Counties - Media Guide to the Grounds (2013)
Lancashire (Old Trafford, Manchester, Liverpool CC, Blackpool CC, Southport & Birkdale CC) by Graham Hardcastle Email: email@example.com,
Manchester (Emirates Old Trafford)
Emirates Old Trafford is currently in a state of redevelopment which is almost finally complete, and will continue to be so until the summer of 2013 when the ground hosts the third Ashes Test match in early August.
New player dressing rooms and media facilities will be in operation in time for the Twenty20 international between England and South Africa in early September 2012, with the triple-tiered building at the Statham End of the ground expected to be trialled for a County Championship match beforehand.
Until then, all media are being housed in the broadcast media suite opposite the usual Neville Cardus press box at right angles to the wicket.This is for a couple of reasons. The first being that the players are changing in temporary dressing rooms a couple of floors below and the second being the ease of access from the car park, which can be entered via Great Stone Road.
Access is pretty easy from all around Old Trafford. As long as you are not coming on a Manchester United match day, you should have very few problems with traffic.
I’m often wary of a build up of traffic on the M60 ring road in a morning, but it never seems to materialise as often as I’d expect it to. The only real problems seem to occur on the Mancunian Way back to the M6, M60, M61 etc at night. That can be a bit of a pain if you catch it around 7pm on a weekday. If it rains and you are even earlier than 7pm, then be prepared for a longer wait.
Accommodation wise, you can stay as far out as Altrincham, amble down after a leisurely breakfast to the Metro station and be at Old Trafford station, right outside the ground in 15 minutes. Or you can stay in the stadium in the Old Trafford Lodge, close to Salford Quays, or in the thick of things in the city centre, which is also a tram ride away.
If you are visiting Old Trafford in the car, you should drive around to the entrance next to the B&Q superstore (this is not the members' car park on Talbot Road). Go past the front of the ground and take the first left at the lights.In 2010 Lancashire opened a new structure called "The Point" to the left of the main pavilion as you look at it. The bright red building on stilts will be used for corporate hospitality during matches and conferences out of season.
These will change considerably over the next few months. Until September 2012, you should head to the top floor of the broadcast media suite whether you are written press, radio or TV. For written press, one of the radio boxes will be allocated for a Championship or CB40 match. If there are too many in attendance to fit in one box, you could ask media manager Paul Holliday, or whoever is on duty, if you can move back to the Neville Cardus box.From the England v South Africa Twenty20 international in September onwards, the new facility at the Statham End of the ground will be used. We have been told to expect a trial run for a Lancashire match just beforehand.
Paul Holliday is Lancashire's communications manager. He can be contacted on 07866 562998, 0161 718 2325 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Paul is a part of a four-person media team at Old Trafford. Other useful contacts are website editor Ken Grime (07768 558149, 0161 282 4049 or email@example.com), Treve Whitford (07748 181058 or firstname.lastname@example.org) and Zoe Morgan (07748 181085 or email@example.com)
A lunch bag is brought around with a sandwich, bag of crisps, a drink, a piece of fruit and a cake (possibly an Eccles Cake if you're lucky!!). There is also a tea and coffee machine on the top floor of broadcast media suite.
The Old Trafford Lodge is worth considering. A room overlooking the square will set you back about £65 per night, and you can work from the balcony. The Copthorne Hotel is just around the corner from the other Old Trafford on Salford Quays, as is a Ramada and a couple of budget chain hotels, a Travelodge and an Etap. Premier Inn and Ibis not far from Oxford Road
and St. Peter's Square are also worth a try.
Good places immediately around the ground are fairly sparse – there is a Weatherspoon’s Pub just next to the football ground with cheap food and the usual array of ales, but it is probably best to head into the city centre, or try Chorlton, the haunt of Tanya and Andy Wilson, just a short drive or long walk (20 minutes) away.
If you can't persuade the Wilsons to show you around, try these Chorlton drinking hot spots: The Marble House pub (run by a local organic brewery which has another place The Knott Fringe near Deansgate station), Battery Park, and The Bar. The Beech, a small, but proper pub, near the green. For grub try The Tonic, The Lead Station and The Bean Counter (veggie). For top-class sandwiches try Barbacan. Other Restaurants worth a try include: The Lowry (0161 876 2121), Rhodes & Co (0161 868 1900), Great Kathmandu (0161 434 6413) and Lead Station (0161 881 5559).
Liverpool Cricket Club (Aigburth), Southport & Birkdale CC and Blackpool CC are used by the club as their outgrounds, with all providing facilities for the media in temporary facilities. Liverpool is Lancashire's primary outground, with four Championship matches scheduled for 2012 and six having been played there in 2011. It is no exaggeration to say that the facilities at Liverpool CC are better than they are at Headingley over the other side of the Pennines.