Developer launches $2.4bn plan to bring cricket to America

Development company Global Sports Ventures has announced that it is to partner with real estate firm JLL to spend $2.4bn on developing cricket stadiums in eight US cities.

Last year Global Sports set out to establish a professional US cricket league and the tie-up with JLL’s Sports and Entertainment Group is a step in that direction, broadcaster WXIA in Atlanta reports.

The league will begin in cities where cricket already has an established following, with New York and New Jersey, Washington, DC, and Atlanta given as examples. The league plans to launch in 2020 and then look to expand to more cities.

Each stadium will be home to a franchise and will also include retail, residential space, offices, hotels and leisure facilities. According to JLL, each stadium will cost between $70m and $125m, and the associated mixed-use developments will cost an additional $80m to $100m.

Jignesh Pandya, the chair of Global Sports, said: "JLL will be a key partner in this endeavour. We are quite impressed with the job they did with the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park and The Battery, and other similar stadium centric assignments across the country."

David Demerast, international director of JLL, commented: "Each cricket-anchored development will create hundreds of temporary and permanent jobs to the local economies and enhance the overall infrastructure for each community."

The Construction Dive website comments that the sport will find support among Americans of south Asian heritage, particularly those with roots in India – a population that doubled to 2 million in 10 years to 2013.

What is not yet clear is whether Americans will be able to tolerate the traditional five-day test match, during which nothing happens for long periods of time, and the most common result is a draw.

Image: England play South Africa (Creative Commons)

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  1. While they’re at it they should bring baseball to India

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