I write this having yesterday had my Sunday plans dashed. Cast to the side yet again. To instead, spend hours glued to the screen.  Twice in a fortnight I was taking in every ball, over by over, nerves fraught, on another tremendous Day Five’s play of this utterly enthralling Ashes series.  

Being the only Aussie in the office, this last fortnight has been difficult to stomach.  Missed run-outs, poor reviews and one heroic Ben Stokes knock have been playing on my mind seemingly on repeat.

What could have been?

But, the manner in which our boys bounced back, holding their nerve, to claim the first ashes result in eighteen years on English soil has made the victory all the sweeter.  It’s comforting knowing no matter the result at The Oval, the urn will have a first-class Qantas ticket back to its rightful home.

Sandwiched between Headingly and Old Trafford has been yet another extremely busy fortnight at Herddle, which included an office move,  now conveniently only a stone’s throw away from the Oval. 

Being so close to such an iconic sporting stadium has got my mind ticking over, thinking about the costs and benefits of living adjacent to some of this country’s most hallowed sporting stadiums.   

The benefits are quite obvious you’d would never have to worry about long transport queues or finding parking on game day.  The bars and restaurants would frequently be  filled with likeminded fans enjoying the amazing atmosphere of game day.  

Though chances are you may have to pay higher rent.  

So, to have a quick understanding if this hypothesis holds true, I have taken a look at the average rental price for living in the immediate surrounds of this series’ Ashes venues. As expected, there is a large disparity in the cost of living between stadiums located in London and those outside the capital. 

Great news for cricket fans in Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester as the cost of living in the immediate surrounds of Edgbaston, Headingly and Old Trafford all have much more affordable rental prices.  

There is little variation in the affordability of living around these three stadiums, where the average rent for an 800 sq ft property near Edgbaston is £850pcm, an affordable £750pcm near Headingly and only £775pcm within striking distance of Old Trafford. 

But is this higher than the average rent for the city?   

Surprisingly not!  Cricket fans in Birmingham can rent close to their favourite cricket ground for £64pcm cheaper than the City average of £905pcm.   It’s a similar story in Leeds with average rents across the City for a same sized property at £843pcm, whilst the rule is the same in Manchester but the difference is much smaller.  It only costs £4 cheaper to rent near old Trafford than the Manchester average.

It’s a far different story in London, where if you compare to the most famous of grounds Lords where the average rent in affluent NW8 is an eye watering £4,000pcm!  This is over double the average cost of renting in North West London which comes in at £1,951pcm.

Renting around the Oval whilst more palatable than Lords is still significantly higher than the South East London average with rent estimated to cost you as much as £2,340pcm contrasted to the South East London average of £1,838. 

I won’t use this blog to speculate on the numerous variables that impact rental values, but at a glance it is clear that if you’re a cricket fan, who would love nothing more than being right in the thick of the action then it’s a whole lot more affordable to do so up North than it is in London.

Not a bombshell I know, but nor will it be when later this week Steve Smith inevitably raises his willow skyward for yet another inevitable century!