Lord’s Cricket Ground’s Bicentenary

This year marks Lord’s Cricket Ground’s 200th anniversary and throughout 2014 the home of English cricket is hosting special events for the public, along with distinct hospitality options and a marquee on the outfield, which can be booked for private events.

Lord’s Cricket Ground: The Facts

The ground

  • Lord’s is the third ground that Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has owned. The first was in Dorset Square (1787-1811), the second in Lodge Road (1811-1814), and the third in St John’s Wood (1814-present day)
  • Lord’s Cricket Ground relocated to St John’s Wood in 1814 and was built on the site of a duck pond
  • Prior to the appointment of the first groundsman in 1864, the wicket was ‘prepared’ before a match by allowing sheep to come in and graze on the grass
  • The earliest known match played on the current Lord’s Cricket Ground was Marylebone Cricket Club v Hertfordshire on 22 June 1814. This match will be replayed on Sunday 22 June 2014 in celebration of the ground’s Bicentenary
  • Between 1868-1939 Lord’s had its own tube station
  • Lord’s was used as an aircrew reception centre by the RAF during WW2
  • Lord’s hosted Olympic archery at the 2012 London Olympic Games
  • The J.P. Morgan Media Centre was opened in 1999 to celebrate the millennium and was awarded the RIBA Stirling award for architecture.

Meetings, Events and Hospitality

  • There is now a dedicated team of 12 people across meetings and events and the catering operation was brought in house in 2005
  • Lord’s is bringing cricket into the Thomas Lord Suite this year with catering options ranging from a players’ breakfast to afternoon teas
  • Over 350 events took place at Lord’s in 2013
  • Lord’s Cricket Ground will cater for 4,500 covers across one day of a Test match
  • Throughout a typical Test match day, 5,000 glasses of champagne are poured and 3,000 scones are served
  • Celebrities spotted enjoying hospitality at Lord’s Cricket Ground have included Sir Mick Jagger, Stephen Fry and Lily Allen.

Team perspective

Nick Kenton, Head of Sales at MCC: “We’ve got a lot going on to celebrate the Bicentenary during 2014, for both members of the public and in terms of meetings and events. A marquee will be installed on the Ground’s outfield at the beginning of October, and this will be the centre stage for much of our public-facing celebrations, including a Bicentenary Gala Dinner and Gala Banquet, and a commemorative afternoon tea sitting. The marquee will also be available for corporate and private hire on selected dates.”

Jon Robinson, MCC Assistant Secretary (Commercial): “There have been vast changes for Lord’s in the 200 years since the ground opened; these changes are well documented throughout the venue, even looking at the stands surrounding the outfield. Each stand embodies the architectural era in which it was built, from the Victorian red brick of the Pavilion, to the contemporary J.P. Morgan Media Centre, built in 1999.

“In recent years we’ve also embraced more than just cricket. Opening the Pavilion for meetings and events has meant that non-MCC members are also able to experience the Grade II Listed structure.

“Lord’s is becoming increasingly known as a foodie destination thanks, in part, to our partnerships with noted dining destinations like Tamarind of Mayfair, which we will be working with in July for our premium hospitality package: The India Club.

“Over the next few years, we hope to improve the ground further. Work is due to start on the Warner Stand which will reveal a new restaurant, a match officials’ facility and of course, inspiring views of the hallowed turf.”

This was first published in the June issue of CN. Any comments? Email Paul Colston

Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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