ICC CWC 2007 Attracts 250,000 Fans

Managing Director & CEO of ICC Cricket World Cup 2007, Chris Dehring, has thanked the quarter of a million fans who have so far attended matches at the Event, with thousands more expected as the tournament shifts into high gear. “We must thank those fans who have helped us to achieve our first major landmark. The momentum is definitely building as we head into the second phase of the Super 8s, with a number of teams vying for scarce Semi-Final places. I believe this will also increase the turn-out at matches.” “This is the largest ticketed event ever to be held in the Caribbean and the momentum is building towards a battle royal among some of the world’s best teams. We have already seen a marked increase in attendance during the most recent Super 8 matches as the tussle for points intensifies,” he said as the curtain closed on the first 12 Super 8 games with the final game in Guyana today. Dehring revealed that overall 251,824 persons have attended matches so far (excluding today’s final Super 8 game in Guyana) with an average 7,195 fans at each game since the tournament began on March 13. The critical Group Stage clash between India and Sri Lanka boasted the highest attendance, with 16,678 spectators watching the on-field drama at Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad. The Event’s opening fixture, in which the West Indies defeated Pakistan at Sabina Park in Jamaica, followed closely with 16,574 in attendance. “While we would always want stadia filled to capacity, the Cricket World Cup is holding its own when compared to other ICC tournaments and our targets. Prior to today, the average attendance of the last three Super 8 games was just under 10,000 fans. If we continue on this upward trend as expected, our average attendance will be comparable with the previous CWC in South Africa which had average attendance of around 10,000 persons per game,” he declared. “Additionally, Ticketing revenue – which goes to the Local Organising Committees (LOCs) and Host Venue governments – has already more than doubled that of the last Cricket World Cup which had ticket sales of US$10.5 million. That’s already a creditable showing when you compare South Africa’s size, both in population and economy, with that of the West Indies. That’s certainly one of the objectives we had as a region going into this Event – to show even though we are small we still have capabilities equal to many of the bigger countries. “Currently, 75.81 per cent of the tickets available for sale have been sold or distributed (patrons and sponsors). This corresponds to 63.95 per cent of the overall capacity of the venues.” The CWC Managing Director also expressed satisfaction with international representation at the Event. “Although we naturally would be impacted by the absence of India in the Super 8 phase, we are pleased with the international attendance so far. Just under 12,000 fans were at yesterday’s Australia-England clash in Antigua, most of whom were visitors and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves, especially the lunchtime concert.” “As certain teams continue to excel we anticipate seeing more nationals from those countries. So we expect to rebound from the early exits of India and Pakistan which would have brought their large fan bases to the region. We are tackling this challenge head-on and there are positive signs and we expect an even better spectacle as we move deeper into the Event.” Grenada, which starts its Super 8 matches tomorrow with the West Indies against South Africa, and Barbados, which enters the spotlight on Wednesday, are expected, he continued, to benefit from the “tournament’s natural momentum as we move closer to determining the winners”. “Ticket sales for the matches in Barbados, which has the largest stadium capacity at 27,000 seats and which will host the Final, are the highest of any Host Venue so far and that augurs well for a strong finish to the tournament,” concluded Dehring.