Lancashire To Turn Old Trafford Pitch Square

Lancashire County Cricket Club has today confirmed that the turning of the Old Trafford square will take place at the end of the 2010 domestic season.

The transformation and modernisation of Old Trafford Cricket Ground continues on a daily basis, with Old Trafford a hive of activity.

Over the last six months, a new outfield and drainage system has been installed, work on a new electronic scoreboard and replay screen has started, the Tyldesley, County and Jubilee Suites have been demolished, and construction of the new £12m Conference & Events Centre is about to get underway.  All of the above are part of Phase 1 in Old Trafford’s redevelopment plans.

Phase 2 includes the turning of the square through 90 degrees and the building of a new “Players, Media and Education Pavilion” on the Metrolink side of the ground, opposite the current Pavilion.  The primary reason for turning the square was to address the issue of the setting sun stopping play throughout September and to increase the amount of wickets by 5 to 16, thus allowing more cricket, particularly International cricket, to be played at Old Trafford each season.

Lancashire had originally planned to turn the square at the end of the 2009 domestic season, which means only one-day matches would be played at Old Trafford in 2010 and all first-class fixtures at Outgrounds.  However, the Club along with the BDP (Architects) and Cre8 Ltd (Project team) have now formalised a ‘schedule of works’ that would need to take place if the overall sports-led regeneration scheme of Trafford is approved, leading to Lancashire deciding that this element of the redevelopment would occur at the end of the 2010 domestic season.

Lancashire CCC Chief Executive Jim Cumbes added: “The decision to turn the square at the end of the 2010 season doesn’t affect our goal of having the new cricket square up and running by 2012.  The reason we’ve moved this element of the redevelopment is to contain the period of disruption to one season, whereas starting at the end of the 2009 season will affect two cricket seasons thus reducing the stadium’s capacity and increasing costs for temporary facilities.

“Changing the programme will also provide some additional time for the Club to work with Outgrounds and help produce the best conditions possible for Lancashire’s First-Class matches during the 2011 season.

“Our vision and plans are very ambitious, possibly the most complex of any sports development in progress.  There will be disruption for spectators and patrons over the next few years, but once built, the improved facilities will provide Lancashire County Cricket Club with state-of-the-art facilities and a world-class venue that will have a long-term international future.”

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