This month, we #CheckInWith Sarah McManus, part of the Operations Team at the award-winning Emirates Old Trafford, to find out a little more about what her role entails on a match day, as well as on a day-to-day basis.
What is your job title?
I am an Events and Project Manager.
How long have you been at the Emirates Old Trafford?
I’ve been at the venue for almost four years now – three years, 11 months to be more precise.
What does your day-to-day role include?
On a day-to-day basis, I manage the various events at the venue and plan the stadium projects. I also play a part in the implementation of concerts at the venue, as well as cricket matches, both at Emirates Old Trafford and the out grounds around the north west.
What has been the highlight of working at Emirates Old Trafford?
I’d have to say it was being part of the One Love concert – it was such a quick turnaround, particularly with us hosting The Courteeners the week before, but it was such a memorable and spectacular event. Everyone came together as a team ensuring everything was set up and seeing Manchester come together despite the devastating event was really something special.
How are you preparing for the biggest summer of cricket at the venue?
There’s so many elements to consider this summer. We’ve undertaken many planning meetings with the organising committees and in particular, for the ICC Cricket World Cup, we have liaised very closely with the International Cricket Council to ensure we fulfil the competition to the highest standard. We’ve also worked closely with all the other stakeholders both internal and external to the business who have a vested interest in the season, to ensure everyone is comfortable about the upcoming events, this could include local authorities, GM Police, Transport for Greater Manchester and others. Our job within the Operations Team is to ensure that the venue is looking its very best and that we have all the relevant facilities available to ensure everyone has a great experience whilst they’re here.
Lots of people think we only work during the summer but in fact during the winter we work really hard to ensure that we are fully prepared, sourcing car parking and designing site plans plus working alongside the Conference and Events team to ensure that cricket events don’t impact on the additional conferences and meetings we host.
What does a match day look like for you?
Match days are incredibly busy. Typically, I manage the coordination of the site alongside the maintenance team. I also liaise with the other members of the Operations department and the Venue Safety Officer to ensure that the venue is safe, clean and ready to open the gates to the public.
I’ll also respond to calls as they come in around the site, manage the on-site entertainment and prepare the gates for fans to exit when the game finishes.
How does your job differ from a match day, as opposed to a non-match day?
On a non-match day, I am mainly office based, ensuring the relevant administration and planning is done and in time for the install of the fixture. On an install day, where vendors are setting up, deliveries are being made and hotel guests are checking in, we ensure that each stakeholder has been briefed and knows where to go and what to do, like a well-oiled machine. This means a lot of time spent walking around the stadium keeping an eye out for anything that may need moving or fixing before the match day. During this time we liaise regularly with the Venue Safety Officer to ensure that all health and safety aspects are correct and the stadium is ready for visitors.
Finally, what is your guilty pleasure? (This can be a song, food, TV show etc.)
Love Island… only six weeks to go.
If you’d like to find out more about Emirates Old Trafford and Lancashire Cricket Club, please visit our 'About Us' page here.