Old Trafford Ashes venue managers turned to temporary technology developed for the London 2012 Olympics to increase the third Investec Ashes Test that concluded with England retaining The Ashes.
Emirates Old Trafford, home of Lancashire County Cricket Club (LCCC), has undergone £40m redevelopments designed to attract more international cricket and major music and entertainment events. As a result, LCCC approached event overlay specialist Zaun to provide a high-security temporary perimeter protection system for areas of the ground.
Specifiers and safety officials wanted to create an extra three metres of space around the ground’s perimeter to remove ‘pinch points’ and enable better spectator flow within the venue, without affecting pedestrian and traffic flow around the stadium, so needed fencing with a small footprint.
LCCC used Zaun’s MultiFence temporary fencing solution to effectively increase the perimeter while ensuring the aesthetic appeal of the ground was not altered, as the Multi-Fence system was branded with the event and advertising messages.
LCCC Event & Safety Manager Richard Mulcaster said: “Zaun has designed a really effective event overlay solution. They coped with all of the install constraints of a busy season of county and international cricket to put in an attractive system in double-quick time.“
Zaun installed 60 metres 3 metres high fencing system over two days after a midweek Friends Life t20 win over Roses rivals Yorkshire Vikings at the Emirates Old Trafford.
Zaun combined two of its celebrated temporary high-security systems developed specifically for last year’s Olympics and Paralympics Games – the Rapid Deployable System (RDS) and Multi-Fence – into the Manchester installation.
Both systems have won awards this year for protecting events and crowded places. In 2012 they were effectively deployed at several key sporting and high-security events in the UK. Multi-Fence also protected against hostile vehicle attacks and was used at several London 2012 Olympic venues.
RDS has saved up to 90% of police time during recent installations by uniquely providing hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) up to 30mph (48kph) in a rapidly-deployed temporary fencing solution with no below-ground foundations – a solution generally offered only by permanent fixed installations.
Zaun co-founder and director Alastair Henman said: “It’s been an honour and a privilege to be involved with LCCC to deliver such an effective solution for this high-profile sporting installation and at such an iconic venue.“
Old Trafford is England‘s second oldest Test venue and one of the most renowned arenas in world cricket. It hosted the first-ever Ashes Test held in England in July 1884 and hosted two Cricket World Cup semi-finals.
In 1956, England bowler Jim Laker grabbed the first-ever 10-wicket haul in a single inning, recording figures of 19 for 90 – a feat that has never been matched in Test or first-class cricket to this day.
Work began on the redevelopment in summer 2011 to preserve the ground’s rich history of Test cricket and increase its capacity as a music venue from 50,000 to 65,000.
First came the installation of permanent floodlights, a new video screen and a new ‘Players and Media’ centre, mimicking the design of The Point, with a two-tiered cantilever stand on either side. Contractors have replaced The Pavilion’s sloped roof with two modern glass storeys, finished in April 2013.
They demolished the media centre and corporate boxes on the western side of the ground to leave a space used for temporary seating or a stage when required when the Zaun overlay security is likely to be applied once more.