Lord’s Cricket ground is the most glamorous venue in the sport, even if it is nowhere near the size of the world’s biggest arenas in Ahmedabad and Melbourne. But its owners the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) have never rested on their laurels when it has come to the standard of the venue’s facilities, with many redevelopments down the years.
The last couple of years have seen the emergence of the new Edrich and Compton stands at the Nursery end, increasing capacity and giving spectators in the lower tier rather less chance of catching hypothermia. Now, the latest plans will create more demand for building supplies in London, as the Tavern and Allen stands are to be redeveloped.
Under the plans, the Tavern stand will be stripped back to its original steelwork and then extended, while the Allen Stand, which was originally built in the 1930s, will be demolished and replaced. The stands will be designed by WilkinsonEyre, the architects behind the Edrich and Compton stands.
MCC Estates Director Robert Ebdon said: “Redevelopment will greatly improve the accessibility of the stands, increase our seating capacity by approximately 1,000, provide more flexible hospitality with increased catering facilities, and will be vastly more sustainable.”
While Lord’s has a privileged position on the cricketing calendar, hosting two Tests per summer (England play Ireland and Australia there this year) and major finals, work to redevelop the venue echoes similar moves at other international venues across England, with developments currently underway including a new stand and hotel extension at Old Trafford in Manchester.
Across London, the Oval has also seen major developments in recent years, such as the One Oval Square development consisting of a new stand and extra hospitality facilities.
Overall, there are nine current grounds in England and Wales that have hosted Test matches, with two in London and one each in Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, Southampton, Cardiff and Chester-le-Street in County Durham.