Ahead of TheStadiumBusiness Design & Development Summit in Manchester in December, we caught up with Craig Flindall, Chief Operating Officer of Warwickshire County Cricket Club.
Flindall has served in this role since May 2010, having joined Warwickshire after four years as an Assistant Director of Corporate Finance at Ernst & Young. One of his core responsibilities as COO has been orchestrating the club’s stadium masterplan phases for Edgbaston, managing project teams and ensuring on-budget and timely completion.
Warwickshire this summer opened what it claims is one of the most unique spaces in the world to enjoy a cricket match. Edgbaston’s Skyline roof-top terrace hospitality offering has served to transform its match day experience for guests. Skyline – situated at the height of the South Stand – offers panoramic views of the pitch and Birmingham landscape, whilst delivering what Warwickshire believes is an unrivalled hospitality package.
Skyline is just one element of an ongoing multi-phase reimagining of Edgbaston Stadium, the club’s home since 1894.
TheStadiumBusiness: What’s exciting you in the field of stadium design at present?
Craig Flindall: “I’m excited to see how design/development incorporates connectivity to deliver a great customer experience and provide opportunities to drive secondary revenues. I’m also interested to see how we can evolve future building design for the latest sustainability features which help make the stadium more energy efficient post completion.”
TSB: What have been the key developments this year in terms of Warwickshire’s infrastructure projects?
CF: “At Edgbaston we have completed two main projects in the year. Phase Two of the Stadium Masterplan reached practical completion in October and includes Patrizia AG’s development of 375 apartments over 17 floors, 14,000 square feet of retail space, spacious communal areas, underground parking and a landscaped podium deck. In addition, the Club’s works included a new entrance piazza and car parking zones, totalling over 15,000 square metres.
“Furthermore, we completed the first element of Phase Three, our Skyline hospitality deck, situated at the height of the South Stand – offering spectacular panoramic views of the pitch and Birmingham landscape, whilst delivering our fantastic hospitality.
“The major refurbishment includes high-end hospitality and banqueting, private inclusive bar, reception areas, live music and DJ, plus superior seating in a partially-covered, contemporary roof-top setting.”
TSB: What’s in the pipeline for Warwickshire and Edgbaston over the next six to 12 months?
CF: “The major part of Phase Three includes the redevelopment of the oldest stands at Edgbaston Stadium, the Raglan and Priory stands, which we hope to complete ahead of the next men’s Ashes series in 2027. We hope to release detailed plans for this anticipated phase of works in the first half of 2024.”
TSB: What are you most looking forward to about the Summit?
CF: “I always look forward to meeting other venue owners and leading advisors in the sector at the Summit and coming away with several ideas which we can potentially incorporate into our own plans.”
Explore the future of stadium design with Craig and hundreds of other stadium industry leaders, exclusively at #TDS23 at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester on December 6-7.