Venue Files: Sporting - Pitch for business

Event spaces to raise the adrenalin levels of your guests.


Where is it? In St John's Wood, north London.

What is it? Lord's Cricket Ground is named after Thomas Lord, an entrepreneur who, in 1814, found a site in St John's Wood that could be turned into a cricket ground. Owner Marylebone Cricket Club runs an indoor cricket club, library and museum at the ground, which is also home to the Middlesex county team.

What's it got? Lord's has more than ten unique event venues available to organisers, catering for ten to 900 guests. These include the Nursery Pavilion, Thomas Lord Suite and Writing Room. In addition, the Investec Media Centre can be hired out for conferences of up to 70 delegates, the prestigious Long Room is ideal for a private dinner or reception, and the Pavilion Roof Terrace can be used for summer drinks receptions.

Who do I talk to? Events team on (020) 7616 8501


Largest space: 900 (standing)
Tube: St John's Wood
Postcode: NW8 8QN
Cost: From £68 (daily rate)


Where is it? In Wembley, north-west London.

What is it? The original stadium's iconic twin towers were recognised across the world. It closed in 2000, and, after much delay, the new stadium opened last year with a stunning arch replacing the towers.

What's it got? There are several options for organisers looking to hold events at the venue. Clients can hire corporate boxes for eight to 20 people at many of the football or music events that take place at Wembley Stadium throughout the year. There are also several rooms available for events, with theatre-style seating for 20 to 1,600 guests, or cabaret-style for 30 up to 800. The venue can also host drinks receptions for 20 to 3,250 people, and offers banqueting space for 20 to 1,366.

Who do I talk to? Events team on (020) 8795 9660


Largest space: 3,250 (standing)
Station: Wembley Park
Postcode: HA9 0WS
Cost: From £297 for an eight-seat box


Where is it? In the Suffolk countryside, 90 minutes from London.

What is it? One of the country's premier racecourses, with royal connections dating back to James I, who built the first grandstand on Newmarket Heath.

What's it got? The Millennium Grandstand has four halls. The first holds 400 for dinner or 500 for a reception, the second hosts 100 seated or 200 for a cocktail party. The third hall has a sweeping central staircase and views over the Parade Ring and racecourse. It adjoins hall four, with its carpeted bar and lounge area.

Along with some smaller spaces, the venue also has the Millennium Suite, Millennium Room and Jockey Club Room. The first caters for 250 dining or 400 for a reception, the Millennium Room holds ten for dinner or 250 for a reception, and the Jockey Club Room can hold 100 for dinner or 175 for a reception.

Who do I talk to? Events team on (01638) 675300


Largest space: 500 (standing)
Station: Newmarket
Postcode: CB8 0TG
Cost: Room rates from £150


Where is it? Silverstone is in Northamptonshire, not far from the M1.

What is it? The track is at the heart of motor racing in this country. It was formerly a World War Two airfield until the RAC employed a farmer, whose property was in the centre of the site, to create a Grand Prix circuit. The first race took place in October 1948.

What's it got? Silverstone has a range of flexible facilities that cater for ten to 300 people, and the 800-acre site accommodates events of up to 90,000. It also boasts the motor-racing track and a driving-activity centre. Alongside meetings, clients can take advantage of track-side Formula One hospitality packages. Or, if you prefer to have a go yourself, several packages are available that offer opportunities to drive, for example, Ferrari 360s and Porsche 911s. There is also an off-road challenge using the Land Rover Defender or Caterham 7.

Who do I talk to? Corporate sales team on 08704 588230


Largest space: 90,000 (standing)
Station: Northampton
Postcode: NN12 8TN
Cost: From £50 per person


Where is it? In the heart of Windsor Great Park in Surrey, halfway between Ascot Racecourse and Wentworth Golf Club.

What is it? The club was founded in 1955 by HRH Prince Philip, who wanted to play polo close to Windsor Castle. It is now widely seen as Europe's leading polo club.

What's it got? A new clubhouse is currently being built and will be available for events from September. Its capacity has not yet been decided. Corporate hospitality is also available at some events, such as the Vivari Queen's Cup Final and Cartier International Day. These packages can include private tables of eight people or a private suite for 24 guests, with champagne reception and lunch. Masseurs are even on hand to offer Indian head and neck massages. At last year's Vivari Queen's Cup Final, lifestyle company Vivari hosted a temporary structure for guests, offering lunch and nibbles throughout the day.

Who do I talk to? Penny Mulcahy on (01784) 434212


Largest space: 25,000 (standing)
Station: Virginia Water
Postcode: TW20 0HP
Cost: POA


Where is it? Ascot Racecourse is a 50-minute drive or train journey from London, set in the countryside adjoining Windsor Great Park.

What is it? While out riding in 1711, Queen Anne came upon an area of open heath near Windsor Castle, which she declared to be an ideal place for horses to gallop at full stretch. The first race meeting was held at Ascot, then called East Cote, in August 1711.

What's it got? Ascot closed in 2004 for a £200m redevelopment and now boasts 300 meeting and dining rooms, catering for groups of ten to 3,000. The Pavilion, Queen Anne Rooms and Exhibition Hall have all been refurbished, offering space for events up to 1,100 theatre-style.

The Royal Ascot Racing Club, with its limited private membership, has an exclusive tag attached to it, and is available to hire on non-race days. The club has two stylish rooms, and a range of catering options are available.

Who do I talk to? Events team on 0870 727 8765


Largest space: 3,000 (standing)
Station: Ascot
Postcode: SL5 7JX
Cost: Room hire from £200

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