Tech leg-up to Edgbaston pilot with huge fans


Edgbaston Stadium back with fans Image: Warwickshire Country Cricket Club

The combination of lateral flow testing, medical consent forms and electronic ticketing allowed 60,000 fans to gather at the Edgbaston Stadium (UK) from June 10th to enjoy the LV= Insurance test match between England and New Zealand.

The ‘Warwickshire County Cricket Club’ stated that as part of the UK Government’s Events Research Programme and without social distancing in place, 95 percent of attendees entered Edgbaston through a digital ticket, which could be accessed via the new Edgbaston smart phone app. This app received 314,344 views across the four days of play for tickets, retail purchases, spectator information, and food and beverage orders.

The UK Government’s Events Research Programme aims to examine the risk of transmission of COVID-19 from attendance at events and explore ways to enable people to attend a range of events safely.

The 25,000-capacity Edgbaston Cricket Ground, also known as the County Ground or Edgbaston Stadium, is a cricket ground in the Edgbaston area of Birmingham, England (UK). It is home to Warwickshire County Cricket Club and its T20 team Birmingham Bears.

The Warwickshire County Cricket Club is one of the 18 first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the historic county of Warwickshire. Its 50-overs team is called the Warwickshire Bears and its T20 team the Birmingham Bears.

The ‘Warwickshire County Cricket Club’ further stated that having been enabled for food and drink click-and-collect orders and a delivery to seat option for disabled spectators, nearly 5,000 orders (around 10 percent of the total orders) were made across the four days of the Test match (June 10th-14th ) via the Edgbaston app, highlighting huge potential for future sporting events.

All spectators were required to complete a COVID lateral flow test and to sign a medical consent form to secure entry to Edgbaston and are now asked to complete a further PCR Test within five days of their visit to support the Events Research Programme.

Stated Warwickshire head honcho Stuart Cain, “We like to be innovative at Edgbaston and have invested heavily in the technology that supported this initial pilot. However, what we have done will provide part of the norm for future sporting events in having an app for stadium entry, for ordering food and drink orders, merchandise sales, and wait times.”

Added Cain, “The spectators also played their part in completing their consent form and lateral flow tests, and in creating an atmosphere that we’ve not heard since our last major matchdays in 2019. We think we have proved that the system can work, so hopefully this can help get the sports and live events industry moving again and we can see a return to full capacities as soon as possible. Having enjoyed things over the last four days (read June 10th-14th), we ask spectators to play their part again by completing their post-event PCR test and supporting all parts of this Government pilot.”

PCR tests were sent to the homes of all spectators in attendance with the request to return via a Royal Mail priority post box. The results will subsequently be analyzed over the coming days.

Edgbaston welcomed the England men’s One-Day International team on July 13th for the third match of the Royal London Series versus Pakistan. The venue will also play host to four Birmingham Phoenix men’s and women’s matches in The Hundred and seven group Birmingham Bears group games in the Vitality Blast in the build-up to Finals Day on September 18th.

The Hundred is a professional franchise 100-ball cricket tournament involving eight men’s and women’s teams located in major Cities across England and Wales (UK).

The T20 Blast, currently named the Vitality Blast for sponsorship reasons, is a professional Twenty20 cricket competition for English and Welsh first-class counties. The competition was established by the England and Wales Cricket Board in 2003 as the first professional Twenty20 league in the world.

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