Hampshire Cricket sells a quarter of its “diamond debentures” investment packages

Owzat for a popular investment scheme?

Owzat for a popular investment scheme?

First published in General Sport Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Eastleigh Chief Reporter

The home of Hampshire cricket has shifted a quarter of its new investment packages in just three weeks as the venue looks to raise £2m.

As previously reported, bosses at the Ageas Bowl have made 260 five-year “diamond debentures” available for £7,500 each, entitling participants to six per cent annual interest and tickets to at least 12 international fixtures.

Australian spin legend and former Hampshire star Shane Warne had became the first person to take advantage of the deal.

And now 25 per cent of the debentures have been allocated to cricket fans – with a further 50 enquiries currently on the table. The scheme was announced just days after the Daily Echo revealed how the company behind the spectacular venue lost more than £3m last year.

News of the financial losses came after Eastleigh Borough Council agreed to plough £30m of taxpayer funds into a luxury hotel at the ground and hand over £6.5m for the lease of the 167-acre site.

Council bosses say the investment is secure while Rose Bowl plc said redevelopment costs, high staging fees for international fixtures and poor weather on match days had been factors in the financial losses.

The club, still celebrating cup victories in the domestic Twenty20 and CB40 competitions this season, says its debenture scheme has been rolled out to help with “refinancing” during completion of their £48m redevelopment.

It is not the first time the club has offered a debenture scheme with platinum, gold and silver versions launched in 2009.

This year, the club is also offering so-called ‘Diamond Cluster’ packages for £70,000 providing exclusive access to a private suite for ten people on match days.

The Ageas Bowl will host a minimum of 12 days of international cricket up to the end of summer 2016. Australia, India and Pakistan will all visit the iconic venue, while Internationals for summer 2017 are still to be confirmed.

Incoming chief executive of The Ageas Bowl, David Mann, hailed the diamond debenture package as a “unique product”.

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