UK: Deloitte analysis shows cricket's growing fan base could be worth over £100 million a year
Last Updated: 31 August 2005

The 2005 Ashes series has attracted the highest levels of public interest in cricket in a generation

The 2005 Ashes series has attracted the highest levels of public interest in cricket in a generation. The closing stages of the third Test at Old Trafford were watched by a capacity crowd (with around 15,000 turned away) and an estimated peak domestic television audience of 7.7 million. Deloitte analysis shows that this new appetite for live cricket could be worth over '100 million to the game in this country.

  • Total domestic cricket attendances were estimated at around 1.1million in 2004; the third Test attracted 7 times that number. If cricket's First Class Counties could entice those viewers through the gate for just one day's county cricket each summer, it would have a huge financial impact on the sport;
  • Assuming an average ticket price of '10, as at Old Trafford for the final day, this could generate around '65 million of ticket revenues. The counties would expect to make at least half as much again from food, drink, programme and merchandise sales on the day;
  • The 1990 World Cup was a pivotal event for English football. FA Premier League and Football League attendances have since leaped from 19.5 million before the tournament to 29.2 million today. The Ashes could lead to a similar change in cricket attendances.

Dan Jones, Partner in the Sport Business Group at Deloitte, commented: "The English Cricket Board has already enjoyed much success with recent initiatives to boost cricket's popularity: Twenty20 has seen cricket attendances increase by 79% (this year's tournament was watched by almost 550,000 spectators compared with just over 305,000 last year). This figure is dwarfed by the number of spectators who were gripped by the action of the third Test. English cricket has a great opportunity to capitalise on the Ashes fever and convince cricket's new fans that a day at a County match can be just as engaging a spectacle as watching the Ashes on TV. Flintoff and the 2005 Ashes could have a similar invigorating effect on county cricket as Gazza and Italia 90 had on English club football."

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