Yorkshire CCC and Scarborough CC expect surge in Roses interest for 2021

SCARBOROUGH Cricket Club boss Rob Richtering believes that interest in Yorkshire’s visits to North Marine Road is increasing as the club prepares for the return of Roses competition in 2021.

BRING IT BACK: Big crowds are expected at Scarborough Cricket Club in 2021, particularly for the July Roses clash against Lancashire. Picture: James Hardisty.

The Scarborough chief executive insists that enthusiasm to see Yorkshire play at the seaside is rising ahead of what will be the first Roses match there for 30 years when Yorkshire host Lancashire in the County Championship from July 11.

The arch rivals should have met there last summer only for the fixture to be cancelled due to the pandemic.

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Richtering said that interest levels for next year’s game had already exceeded those at a comparable stage last year, reflecting what he believes to be a general upsurge in keenness to watch county cricket on the North Yorkshire coast.

ROSES ANTICIPATION: Yorkshire first team coach, Andrew Gale.Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

“I think the interest in watching Yorkshire play at Scarborough is increasing, I really do,” said Richtering. “It’s getting bigger and better all the time.

“You can just see it year on year. It’s the whole thing – the town and the cricket. You just need the weather, and that’s it – wow.

“I’ve actually been blown away by the amount of interest on social media for next year’s match.

“Our one simple tweet on the club’s Twitter account, saying that we’re delighted to be hosting the game, etc, had over 100,000 impressions in just the first few hours.

HERO: Captain Martyn Moxon inspired Yorkshire to a 48-run win over Lancashire the last time the two teams met at Scarborough back in 1991.

“We’ve never had anything like that before.

“There wasn’t that much interest for this year’s fixture, for the game that never was, and just getting your head around 100,000 impressions in a few hours – the number of people who are interested – is almost impossible.”

Although there is clearly a huge difference between Twitter impressions and spectators through the turnstiles, Richtering is hoping for bumper crowds for the Roses match.

He estimates the fixture could generate up to £400,000 in income, and although there are various costs and overheads to be factored in, it will certainly help to offset a net loss for 2020 currently predicted to be approaching £100,000.

“Normally, we get around 5,000 people a day turning up to the matches,” he added, “but I think we’ll get around 7,000 a day for the Roses match.

“Any county game at Scarborough is terrific, as we all know, but the Roses is something extra special.

“We’re all obviously hopeful that we’ll have full crowds back by then, and I think by then (July) things have got to be different.

“If they are, and working to that basis, the game could be worth up to £300,000-£400,000, in terms of income generated as opposed to profit, because there’s obviously overheads in there too.

“A lot depends on hospitality. We get a percentage of ticket sales and earn on hospitality; for example, the Festival match usually generates over £250,000 because of hospitality, and so on.

“The Roses game will have more spectators, so it will certainly help given the current situation and in terms of off-setting this year’s loss, which is probably around £90,000 at the moment.”

Richtering believes Scarborough is bearing up well overall.

A combination of prudent management, ongoing support from Yorkshire CCC and its chief executive, Mark Arthur, allied to the love that people have for Scarborough in general, ensures that it has the best opportunity of combating the ill winds caused by Covid-19.

“I think we’re ok,” he said. “We’ve lost money, but probably everybody has lost money.

“You have to be positive, and when you get things like the Roses match, and you see the huge interest in it, the interest in Scarborough, the interest in Scarborough cricket, it’s fantastic. That makes you feel an awful lot better.

“Yes, it’s been tough, but it’s been tough for the whole world – everybody. You have to think positively. We can only deal with what we can deal with. We can’t deal with the uncontrollables, that’s the thing.”

Cricket at Scarborough has significant benefits for the local economy.

As Richtering explained: “Apart from the cricketing aspect, the other big thing is what it’s all worth to the town.

“It’s been estimated that cricket at Scarborough is worth around £5m to the town each year, and this year, in fact, Scarborough Borough Council – with whom we work really well and who are very supportive – were going to have researchers on all the gates, asking people for their postcodes, because there’s a mechanism to work out this sort of thing.

“For example, if you live in London, because you’re going to be in a hotel and you’re going to eat out and do this, that and the other, you might be worth, for argument’s sake, £1,000 to the local economy. But if you live in York, you might only be worth £100.

“They’re very keen to come up with those numbers, so they will hopefully do that next year instead.”

The Roses match will be the first at Scarborough since a hundred from current Yorkshire director of cricket Martyn Moxon, then the club’s captain, helped to inspire a 48-run win in 1991.

The only previous Championship meeting between the clubs at North Marine Road came two years earlier, when – whisper it softly – the Red Rose triumphed by 184 runs.

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