in the role will be later this week for Lancashire’s first home game of the 2019 season. Please give John a big welcome.
As part of Lancashire Cricket’s continuing efforts to reduce its environmental impact, seven water fountains have been installed around Emirates Old Trafford ahead of the 2019 season. We would encourage Members to use them throughout the summer and ask that you bring your own water bottles to the ground on matchdays in order to fill them up, free of charge, over the course of the day.
As part of this, and following on from the successful first season of using reusable cups at Emirates Old Trafford, the scheme will continue this summer. Lancashire Cricket launched the new initiative in a bid to reduce its plastic waste and this will be continued in 2019 on international and Vitality Blast matchdays at the ground. The Club is working with the Members’ Representative Group to improve the customer experience in relation to Members and supporters returning cups at the end of each matchday.
The Club announced earlier in the year that Lancashire’s Specsavers County Championship fixture against Durham at the end of June will take place at Sedbergh School. We are currently looking at organising transport for the fixture and will be meeting shortly with the Members’ Representative Group on the best way to assess the levels of demand, locations, routes and the possibilities of return travel, not just from various areas of the county but also from the nearest train station(s) to Sedbergh. Details of this will be released in plenty of time ahead of the fixture.
In recent seasons, the team has played at the likes of Southport and Birkdale CC, Liverpool CC and Blackpool CC and each of them remains very much in the Club’s thinking and plans, highlighted by the cricket and operational departments working closely with the ECB to secure £73,000 worth of funding for Liverpool CC towards new machinery and equipment, which will clearly impact positively in 2019, as well as longer term for them.
Over the winter, the Club has invested heavily on the outfield renovation which will maintain the exceptionally high standards Emirates Old Trafford has achieved in recent years, as marked by the ECB and ICC after each fixture played. Led by Head Groundsman, Matt Merchant, the whole top layer of the outfield has been taken off and re-levelled with the irrigation system then re-installed. A pre-seed fertiliser was applied and then over-seeded with Perennial Ryegrass seed mix. This is the first time since 2008 that the Club has undertaken this work on the outfield.
Lancashire Cricket is pleased to announce that the popular live streaming of matches will continue this season. In association with Hilton Garden Inn, the Club will live stream all non-televised home fixtures at Emirates Old Trafford throughout the 2019 season. The Club hopes to extend the live stream coverage this year with non-televised Vitality Blast and Kia Super League fixtures as well as Lancashire’s two home outground games. In total, nearly 200,000 viewers watched the Club’s live stream for home fixtures at Emirates Old Trafford which was exclusively available on our website. It equated to a total viewing time of well over three million minutes over the course of the 2018 season.
After taking the Club’s retail and merchandise operation and offering back in-house last year, the Club has launched and revealed all three of Lancashire’s kits for the 2019 season, which are available to purchase in-store and online now. The launch of the new Royal London One-Day Cup shirt has been a particular success, with record sales over the past month, following the jersey returning to blue with light blue and red stripes running throughout the design and new Destination Partner and shirt sponsors Visit Manchester front and centre of the shirt. Don’t forget Members get 10% discount online and in the Official Store at Emirates Old Trafford.
A brand new ten-windowed Ticket Office will be in place at Emirates Old Trafford after the Easter break to improve the fan experience on matchdays. The location of the Ticket Office has not changed however it can be now be accessed from Car Park 1 for Specsavers County Championship and Royal London One-Day Cup matches and from Brian Statham Way for Vitality Blast and International matches.
As you will see when you come to Emirates Old Trafford on Wednesday the Pavilion had had a re-fresh with most of the areas in the building painted and redecorated. The 1864 Club Suite, the Lancaster Suite and the Members’ areas will all have new carpets put in by the end of May. As part of the refurb, the Club has also been progressing ideas and initiatives around the heritage of Lancashire Cricket and former players, with some announcements to come this summer.
Members can obtain a discount on food and drink in all Lancashire Cricket Outlets (including the Hilton Garden Inn at Emirates Old Trafford) on production of their Membership Card. Caffe Nero will be open on all match days where Members’ can get a 10% discount in-store.
Car parking arrangements will be the same as last year for Members. Please keep an eye out for pre-match email updates for key information as this is subject to change on a match-by-match basis.
The Club has also taken on board feedback from Members to ensure Stand D is built before cricket starts so there is no disruption during domestic cricket fixtures at Emirates Old Trafford.
And finally, we’ve got two Members’ Forums in the diary (14 May and 18 September) as well as Member Surgeries (22 May and 14 July) that will take place this summer too.
Join the Red Rose family this summer with a Lancashire Cricket Official 2019 Membership, offering fantastic benefits to supporters ahead of the biggest season of cricket at Emirates Old Trafford.
Membership packages start from just £50*, and offer exclusive benefits including access to all home fixtures^, 10% off selected Ashes tickets, mascot opportunities for juniors and much more.