County's chief executive Will Brown described the two washouts as "massively gutting"
The two abandoned World Cup matches in Bristol could have cost Gloucestershire in the region of ten to twenty thousand pounds, according to the county's chief executive Will Brown. He described the two washouts as "massively gutting".
The matches between Pakistan and Sri Lanka on Friday and between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka today were both abandoned without a ball being bowled due to unseasonably wet weather. Although there was a full game at the County Ground between Australia and Afghanistan, the two washouts have been a huge disappointment for the county given the work which had gone into bidding and staging them.
Although it is understood the ICC will foot the bill for the full ticket refunds that are due to spectators for the two called off matches, the lost revenue from catering and hospitality will make a "significant difference" to Gloucestershire even if the final figure is as yet unknown. "To be honest we don't know yet," Brown said when asked how much the wet weather had cost them.
These are things that are four and a half years in the making since we bid for this tournament. It's just really sad - Will Brown
"I don't think it's massive because most of the revenue sits on ticketing. Our catering around the ground will definitely have taken a hit. It would be into the thousands. Do I think it's GBP 50,000? No. Do I think it's GBP 10,000 to 20,000? Quite possibly, yes. It's enough for a club like us to make a significant difference."
These World Cup games have been a long time in the making for Gloucestershire and a lot of effort has gone into the preparations, work which has ramped up significantly in the last year. To see all that effort thwarted by rain has been particularly galling. "It's massively gutting," Brown said. "These are things that are four and a half years in the making since we bid for this tournament. It's just really sad. It's sad for the employees, we've worked so hard. It's massively sad for the fans. It's a unique opportunity and I feel so sorry for them.
"We know there are a lot of travelling fans coming across but we also know there are a lot of local fans who have been interested and maybe fans who we don't always see up here at the club. We have been really excited about the opportunity, engaging them, showing them a fantastic experience and hopefully they would come back.
"It's a disappointment. We are very sad. I think that's the underlying word. But it gives us an opportunity to make things better. We've got England v Australia in the women's Ashes and the whole T20 campaign to come and England against Australia men next year. We have got other opportunities but it's just a shame this is a big one we haven't had more of a chance with it."
Gloucestershire have put a lot of effort into engaging the local community around their host status. The World Cup trophy tour around the city two months ago was a particular success and raised the profile of the games to follow. "We closed one of the main roads in Bristol, St Marks Road, which is right in the heart of the most multicultural area of Bristol," Brown said.
"We had a big street party, we had all the Imams for the local mosque, 800 people there. That was the starting point. We gave away a lot of tickets for the warm-up matches too."
All the time and effort has not been totally wasted with Gloucestershire learning plenty from the ICC about hosting big matches. "Some things about branding. Some things around the spectator experience, the entrance into the ground," said Brown. "We have done things a certain way for a while, not necessarily saying that's been wrong. We've just done things in a certain way.
"Some of the ways we set up the gates, these hotspots the ICC do where they provide entertainment. The branding is great and it's taught us how we can make crowd barriers look reasonably attractive for example. A lot of stuff that we have steered away from because we thought it was too much money or too complicated, if we can pick out the best bits, that will really help us."