Lancashire Cricket staff reflect on their first week back at Emirates Old Trafford as they prepare for a first-class summer schedule
Colleagues at Lancashire Cricket Club and Emirates Old Trafford recently returned to the venue following the extended period working from home during the pandemic to facilitate the start of the 2021 cricket season, and prepare to welcome events and fans back to our iconic venue once Government guidelines allow.
Our people were delighted to reconnect in person after more than a year of remote working. Morale is high and the team are ready for a mammoth summer ahead as Emirates Old Trafford prepares to host a world class schedule of cricket events during the remainder of 2021.
Speaking this week, Angela Hodson Sales Director at Lancashire Cricket, Emirates Old Trafford, said: “No one could have predicted what we’ve all had to deal with in the last year and it’s just fantastic to be back in the office and able to see the team without looking at a computer screen! We are grateful to be back on-site and looking forward to opening up to visitors on a large scale very soon.”
Echoing Angela’s sentiments and reflecting on the last year, Liz Cooper, Partnerships Director at Lancashire Cricket, Emirates Old Trafford: “First and foremost, it’s great to be back and to see our colleagues again in the flesh. It’s been a really tough and challenging year for everyone. As a club, we’ve tried to support our colleagues and partners at all times, both personally and professionally.”
“The wellbeing of our people has been our number one priority and colleagues have really benefitted from the digital wellbeing resources we were able to offer, and we were delighted we could extend these same benefits directly to our partners and clients. On our return to the office, we are being extremely cautious to follow our own stringent Covid-19 guidelines. As part of this we are offering our people access to lateral flow tests on a weekly basis to ensure no one is unwittingly carrying the virus.”
Despite the pandemic eliminating the events business and curtailing the 2020 cricket season, the team at Emirates Old Trafford were busy redefining how to host behind-closed-doors events.
Last year, while the wider world remained in lockdown, the venue played host to 21 days of International cricket behind-closed-doors in a bio-secure bubble. To bring this unprecedented challenge to life, the venue completely re-wrote its operating procedures, hired a dedicated Covid-19 Officer and administered more than 6,000 Covid-19 tests at the venue.
Determined to share the club’s learning from this unique experience, Emirates Old Trafford launched the Safe in One Place campaign to share the knowledge and best practice we gained with the wider events industry. Hosting International cricket safely and securely last year gives us complete confidence in our operation procedures and we hope this transmits to all venue visitors and users and gives you peace of mind that you will be in the safest possible hands in you are attending an event at Emirates Old Trafford.
As Hodson explains: “In a typical year, we’d have welcomed more than 500,000 cricket fans and business and event guests to our historic venue. We live for live events and we can’t wait to welcome people back to the venue. With the Covid-19 vaccine being rolled out at pace, and the first major milestone on the government roadmap cleared, we are increasingly hopeful that we will be able to fulfil our world class schedule of sport events, plus all our corporate and business booking, later this year.”
Looking ahead to the remainder of the domestic cricket season, Emirates Old Trafford is expecting high demand for the Vitality Blast in 2021, including the Roses Match fixture against Yorkshire. You can buy your ticket for that game here.
This summer will also see the launch of the ECB’s new competition, The Hundred, with Manchester Originals also playing eight fixtures at the venue, all of which we hope will be in front of capacity crowds.
Emirates Old Trafford will also play host to two International matches as we welcome Pakistan for an International T20 on Tuesday 20 July and India for a Test Match on 10-14 September. We’ve received a record-breaking number of ballot applications for these games, which is a testament to the desire of people to attend live events again, and also the confidence they have in Emirates Old Trafford to safely host them.
As for all future events, we want to remind everyone who purchases a ticket, plus event bookers on behalf of clients, that you will be entitled to a full refund should Covid-related restrictions curtail your event.
With the first step on the government’s roadmap complete, it should provide confidence to those who have events booked later this year and also to those who have been waiting for the greenlight to confirm their plans.
The venue has already taken a large number of bookings for the Christmas period and we urge you to get in touch if you are considering Emirates Old Trafford as a venue for festive events. Please don’t hesitate to contact our sales team directly on 0161 282 4020 or click here to fill out an enquiry form.
As an events venue we rely completely on our relationships with you and the trust you place in us to host you and your clients. We want to thank you for your ongoing support during this unprecedented period and we are delighted that we can now look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in the remainder of this year.