Newly named Utilita Bowl strives to become cricket’s greenest venue
Energy provider Utilita has struck a naming-rights deal for the home of Hampshire County Cricket Club in England, with hopes that the agreement will accelerate the venue's drive to become cricket's 'greenest' ground.
As a starting point, more than 1,000 solar panels capable of generating roughly 25% of the electricity used at the ground each year will be installed at the newly named Utilita Bowl in Southampton.
The installations will save a six-figure sum in electricity costs, while also reducing carbon output by up to 80 tonnes a year. The figure equates to roughly the same level of emissions produced by driving 301,855 miles in a car each year.
“We’re delighted to partner with Utilita, a Hampshire-based business who share our values and can now help shape our vision of creating the greenest international cricket venue in the world,” commented David Mann, Chief Executive of Utilita Bowl.
“As two organisations who already play a major role in helping to add value to our local communities through our respective foundations, together we can extend our efforts even further at a time when this help is needed more than ever. This is the dawn of a new era for the venue, and we’re excited by the possibilities this partnership will offer.”
“The cheapest and greenest energy is the energy we don’t use."
The multi-year agreement for the venue, which was previously called the Ageas Bowl, covers a busy period for the ground, which is scheduled to host 19 international cricket fixtures between 2025 and 2031. This includes a Men’s Ashes Test in 2027 and a Women’s Ashes Test in 2031.
“The cheapest and greenest energy is the energy we don’t use, and that’s exactly what this partnership is designed to do – cut energy usage,” added Bill Bullen, CEO at Utilita.
“This support doesn’t stop at the venue itself but is extended to the over half a million visitors who walk through its doors each year. We will work closely with the venue to ensure they lead the way in becoming more sustainable across all aspects of their operations: from travel and match days to the day-to-day running of the ground and any ancillary developments.
“This truly is a unique, first-of-its-kind partnership in British sport.”