19 Nov

The growth of cricket in the United States has been given a significant boost after Major League Cricket (MLC) secured the rights to develop its first major cricket stadium in the country. 

The organization has received approval from the City of Grand Prairie, Texas, to redevelop AirHogs Stadium, which was the home of defunct American Association of Independent Professional Baseball team Texas AirHogs, on a long-term lease agreement. 

American Cricket Enterprises (ACE), the parent company of MLC, and domestic governing body USA Cricket, have hired internationally-renowned design firm HKS to repurpose and design what will be just the second professional-level cricket stadium ever built in the States. 

The redevelopment is scheduled to take place throughout 2021 before playing host to the Texas franchise of MLC that will launch by 2022. The venue, which is located between Arlington and Dallas, will also be a base for the USA Cricket national teams and its premier high-performance centre. 

The repurposed stadium will include an international size and quality cricket field capable of hosting major global competitions, a number of training nets and batting lanes added, as well as two additional outside turf fields that will be used for training and by the affiliated MLC academies. 

The seating capacity will be expanded to accommodate more than 8,000 spectators, with additional and upgraded hospitality features. Upon completion, it will be the most extensive fully-dedicated cricket facility in the United States. 

“As the first MLC stadium in the United States, Grand Prairie represents a seminal moment for the sport in America, and we are incredibly excited to partner with the City of Grand Prairie to bring Major League Cricket to Dallas,” said Sameer Mehta and Vijay Srinivasan, co-founders of ACE and MLC. 

The venue will also be the centrepiece of USA Cricket’s efforts to bring major international events to the United States, including regional International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup and T20 World Cup Qualifiers for men and women, Cricket World Cup League 2 series, and International Series against local rivals Canada and the West Indies, as well as other contemporary nations. 

The stadium will also be a featured aspect of USA Cricket’s efforts to bring the ICC T20 World Cup and other major events to the States by 2031, in a process that is ongoing as part of a joint bid with Cricket West Indies. 

“We are very excited about this opportunity to bring cricket to Texas by converting our minor league baseball stadium,” said Grand Prairie Mayor Ron Jensen. “Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world behind soccer, with a large and growing audience in the States. We look forward to an exciting future with our partners.” 

Going forward, it is expected that MLC will seek to repurpose other Minor League Baseball stadiums across the US. “In association with our partners at ACE, we now have a world-class facility to develop our domestic talent and help us fulfill the goals we announced in our Foundational Plan,” said Paraag Marathe, USA Cricket chairman. 

“The successful development of a cricket-dedicated stadium has long been a priority for us, and it is a significant stride forward for the growth of cricket in America. We also look forward to bringing international cricket events, and the crowds that go with them, to our new stadium, and to help introduce the sport to a broader audience.” 

John Stephenson 


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