Glamorgan have been left counting the consequences of paying around £2.5million for the right to stage England’s First npower Test against Sri Lanka at Cardiff.
And after being lauded for a successful Ashes Test against Australia two years ago the Sri Lanka game has been an altogether different proposition for the Welsh county.
Slow ticket sales and then poor weather on four of the five days saw the biggest crowd, on the Saturday, fail to top 11,000 in the 15,000-capacity stadium.
And chairman Paul Russell has admitted there were stark marketing differences between selling the Australia and Sri Lanka Tests to both the public and corporate sectors.
“It’s been hard work. But in the circumstances I think we’ve done a very good job,” he said. “To sell Australia all one has to do is answer the telephone. I think we’ve faced two difficulties here with the Sri Lanka game.
“With due respect to Sri Lanka, they are not perceived as an attractive side. And secondly we have the conceptual difficulty of establishing Cardiff as a Test match ground.”
But Glamorgan had problems last year with their staging of the two international Twenty20 games against Pakistan, which attracted 11,000 and 6,000 respectively, although the county did receive a 50 per cent refund of their match staging fee because of uncertainty about whether the match would go ahead amid the spot-fixing allegations.
The good news for Glamorgan is that their staging fee for next year’s Test against the West Indies is markedly cheaper because of a change in the bidding system.
“We bid just over £2million for this game,” said Russell. “The system has changed now. We have a West Indies Test match next year and the fee for that is less than 25 per cent of what we paid for this game.
“We now know the price of the Test matches that are on offer and we can buy them or not. There are a series of packages. Each of them contains a basket of games and each of them has a price attached to it.
“You bid for one of those packages and you bid not on financial lines but on criteria such as legacy, community involvement and infrastructure.
“We target the ones we really want, but the construction of the packages is such that to get some of those you really want you also have to take some of those that are less attractive.”