Bears see rise in popularity of domestic T20 competition as NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day approaches a sell out
Following the Birmingham Bears qualification for Finals Day of the NatWest T20 Blast at their home ground of Edgbaston on Saturday 23 August, Warwickshire County Cricket Club is reporting strong year-on-year growth in ticket sales and attendances for the group stages of the new look competition.
Demand for tickets for NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day has soared since the Bears Quarter Final victory over Essex Eagles, with only a limited number now left for general sale. However, total ticket sales for the group games at Edgbaston increased by 55 per cent in volume and by 30 per cent in value in comparison to 2013. The Club also achieved its biggest attendance for a domestic match at Edgbaston since 2008, with 12,514 spectators witnessing the local derby against Worcestershire Rapids.
Colin Povey, Chief Executive of Warwickshire CCC, said: “The new look NatWest T20 Blast was designed to make the game more accessible than ever before and, whilst we lost two matches to bad weather, we are very encouraged by the numbers that we saw on the three Friday night matches that were played, which in aggregate attracted more than 25,000 supporters.”
This year’s NatWest T20 Blast home games went on-sale in late March, with around 15 per cent of tickets sold in the first 20 days at £10 for Adults and £1 for Under 16s. Following this tickets were priced for Adults at £15 in advance and £22 on the gate, with Under 16 tickets priced at £5 at all times.
The Club also ran a Kids Go Free incentive at the last home match against Leicestershire Foxes and introduced a full refund policy for all rain-affected T20 matches for the first time this season.
“We have invested in additional entertainment and an increased food & drink offering to enhance the match day experience for spectators, which combined with the team’s performances in winning through to Finals Day, has increased the level of repeat purchase. We will be studying the feedback from our supporters in the close season to see how we can make further improvements ahead of next year,” Colin added.
“Whilst it is still very early days for the rebranding the team name to the Birmingham Bears for the NatWest T20 Blast, we believe that we have been able to build stronger links with the local communities and the City’s corporate market as a result. We can now look forward to our first Finals Day since 2003 and we have been overwhelmed by the level of interest in the match, which is likely to see a new record attendance for the day.”
The Birmingham Bears will play Surrey in the first semi-final of NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day at 11am, with Lancashire Lightning taking on Hampshire in the second match at 2.30pm. The winners will then take part in the Final at 6.45pm
A limited number of tickets are still available to purchase at www.edgbaston.com or by calling the Ticket Hotline on 0844 847 1902.