28 May 2014
The rise of cricket hospitality
When the ICC Cricket World Cup was last held Down Under in 1992, it didn’t just bring the world’s best cricketers together but also helped launch a new era of corporate hospitality.
“It was about coming to cricket at Eden Park and getting dressed up, enjoying good food and fine wine, being waited upon and enjoying the surroundings,” says Walton.
The concept was simple. For an annual subscription to the Auckland Cricket Taverners Club, members could see all international and domestic cricket at Eden Park in a luxurious environment.
“We started during the England series in January 1992, which were essentially warm-up games for the World Cup starting in February. Even though New Zealand lost the series, people saw the concept and realised that (even) although you couldn’t control the result, you could control the surroundings and ambience.”
With corporate hospitality only just beginning in New Zealand, the Taverners Club provided added value with a private lounge and dining area, seats on the grass and high-quality service.
“People were looking over the fence wanting to be a part of it. Then the ICC Cricket World Cup 1992 gave us real impetus.
“From the first game at Eden Park, we had a sense of something special. We beat Australia and got on a roll. The momentum grew across the country and led to a real growth curve in cricket in New Zealand.”
New Zealand’s tournament culminated in the semi-final at Eden Park against Pakistan. Walton says the Taverners Club reached capacity for the match with people arriving 90 minutes before the start to get a good position in the lounge or down on the grass behind the white picket fence.
“New Zealand was in control of the match, until chasing a total which we thought was good enough for New Zealand to win, Pakistan through Inzamam ul-Haq took it away from us in about 45 minutes.
“Although it was a deflating finish, the ICC Cricket World Cup 1992 is a memory I will carry with me for the rest of my life. We were blessed with a combination of great weather, fine organisation and a great New Zealand performance – I hope next year can be the same!”
One of the features of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 will be the hospitality options available. For those wanting to create an unforgettable experience, there is a range of options to suit any taste or budget.
Packages are selling fast so get in touch today and start planning your ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
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