Compton and Edrich stands open for business at Lord’s Cricket Ground

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) President and Sri Lankan cricket great, Kumar Sangakkara, officially opened the new £53m Compton and Edrich stands at Lord’s Cricket Ground back in August, in front of the first full crowds for a Test match at Lord’s since 2019.

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.

Sports Venue Business CEO, Katie McIntyre, was lucky enough to tour the new stands for herself last month, thanks to Andy Muggleton, Commercial Director, MCC/Lord’s, who was also a speaker at the 2021 edition of ALSD International.

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.

Key statistics 

•    7,000m³ of material has been excavated from the site in demolishing the old stands.
•    2,000 tonnes of steel has been installed to create the superstructure now in place.
•    1,300 separate pieces of pre-cast concrete form the terracing of the three tiers, standing at 24 metres high, which offer unparalleled views of the hallowed turf and iconic Grade II* listed Pavilion.
•    The majority of the 11,600 seats fitted have been re-used from the previous stands to mitigate waste, and they all offer unrestricted views of the playing area.
•    The stands offer an additional 2,600 seats, increasing the Ground’s capacity to 31,600.

Former England cricketer Clare Connor unveiled the plaque of the redeveloped Compton Stand one day ahead of becoming the Club’s new President

Unveiling of the new Compton & Edrich plaques

MCC Chairman Gerald Corbett unveiled the new Edrich Stand plaque as his final official act on his last day as MCC Chairman on September 30. Former England cricketer Clare Connor unveiled the plaque of the adjacent redeveloped Compton Stand, one day ahead of becoming the Club’s new President.

The stands, designed by WilkinsonEyre with structural engineers Buro Happold, sit on either side of the iconic J.P. Morgan Media Centre at the famous Nursery end of the Ground. They feature a canopy roof, integrated facilities, and an elevated walkway facing the Nursery Ground that connects the two new stands and link into the Mound Stand and Grandstand. At 24m high, they are now the tallest stands at the venue allowing unrivalled views of the field of play, featuring three tiers that elevate the spectator experience.

The stands provide an additional 2,600 seats, increasing the Ground’s overall capacity to 31,180. Half of the 11,600 seats fitted have been re-used from the previous stands to mitigate waste.

Both stands are designed to be open and spacious, with clear open stairs, access walkways and wayfinding, improving accessibility and crowd circulation. A bridge connects the two main hospitality lounges, linking the stands for the first time, while introducing impressive dual aspect views of the pitch and Nursery Ground. A permeable two-storey arcade opens up the stands’ outward facing elevations. Together the stands improve the east facing frontage of the Ground and present a new identity from the North and East Gate entrances.

Jim Eyre, Director at WilkinsonEyre, said:

This has been a wonderful project to which we have been able to bring our skills and experience to bear in designing great new facilities for enjoying cricket in this iconic setting.

MCC President Kumar 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. 

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 of 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.

The new stands complete the second phase of the Club’s plans to redevelop the Ground and future-proof the renowned cricket ground known as the Home of Cricket. The first phase included the reconstruction of the Warner Stand, which was officially opened by the late Duke of Edinburgh in 2017.

Imagery, courtesy: Lord’s / WilkinsonEyre

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