Warwickshire CCC chief executive Colin Povey has insisted that, without the redevelopment of their ground, the county could not afford to stay at Edgbaston.
Reconstruction of the Pavilion End, parts of which date back to 1895, is almost complete with contractors due to hand the complex over to the club on July 1.
It is an impressive project, but has cost an eye-watering £32 million, around £20m of which the Bears had to borrow from Birmingham City Council.
Warwickshire now face the pressure of repaying £1 million a year for the next two decades. It’s a hefty challenge but chief executive Povey insists it’s far preferable to trying to cope with a crumbling stadium which, with ever-increasing competition to host international cricket, may well have cost Edgbaston its Test match status.
And that, he asserts, would have been a crippling blow for the club as well as a major one for the region.
“People focus on the cost and the nature of the long-term loan,” Povey said. “But it is a model that all the major cricket grounds have had to adopt if they want to retain international status.
“It will be a challenge for us to deliver that rounded business plan that we need but the alternatives could have got dark and painful very quickly.
“We would have been left with a ground that was far too big for domestic cricket without any international cricket and the revenues that go with that. Frankly, we could not have afforded to stay at Edgbaston.