Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom: Glamorgan Cricket Club Wants Open-Air Entertainment to Raise Funds

OUTDOOR opera and cinema screenings could be held at the Swalec Stadium under plans being examined by bosses at Glamorgan Cricket Club.

The club's chief executive, Alan Hamer, revealed the county was looking at innovative ways of bringing new income into the club's coffers.

With a large debt hanging over Glamorgan thanks to the redevelopment of its stadium at Sophia Gardens into an international-standard cricket arena, the club is searching for ways of increasing its revenue.

Mr Hamer said Glamorgan had already seen its turnover increase from non-cricket sources in the last year, while the Ashes Test match last summer had contributed to the club recording record turnover of ВЈ11.5m in 2009.

He stressed any large-scale events at the ground would only be held with full consideration of local residents in mind.

However, that might not appease the ground's neighbours, many of whom were against the redevelopment of the Swalec Stadium into a 16,000-seater Test match ground.

Mr Hamer said: We have started discussions with the council about using the stadium for opera and outdoor cinema. Of course, were we to do that we would need to ensure it was sensitive to the residents. It would also have to be something that fits in with the parkland setting here.

Using car parking space when the ground is not in use for a cricket fixture is another possible means for increasing income, said Mr Hamer.

The counties that lose money are the ones that are very dependent on cricket, said Mr Hamer.

The counties that make money are the ones that not only stage international matches but also have strong conferencing operations.

Mr Hamer, who was appointed to his role in September last year, said the club was keen to increase attendances for home matches, with a new fixture timetable drawn up by cricket governing body, the England and Wales Cricket Board, likely to help that push.

We are trying to reach an audience for Glamorgan matches we haven't had for a number of years.

We are really excited about the coming season, with a lot of the young players coming through along with some shrewd signings.

We have got to ensure that we get the message out to people and try and attract new supporters here to the cricket.

One major factor Mr Hamer is hoping for is an improvement in the weather on the last three summers, something out of the county's control but something which can have as big an impact on attendances as anything else.

He added: We are hoping, with the new fixture calendar and a good summer, that we will see more families through the gates coming to watch Glamorgan games as well.

Aled Blake


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