Ahead of tomorrow’s NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston, the ECB have announced that a record number of spectators – more than 700,000 – have watched this season’s domestic T20 competition.
The season’s aggregate attendance of 704,205 – spread across 122 matches and including tomorrow’s Finals Day – is the highest number recorded since the domestic T20 format was first introduced in 2003.
It beats the previous record aggregate of 676,753 which was set in 2010 when there were a larger number of domestic T20 matches – 147 – played over the course of the season.
The average attendance for this year’s competition (5,772) is also up by 12 per cent on the average figure (5,153) for the previous five seasons of domestic T20 matches.
Eight counties have also enjoyed capacity crowds this season and tomorrow’s Finals Day will see a record attendance of around 23,000 at Edgbaston.
Other key trends to emerge from this season’s competition include:
· A 29 per cent increase in the number of 18-30 year olds purchasing tickets in advance.
· The average first innings score (when 20 overs were available) was 164 compared to 153 in 2013 – a seven per cent increase.
· 80 per cent of pitches were marked Good or Very Good – with 96 per cent of pitches marked Above Average.
· The competition's dedicated Facebook and Twitter channels (@NatWestT20Blast) have jointly attracted more than 75,000 followers, and more than 18,000 people played the ECB’s Fantasy Game (52% of players aged under 25).
ECB Chief Operating Officer Gordon Hollins said: “Tomorrow’s Finals Day promises to be a fantastic spectacle in front of a full-house Edgbaston crowd and a fitting way to round-off a highly memorable domestic T20 season which has seen many counties playing to full houses, record-breaking run-chases and all the drama and excitement which we traditionally associate with this format of the game.
“We’ve also been particularly pleased to see a healthy increase in the number of younger people buying tickets in advance, a growing ‘remote’ following for the competition across our social media channels, and, most important of all, a positive response from cricket fans to the new, dedicated Friday night slot for the majority of group stage matches.”
The aggregate attendances for the last five years are: 2009: 491, 871 93 games
2010 676,753 147 games
2011 668,937 136 games
2012 359,612 75 games
2013: 611,299 94 games
2014: 704,205 122 games