Australia expect less English fans for 2010 Ashes

November 12, 2010

Tourism officials are predicting a sharp fall in the number of British cricket fans heading to Australia for this winter’s Ashes series, BBC reports

Numbers are expected to be down by almost half compared to 2006, with fewer than 20,000 supporters now likely to make the long journey from the United Kingdom to watch the battle for the legendary urn.

Cricketing authorities are blaming the runaway Australian dollar and economic uncertainty.

“Unfortunately we’re not expecting as many UK visitors this time,” says Peter Young from Cricket Australia.

“The huge tidal wave of UK visitors including the Barmy Army that we had four years ago is not going to be repeated.

“The twin impact of the financial crisis and the exchange rate has meant that the pound buys so much less than it did four years ago.”

The Ashes will be the biggest sporting event in Australia this year and strong ticket sales have been reported for the first three days at all five test venues, including the much-anticipated blockbuster in Brisbane that starts on 25 November.

So, the grounds will be far from empty but those stay-away England fans will be missed.

The 2006/07 Ashes series and the one-day internationals that followed pumped $320m into the domestic economy, more than both the Formula One Grand Prix and Australian Open Tennis in Melbourne.

On average travelling England fans spent more than $10,000 during their stay, a sizeable chunk doubtless frittered away drowning sorrows during a forgettable tour that saw the tourists thumped 5-0 in the test series.