#SBS24 this month in Manchester! Welcome Co-op Live/OVG, RCD Mallorca, Verizon, DWF Law, Hearts, Sunderland AFC, Wembley Stadium, Oxford United, Juventus FC, Croke Park, Stadio Algarve, Everbank Stadium, Kulture City, PAM, Duracell/Procell, Trusts Arena, Suncorp Stadium... Join them
Driving your revenues, sustainability and fan experience: #SBS24 – 15th annual TheStadiumBusiness Summit in Manchester on 17-18-19 June

Features

Major League Cricket sets out masterplan for US venue development

Major League Cricket (MLC) has announced timelines for multiple facility developments, including plans for additional new grounds, as part of its vision to introduce several leading venues for the sport in the United States.

The goal is to have several cricket-specific venues ready for play by 2024. Upon completion, the venues will host MLC games after the United States’ first professional Twenty20 competition launches in 2023 and will bid to host games at the men’s T20 World Cup in 2024, which is to be co-hosted by the US and the West Indies.

MLC last month announced its latest significant move to enhance cricket grounds in the US by agreeing a multi-million-dollar public-private partnership with the town of Morrisville, North Carolina. The deal will see the two parties jointly invest in the expansion of Church Street Park, upgrading the facility into an international-quality cricket venue.

MLC in January agreed terms to develop its second “world class” cricket stadium in the US, with the latest facility set to be located in San José. MLC and the County of Santa Clara announced the approval of an exclusive negotiating agreement (ENA) to move forward with lease negotiations and design approvals to develop a stadium on a 14-acre parcel of the Santa Clara Fairgrounds site.

In November 2020, MLC reached an agreement with the City of Grand Prairie to develop the sport’s first world-class stadium in the US. MLC has now said groundbreaking for this venue (pictured) will take place in April, with work set to begin mid-year in Morrisville for completion of upgrades to Church Street Park by spring 2023. Both venues will bid to host games at the World Cup.

In addition, MLC is working on engaging with Broward County on upgrades to the Broward County Stadium, located in southern Florida.

“This array of venue developments in areas with significant cricket-passionate communities comes as the International Cricket Council has identified the United States as its primary target market to expand the game with the award of co-hosting rights to the ICC men’s T20 World Cup in 2024,” said Sameer Mehta, co-founder of Major League Cricket.

“MLC is committed to supporting that vision alongside its long-term partner USA Cricket and we’re excited to work together to transform the landscape and opportunities for cricket to rapidly develop across the country with this infrastructure investment.”

Upon completion of development in spring 2023, Grand Prairie Stadium is intended to be the leading venue for cricket in the United States and will be a base for the US national team, featuring a premier High Performance Center. The stadium near Dallas will feature more than 7,000 permanent seats, expandable to 20,000 for major events along with luxury and premium hospitality space.

As announced earlier this year, MLC and the Town of Morrisville have partnered on the expansion of Church Street Park, upgrading the facility into an international-quality cricket venue. The venue’s permanent capacity will be expanded to over 3,500. The upgrades will also include the installation of state-of-the-art broadcast infrastructure, additional parking and LED illuminated natural and artificial turf practice pitches and nets.

MLC said it is also planning investments to enhance two cricket venues near Houston, Moosa Stadium and Prairie View Cricket Complex, that would potentially allow both to be host candidate venues for the World Cup and host other professional cricket events.

Development plans in San Jose include a 12,000-capacity venue. Conditional on a final agreement being reached this year with Santa Clara County, the stadium is aimed for completion by spring 2024.

In Redmond, Washington, a state-of-the-art cricket facility is proposed for development at a 20-acre site located at Marymoor Park, located 20 minutes from downtown Seattle. The venue is intended to complement the park’s outstanding greenery, with a lightweight grass berm design expected to accommodate 4,000 to 6,000 spectators.

MLC said it is also engaged with a potential location in Orange County, California, on the development of a cricket venue that could serve to host Major League Cricket and other international events, including cricket if the sport is included on the programme for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

MLC added that it is exploring the potential use of larger existing stadiums that can be repurposed to host major cricket events, giving the sport the opportunity to be showcased on large-scale stages in key markets.

Image: Major League Cricket