Cricket fans may soon have a place to call home, perhaps bringing to Levi’s Stadium or the Chase Center for cash.
Santa Clara County and Major League Cricket announced Wednesday that they are in extensive negotiations to have a “world-class” cricket stadium at the county fairgrounds in San Jose, the first of its kind. this type in the area. According to Tom Dunmore, a spokesman for MLC, the $50 million proposal would allow up to 15,000 fans to watch a match. Dunmore says his organization expects negotiations to be completed by the end of the year – and hopes the stadium could open in 2024.
“It’s a great location,” Dunmore said. “And we’re all excited to take the next steps here.”
The stadium will occupy less than a tenth of the 165-acre fairground – and will be built on top of the existing parking lot, across from Franklin Elementary School on Tully Road. The facility will be able to host international matches and world cups, Dunmore said, and will feature training facilities, luxury suites, franchises and a basement garage.
The county also plans to use the venue for concerts, said Fairgrounds CEO Abraham Andrade, and an overhead bridge from the fair’s main facility to the stadium is also underway. .
Cricket, which originated in England, is played with 11 players per team on a rugby field. Each team competes for a run by hitting the ball with a club outside the line of play or when two players hitting the ball on the field switch places on the court. Although the game has not enjoyed the same success in the US compared to baseball, basketball and football, it is the most popular sport in countries such as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Major League Cricket’s Dunmore said Santa Clara County was chosen as the venue for the stadium because of its large Southeast Asian fan base in the region.
Major League Cricket, founded in 2019, is a burgeoning American league and hopes to have its inaugural season in 2023 with six teams nationwide – with San Jose being the home ground of one of the teams. there. The league, which also has plans to form a US national team that can compete with other nations, has finalized plans for a stadium in Dallas that will begin breaking ground in the coming weeks.
The county fairgrounds, located in the city’s Spartan Keyes neighborhood, have been the site of an annual fair that has been in place since 1944 but has been canceled or scaled back over the past two years because of the pandemic. Also at the fairgrounds is a 16-acre affordable housing estate, a paintball arena and the largest COVID-19 testing site in the county serving thousands of residents daily. Housing advocates have long suggested that widely undeveloped parts of the site be used to address homelessness in the area by building more housing.
Matt Mahan, a San Jose council member who has advocated using fairgrounds that are being used as transitional or affordable housing, said that with the cricket stadium proposal, he’s happy because at least the fairgrounds were in use.
“I am pleased to see the district is finally doing more with the fairgrounds,” he said. “It hasn’t been used for decades.”
But he added that the cricket stadium and housing proposal were not necessarily “mutually exclusive”.
“Less than 10% of the land (will go towards the stadium),” he said. “And there is a lot of land left to use as transitional housing.”
Hersh Solanki, a resident from Cupertino and a self-proclaimed cricketer who follows India’s national team, says the stadium’s success depends on the number of fans that will show up.
“They have to raise viewership in the US,” he said of Major League Cricket. “I would say it’s pretty strong (in the Bay Area), especially given the demographics of the area. Apart from the demographics, not too many people know about it”.
But overall, he says he’s excited about the new stadium.
“I think a lot of people don’t realize how big the game is until they get into it,” Solanki said. “I think there is this whole world that remains unexplored. And it’s interesting that they do. ”
https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/01/20/santa-clara-county-fairgrounds-could-get-a-cricket-stadium-by-2024/ Santa Clara County Fairgrounds could have a cricket stadium by 2024