Elevating the Hospitality Game: A Pinnacle Ashes Experience at Emirates Old Trafford

ALSD International’s Head of Client Services & Membership, Cassandra Calleja, reports on the exemplary hospitality on offer at Emirates Old Trafford, home to Lancashire Cricket, as she experienced firsthand during the iconic Ashes. Beyond the game itself, the venue presents a grand spectacle that promises unforgettable moments.

Upon entering Emirates Old Trafford, visitors are greeted by the harmonious blend of rich cricketing history and modern luxury. Outside, dynamic fan activations immediately captivate. Giant screens ensure all are in the moment, while stalls showcasing international cuisines tantalise the taste buds. Interactive games for fans of all ages punctuate the festive air, representing the culmination of traditional English charm and modern cricket’s adrenaline.

During the tour, Calleja was a guest of Dan Whitehead, Senior Business Development Manager – Hospitality & Commercial Sales at Emirates Old Trafford, Lancashire Cricket, and ALSD International Advisory Board Member, for Day 1 and Day 2 of the 4th test in the esteemed Captains Club.


Dan Whitehead, Senior Business Development Manager – Hospitality & Commercial Sales at Emirates Old Trafford, with ALSD International’s Head of Membership & Client Relations, Cassandra Calleja, at the Ashes


Accommodating over 200 guests, this suite showcased a fine blend of elegance and comfort. From a delightful breakfast to an extended afternoon tea, every detail was meticulously arranged. The networking opportunities, facilitated by Whitehead’s gracious hosting, were invaluable. Engaging conversations with Australian and English cricket legends like Glenn McGrath and David Gower provided a deeper appreciation for the sport’s legacy.


Dan Whitehead observed:

The evolution of sports hospitality is evident here, showcasing how a venue with such legacy can lead the transformation.


A close-up of a table in The Captains Club, a formal, shared, matchday hospitality experience, located in the modern and versatile building, The Point


The exploration of Emirates Old Trafford, guided by Dan, began with the Hilton Garden Inn. A testament to Emirates Old Trafford’s commitment to excellence, this four-star hotel boasts 250 premium rooms. It offers an experience akin to watching cricket from the comfort of one’s own living room but with the added luxury of a hotel balcony. This unique blend of comfort and opulence set against the iconic cricket ground backdrop truly redefines spectatorship.

ALSD International 2023 will take place at the Etihad Stadium on October 9th and 10th. Optimising revenue through New Builds, Renovations & Service Expansions is the key focus of this industry-leading event, which will kick off in style at Emirates Old Trafford’s newest addition, The Edge, on the evening of October 8th.

The exploration continued to The Edge, a recently renovated space at Emirates Old Trafford. This event space boasts an outdoor terrace, offering spectators breathtaking views of the pitch, and a viewing platform perfectly poised for witnessing world-class cricket and concerts. 


Premium, guest dining tables and seating in brand-new restaurant and event space The Edge, located in the on-site Hilton Garden Inn at Destination Emirates Old Trafford. The Edge will host the 2023 ALSD International icebreaker networking event on Sunday October 8th


Zoe Arnold, Business Development Manager at Lancashire Cricket, remarked:

At Emirates Old Trafford, we strive to create an experience that transcends the game itself. Our goal is to blend history with innovation, offering visitors not just a cricket match, but a memory they’ll cherish.

With such features, it’s clear why The Edge represents modern hospitality’s pinnacle. It’s unsurprising that this exemplary venue has been chosen to kick-off the 2023 ALSD International Conference & Exhibition with an icebreaker networking event on the evening of Sunday 8th October, 5-7pm BST.

Beyond the architecture, the culinary journey at Emirates Old Trafford is a sensory delight, from traditional roasts to luxurious cheese tasting sessions.

Every corner of Emirates Old Trafford weaves a tale of tradition meeting cutting-edge hospitality. The “1864 Legends Lounge” offers prime seating for unparalleled match views. Private boxes and exclusive lounges like the Emirates Lounge and International Club Suite guarantee intimate experiences. The debut of “Jimmy’s Bar,” named after English Cricketer James Anderson, exemplifies the venue’s commitment to luxury.


The venue’s most prestigious, shared, matchday hospitality suite The 1864 Suite, located in the historic Pavilion building


Reflecting on the experience, Calleja says:

Every corner of Emirates Old Trafford tells a story, blending tradition with the future of hospitality.

However, Emirates Old Trafford’s vision isn’t limited to cricket. With The Point – added in 2012 – it is marking its territory as a versatile event venue.

Witnessing the Ashes series unfold made it evident that it’s more than just about the sport. The holistic experience, where every moment can transform into a cherished memory, is what stands out. For those interested in sports hospitality’s future, Emirates Old Trafford shines as a beacon. It merges tradition with modern luxury, setting a memorable experience benchmark.

In essence, Emirates Old Trafford showcases the evolution of sports hospitality. As part of ALSD International, the organisation isn’t mere spectators but contributors to this evolving story, eagerly anticipating what lies ahead.

ALSD International Executive Director and Sports Venue Business CEO, Katie McIntyre, remarks:

I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Emirates Old Trafford on a number of occasions over the years and witnessed its amazing transformation firsthand.

Completion of the latest developments signal a bright future for the Manchester venue on both a national and global stage, as it strives to deliver on the highest levels of hospitality and service, all complemented by the best in facilities.

We’re very excited to showcase Emirates Old Trafford’s newest addition, The Edge – a sophisticated hospitality suite – to ALSD International attendees during an icebreaker event being hosted there on the evening of October 8.

For venues looking to innovate and enhance their guest experience, Emirates Old Trafford serves as an exemplar. Dan Whitehead, a distinguished member of the ALSD International Advisory Board, will be among the 350+ elite industry executives in attendance at the 2023 ALSD International Conference & Exhibition being hosted at The Etihad Stadium in Manchester, from October 9-10.

Author: Cassandra Calleja, Head of Client & Membership Services, ALSD International

About Emirates Old Trafford

Destination Emirates Old Trafford is an award-winning and multi-purpose venue and hotel, known for delivering inspirational conferences, meetings, incentives, multi-day events, award-dinners and much more. Catering from ten to 2,000 guests across a multitude of events, our flexible, high-end space is fully supported by dedicated and in-house services, such as event duty managers, IT support and experienced event planners.

Our venue also boasts an on-site, four-star, 150-bed Hilton Garden Inn hotel (soon to be 250 bedrooms) and many rooms overlooking the famous Lancashire Cricket pitch.

The extension of the Hilton Garden Inn hotel also included the addition of a modern and versatile restaurant and event space The Edge, an outdoor terrace with spectacular views of the pitch, and a viewing platform watching for world-class cricket and concerts. With free parking, great transport links, and two on-site restaurants, we’re the ideal choice for business and leisure stays.

Emirates Old Trafford, Talbot Road, Manchester, M16 0PX.

Imagery, courtesy: lancashirecricket.co.uk

Main image (top) – Photography by: Matt Eachus 

Sports Venue Business organises and delivers ALSD International – the leading event and 365 community for the Premium Seat & Hospitality sector – on behalf of the Association of Luxury Suite Directors (ALSD).

ALSD International 2023 will feature venue tours complimented by a high-level conference, exhibition and networking events. This year’s edition will also include the inaugural Tech Symposium and a Fan Experience breakout being delivered by IIFX.

#ALSDInternational – Europe’s leading event for the Premium Seat & Sports Hospitality sector

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