Published: 13th June, 2013
The extension of The Kia Oval’s historic Pavilion was this morning officially opened by the Tipper sisters, Mr. M.A.R. Galadari and Surrey CCC Chairman Richard Thompson.
Building was ongoing at the ground all winter on the extension, which will give the stadium a grand new front door that is fitting for its place as one of the leading International venues in the world.
The design of the new development has been heavily influenced by The Oval’s crucial role in English sporting history, with replica urns representing the ground’s position as the ‘Home of the Ashes’. New space created within the building will also allow Surrey CCC to display the treasures of its archives more prominently, with the first exhibition – based around the ground’s Ashes history – currently on display.
Elsewhere in the development, two new south facing sun terraces have been built – linked by a set of classical doric columns – allowing members using the Ali Brown 268 Bar on the first floor and the Alcock Room on the third floor to enjoy panoramic views over south London.
The Tipper sisters, Joyce and Kathy, have been Surrey members for 78 years, coming to The Oval for the first time in 1934 – under the captaincy of Errol Holmes – and joining the club two years later in 1936. The pair have fond recollections of walking to The Oval from their home in Eltham, thereby saving the bus fare and enabling them to buy a cup of tea when they arrived at the ground!
Mr. M.A.R. Galadari is one of the primary sponsors of both Surrey CCC and The Kia Oval. He has contributed funds specifically to the pavilion redevelopment and has been honoured by the lower terrace being named The Galadari Terrace.
The landlords of The Kia Oval, the Duchy of Cornwall, have been fully involved with the project from its onset. The Prince of Wales visited the construction site in January and Surrey CCC is immensely grateful for his support.
The club’s focus will now move to the expansion of the OCS Stand. A planning application to extend the stand by approximately 1,000 seats was granted by Lambeth Council this week. Work will start in October and be completed by the start of the 2014 season in time for the visit of India.
Surrey are also grateful for the strong partnership that has been forged with Lambeth Council for the continued improvement of The Kia Oval as well as other community projects such as the club’s ongoing work to enhance the sporting facilities in Kennington Park.
Speaking to kiaoval.com, Surrey CCC Chief Executive Richard Gould said: “It’s great to have a front door that fully respects our sporting heritage and history whilst also providing peerless facilities for our members and supporters.
“We’ve received excellent feedback over the last couple of months as people have seen the work coming to completion and we look forward throughout one of the busiest and most exciting summers of cricket the ground has ever staged.”