MCC President and Sri Lankan cricket great, Kumar Sangakkara, officially opened the new £53 million Compton and Edrich stands at Lord’s Cricket Ground on Thursday, August 12, in front of the first full crowds for a Test match at Lord’s since 2019.
Kumar Sangakkara declared the stands officially open by cutting the ribbon of MCC colours, scarlet and gold, accompanied by MCC Chairman Gerald Corbett, MCC Chief Executive & Secretary Guy Lavender, and members of the project team who made the completion of the redevelopment possible during the past 18 months and the challenges raised by the pandemic.
Those present also included two generations of the Compton and Edrich families, of which the new stands continue to bear their respective names: Nick and Ben Compton, both cricketers and grandsons of the late Denis Compton, and Justin Edrich, son of Bill Edrich, along with his daughter, and Bill’s niece, Jean attending the opening ceremony.
The late Denis Compton and Bill Edrich entertained thousands of spectators during their careers, and their contribution to the history of Lord’s will continue to inspire visitors to the Home of Cricket through the stands.
Addressing the distinguished gathering Sangakkara said, “I am incredibly proud to have the honour of opening these magnificent new stands. One of the key focuses during my tenure as President was the development of Lord’s as a leading venue in world cricket, and it’s an incredible moment to see this ambition achieved and full of life with cricket supporters enjoying the stands”.
“It’s wonderful that we are joined by family members of the great Denis Compton and Bill Edrich for this memorable occasion, two fantastic players and characters of the game who were a joy to watch. Their entertaining presence will be remembered through these stands for years to come and will no doubt be accompanied by many more historic moments on the field at Lord’s,” he also said.
The redeveloped Compton and Edrich stands, designed by double RIBA Stirling Prize winners WilkinsonEyre and constructed by ISG, have replaced the old structures with significantly improved facilities that will future proof the Home of Cricket, while complimenting the unique character of the Ground.
The spectacular and innovative stands accommodate 11,600 spectators and provide an experience to be enjoyed by a range of cricket supporters. Ticket holders will benefit from the numerous integrated catering and washroom facilities located in close proximity to seats at all levels, ensuring minimal time away from the cricket action on the Ground while providing excellent sightlines and unparalleled views of Lord’s.
The stands have greatly improved accessibility with wheelchair-accessible spaces, amenity seating and lift access at all levels. Debenture Holder level seating on the second tier boasts two magnificent pitch-facing restaurants, Compton’s and The Edrich, the latter of which is run by Michelin-starred chef, Tommy Banks for international matches, as well as two exquisite hospitality suites. The stands also include a new shop at ground level.
A walkway bridge links the two stands, offering beautiful views of both the Main Ground and the iconic Pavilion, and the Nursery Ground and beyond overlooking St John’s Wood Church Gardens. Completing the new stands are two state-of-the-art canopy roofs which honours the design of the RIBA Stirling prize winning J.P. Morgan Media Centre by RIBA Stirling prize winning architect, the late Jan Kaplicky
The stands offer an additional 2,600 seats, increasing the Ground’s capacity to 31,600.
MCC Chief Executive & Secretary, Guy Lavender said, “It’s been fascinating watching these stands evolve over the past two years. In what has been a challenging time for everybody, finally opening these stands fully to be enjoyed by cricket supporters for this Test match is a significant, and heart-warming, moment”.
“There has been an incredible amount of hard work to achieve this milestone and I would like to thank everybody who has been involved in this project, which has truly been a team effort,” he also said.