Hants surprised by last-day Test attendance

STUART ROBERTSON

STUART ROBERTSON

First published in Sport Hampshire Chronicle: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Sports Reporter

HAMPSHIRE were taken by surprise by the size of the last-day Ageas Bowl crowd that witnessed England's first Test win for nearly a year.

A similar crowd to the fourth-day attendance of 4,874 was expected – but 9,500 made it to see England complete a series-levelling win against India by 266 runs.

No Park & Ride was planned for the final day, resulting in long queues coming off J7 of the M27.

But Hampshire were delighted at the interest shown after reducing ticket prices from £35-£65 to £15 (adults) and from £10 to £1 (Under-16s).

Commercial director Stuart Robertson said: “We’re really, really pleased and a little bit surprised.

“It’s put some pressure on our transport coming in but we were budgeting on attendances previously and on what we’ve seen elsewhere so clearly something happened and caught the imagination on the very last day.

“It was fantastic to see so many people on the ground. The biggest walk-up (tickets bought at the gate) we’ve had during the week has been about 600 and we had a 6,000 walk-up which is incredible.

“We didn’t just guess what the crowd might be, we based that decision on very educated figures and real analysis of what ticket sales had been.

“With the best will in the world we couldn’t have predicted that one. We had plenty of car parking to accommodate the crowd we were expecting based on previous day’s sales and walk-ups elsewhere.

“We’ve been talking to other grounds and Trent Bridge’s fifth-day walk-up was less than 1,000, with similar last-day prices.”

The difference between yesterday and the fifth day at Trent Bridge, where a turgid wicket had resulted in a dull stalemate, was that England were on the verge of a much-needed win after a very good performance from Alastair Cook’s side over the first four days.

But head groundsman Nigel Gray and his team produced the perfect Test wicket that England thrived on.

Had the match been given a traditional Thursday start, Robertson believes the aggregate attendance would have been well above the 49,000 that made it to the Ageas Bowl over the five days.

“You can add at least 20 per cent on to that figure, for a start we would have expected the ground to be half full [and not a quarter full] if the fourth day had been a Sunday and not a Wednesday,” he said.

“But we’ve still sold more tickets than we did for our first Test against Sri Lanka so we’re building our Test audience.

“We’ve done everything we can to present this as a fantastic new Test match ground for the next generation.

“There’s no doubt there’s a market for Test cricket in this area. We’ve had some fantastic feedback."

 

Comments (9)

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12:29pm Fri 1 Aug 14

jazzy54zz says...

Surprised, really, I could have told Mr Robertson that reducing the ticket price would mean more people turning up, bit obvious really, should have had the brains to do it on all the weekdays.
Surely it's better to have a full ground with people paying less rather than a near empty one with people paying full price, maybe I should apply for his job.
Surprised, really, I could have told Mr Robertson that reducing the ticket price would mean more people turning up, bit obvious really, should have had the brains to do it on all the weekdays. Surely it's better to have a full ground with people paying less rather than a near empty one with people paying full price, maybe I should apply for his job. jazzy54zz
  • Score: 20

12:47pm Fri 1 Aug 14

steekeemcglue says...

the prices for mon to wed were a joke... idiots run cricket. the test should have started on Saturday and then prices for monday and tuesday halved and then wednesday at the £15/£1 mark... muppets.
the prices for mon to wed were a joke... idiots run cricket. the test should have started on Saturday and then prices for monday and tuesday halved and then wednesday at the £15/£1 mark... muppets. steekeemcglue
  • Score: 13

1:00pm Fri 1 Aug 14

boilerman says...

Once again this has proved that fans of all sports are fed up with being ripped off , not just by ticket prices but also the cost of food and merchandise.
Once again this has proved that fans of all sports are fed up with being ripped off , not just by ticket prices but also the cost of food and merchandise. boilerman
  • Score: 15

3:44pm Fri 1 Aug 14

sarfhamton says...

I went on Sunday, £55 for my ticket and £10 for my son (and then another £25 for food and drink. We had a great day (the Rose Bowl is a fantastic venue) but could not afford to go again, I agree with posts above, halve the prices for week days and make it kids for a quid every day.
I went on Sunday, £55 for my ticket and £10 for my son (and then another £25 for food and drink. We had a great day (the Rose Bowl is a fantastic venue) but could not afford to go again, I agree with posts above, halve the prices for week days and make it kids for a quid every day. sarfhamton
  • Score: 7

4:53pm Fri 1 Aug 14

SaintJD says...

sarfhamton wrote:
I went on Sunday, £55 for my ticket and £10 for my son (and then another £25 for food and drink. We had a great day (the Rose Bowl is a fantastic venue) but could not afford to go again, I agree with posts above, halve the prices for week days and make it kids for a quid every day.
To be honest £55 is not a bad price - even up north at Old Trafford Ashes tickets came in at about that price.

I can understand the mistake they made and frankly the lack of interest is also to do with the recent performances of the team.

The Oval and Lords were/are sell outs I imagine (at least on open sale, not to members) and tickets for those will be closer to £100 cheapest.

Agree it is ridiculous, but I think the poor attendance is more due to location and England form.
[quote][p][bold]sarfhamton[/bold] wrote: I went on Sunday, £55 for my ticket and £10 for my son (and then another £25 for food and drink. We had a great day (the Rose Bowl is a fantastic venue) but could not afford to go again, I agree with posts above, halve the prices for week days and make it kids for a quid every day.[/p][/quote]To be honest £55 is not a bad price - even up north at Old Trafford Ashes tickets came in at about that price. I can understand the mistake they made and frankly the lack of interest is also to do with the recent performances of the team. The Oval and Lords were/are sell outs I imagine (at least on open sale, not to members) and tickets for those will be closer to £100 cheapest. Agree it is ridiculous, but I think the poor attendance is more due to location and England form. SaintJD
  • Score: -1

6:47pm Fri 1 Aug 14

techsture says...

steekeemcglue wrote:
the prices for mon to wed were a joke... idiots run cricket. the test should have started on Saturday and then prices for monday and tuesday halved and then wednesday at the £15/£1 mark... muppets.
Couldn't have put it better myself.

Bravo.
[quote][p][bold]steekeemcglue[/bold] wrote: the prices for mon to wed were a joke... idiots run cricket. the test should have started on Saturday and then prices for monday and tuesday halved and then wednesday at the £15/£1 mark... muppets.[/p][/quote]Couldn't have put it better myself. Bravo. techsture
  • Score: 1

2:10am Sat 2 Aug 14

Dave Of The South says...

Closing the road outside the ground so normal service buses couldn't get to the Ageas Bowl bus stop after end of match was rather stupid. Need to build a big multi-story & charge sensible parking prices (£10 a day = no way!). We parked down the road for free (not telling where!!) & walked up. We'd have paid a fiver for convenience but a tenner without a guarantee of a whole days play was a rip-off. However, £15 entry for the last day was good - match could have lasted til nr 6pm. Free coffee from Waitrose was good & free Yorkshire Tea was nice too. But OTT food prices mean we always take a picnic!
Closing the road outside the ground so normal service buses couldn't get to the Ageas Bowl bus stop after end of match was rather stupid. Need to build a big multi-story & charge sensible parking prices (£10 a day = no way!). We parked down the road for free (not telling where!!) & walked up. We'd have paid a fiver for convenience but a tenner without a guarantee of a whole days play was a rip-off. However, £15 entry for the last day was good - match could have lasted til nr 6pm. Free coffee from Waitrose was good & free Yorkshire Tea was nice too. But OTT food prices mean we always take a picnic! Dave Of The South
  • Score: 1

5:09am Sat 2 Aug 14

fritzer says...

A winning team brings a winning crowd, added to winning price and great weather for cricket
A winning team brings a winning crowd, added to winning price and great weather for cricket fritzer
  • Score: 0

2:01pm Sat 2 Aug 14

Red_Rock says...

SaintJD wrote:
sarfhamton wrote:
I went on Sunday, £55 for my ticket and £10 for my son (and then another £25 for food and drink. We had a great day (the Rose Bowl is a fantastic venue) but could not afford to go again, I agree with posts above, halve the prices for week days and make it kids for a quid every day.
To be honest £55 is not a bad price - even up north at Old Trafford Ashes tickets came in at about that price.

I can understand the mistake they made and frankly the lack of interest is also to do with the recent performances of the team.

The Oval and Lords were/are sell outs I imagine (at least on open sale, not to members) and tickets for those will be closer to £100 cheapest.

Agree it is ridiculous, but I think the poor attendance is more due to location and England form.
Are you aware that we weren't playing India in the Ashes?
[quote][p][bold]SaintJD[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sarfhamton[/bold] wrote: I went on Sunday, £55 for my ticket and £10 for my son (and then another £25 for food and drink. We had a great day (the Rose Bowl is a fantastic venue) but could not afford to go again, I agree with posts above, halve the prices for week days and make it kids for a quid every day.[/p][/quote]To be honest £55 is not a bad price - even up north at Old Trafford Ashes tickets came in at about that price. I can understand the mistake they made and frankly the lack of interest is also to do with the recent performances of the team. The Oval and Lords were/are sell outs I imagine (at least on open sale, not to members) and tickets for those will be closer to £100 cheapest. Agree it is ridiculous, but I think the poor attendance is more due to location and England form.[/p][/quote]Are you aware that we weren't playing India in the Ashes? Red_Rock
  • Score: 1

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