One Oval Square, the second major development at The Kia Oval in the last five years, is now officially open.
On the 19th June, the new £50m facility played host to its first event, a star-studded benefit dinner for Surrey County Cricket Club hero Rikki Clarke’s Testimonial Year. Rikki Clarke was joined by World Cup winners Jason Roy, Liam Plunkett and Tom Curran, and it was a suitably auspicious opening event at what is set to become one of central London’s most talked
about new events venues, helping lead the capital’s events industry out of the pandemic and into a bright new future.
One Oval Square features two huge new event spaces, The 175 Suite and The Duchy Suite, as well as a brand-new Roof Terrace with spectacular panoramic views across London. Both suites boast outdoor space overlooking The Kia Oval, as well as intimate private dining rooms. The new Stand is also powered by the addition of Solar Panels on its Roof covering adding to The Kia Ovals sustainable credentials.
The 175 Suite – with a capacity of around 700 for seated events – is named in honour of Surrey CCC’s 175th anniversary, which was due to be celebrated during 2020, whilst the second floor Duchy Suite – which avails itself of a similar capacity – is named after the club’s connection with the Duchy of Cornwall, who have been the landlord of the ground ever since it was established in 1875.
Another historic connection is celebrated by the naming of the new bar on the Roof Terrace: Sylvester’s. It honours the great Sylvester Theophilus Clarke, a superb Barbadian fast bowler who terrified batsmen up and down the country throughout the 1980s and who remains a cult hero on the streets of south London.
Sylvester’s will doubtless be a popular venue for sundowner drinks – and has the unique facility of being able to host a temporary cricket net directly next to the bar – enabling delegates to gently turn their arm over whilst enjoying a glorious view of the London skyline.
Rikki Clarke’s Testimonial Dinner was followed by the London Playing Field Foundations Annual Fundraising auction that raised over £18,000 which will go directly towards the goal of getting the nation back to sport on accessible, affordable, and attractive playing fields.
The venue is now fully open for bookings, with the One Oval Square facilities complementing the already huge popular set of rooms and terraces in the JM Finn Stand at the Vauxhall End of the ground and the historic Micky Stewart Members’ Pavilion, which recieved a major extension as part of the development work.
With The Kia Oval also welcoming packed houses for its international and domestic cricket programme this season – as well as large conference and events crowds – the ground is already at the forefront of a glorious summer in London.