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Design & Development

Landmark Nassau County International Cricket Stadium ready for action

Images: ICC

T20 World Cup organisers have unveiled Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, the groundbreaking temporary venue that will be home to New York’s games during the forthcoming men’s national team cricket tournament.

T20 World Cup 2024 ambassador, Jamaican athletics superstar Usain Bolt, was this week joined by cricket legends, Team USA and New York sports stars to usher in what has been claimed represents a world first for cricket.

Architecture and design firm Populous in January unveiled plans for a 34,000-seat modular cricket stadium in New York. Populous has partnered with the International Cricket Council (ICC) on the stadium, which will host eight matches during the tournament. The US is co-hosting the event with the West Indies.

The modular stadium is located in Eisenhower Park, Nassau County, 30 miles east of Manhattan. Construction on the stadium began soon after January’s announcement, with the design of the venue incorporating sustainable, temporary solutions. The stadium grandstands were originally used during Formula 1’s Las Vegas Grand Prix and have been repurposed for primary general admission seats.

The temporary stadium is the first-of-its-kind for international cricket and believed to be the largest ever constructed in the United States. In addition to the east and west general admission stands which rise to more than 20 metres, and include views of the Manhattan skyline, extensive hospitality and media pavilions on the north and south ends of the venue have been constructed and were featured in this week’s unveiling.

The latest addition is Cabana seats in the north pavilion along with the Corner Club seats with a private party area aiming to offer a truly American experience, including elevated food and beverage and some of the best views in the ground.

Officials also claim that the venue will offer a “world-class playing surface”. The outfield surrounds four drop-in pitches cultivated with native Tahoma 31 Bermuda grass, nurtured in Florida by Adelaide Oval Turf Solutions and US-based sports turf experts LandTek Group. The pitches recently made the 1,000-mile journey to New York, were installed by crane into the venue, and are being prepared ahead of the World Cup.

T20 USA, Inc. CEO, Brett Jones, said: “This was a fantastic celebration, showcasing a truly out of this world stadium. Having Usain and a host of New York sports stars and Olympic legends to experience it was fantastic and a fitting welcome to cricket in the USA.

“Having Curtly Ambrose, Liam Plunkett, Shoaib Malik, Corey Anderson and Monank Patel here and seeing their response to the stadium and the playing surface was also pretty special. It gives us a real sense of what the fans can expect next month.”

At the beginning of the year, the ICC revealed the schedule for the 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup, with the tournament finale to be staged in the Caribbean while the blockbuster group stage fixture between India and Pakistan takes place at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium.

The announcement came after the venues for the World Cup were confirmed in September. The ICC named Dallas, Florida and New York as the three venues as the event is staged in the USA for the first time.

The other US venues selected – Grand Prairie Stadium and Central Broward Park & Broward County Stadium – are established cricket grounds in the country. The redeveloped Grand Prairie Stadium in Texas served as the primary venue for Major League Cricket’s debut season, which ran from July 13-30. Central Broward Park & Broward County Stadium, located in Lauderhill, Florida, first opened in 2007.

The World Cup will take place from June 1-29, with the ICC this week also confirming 16 warm-up matches across the US and Caribbean which will run from May 27 to June 1. Nassau County International Cricket Stadium was not named among the venues, although ESPNCricinfo said the final game between Bangladesh and India, currently marked as TBC, will take place at the stadium on June 1.

“We’ve turned what was park land and an informal cricket ground into what you’ll agree looks like a world-class cricket stadium that you might find anywhere,” said Chris Tetley, ICC’s head of events.