The most popular sports in the world will soon be brought to a new audience as a new cricket stadium is being proposed to be built in the Bay Area, KPIX 5 reported.
An “exclusive negotiating agreement” with Major League Cricket was approved by Santa Clara County.
The agreement permits the league and the county to “move forward with lease negotiations and design approvals to develop a world-class cricket stadium” close to the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds.
The 14-acre parking space across the iconic blue arch street is being targeted by the league. The lot once served as the largest virus drive-thru testing location in the county.
Major League Cricket Vice President for Marketing Tom Dunmore, said: “It’s a tremendously exciting day for cricket in the Bay Area.”
Cricket, Dunmore said, ranks two in the most famous international sport. India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are among the countries that are most fond of the sport.
South Bay’s “Strong, grassroots fanbase” caught the attention of the league.
“There’s obviously a very large immigrant population from those countries in the Bay Area, particularly around Silicon Valley. A lot of the tech companies have employed large numbers of people from those locations who have come here. That’s accelerated a lot over the last 10 or 15 years. So that’s seeded a really strong base of expat cricket fans that love the game,” Dunmore said.
In the early concept pitch, the stadium is shown as a large, circular one with walkways lined with palm trees.
It can probably accommodate 6, 000 to 8, 000 fans, and can even extend to 15, 000 capacity for the World Cup and other giant sports events.
Apart from its huge capacity, it will also have modern luxury suites and locker rooms.
In a talk to KPIX 5, Santa Clara County Supervisor Otto Lee said that no public funds will be shelled out for the building.
“We are not planning to subsidize the stadium,” said Lee. “The negotiations just got started, so everything is still very much on the drawing board. Ultimately, what we want to do is make the best use of the land. But at the same time, we weren’t expected, that I’m aware of, to shovel a lot of county funds to help build these facilities.”
Sunnyvale Cricket Club acting president Kunal Chakraborti said that the new stadium can easily be occupied by fans present during the MLC games as well as by family members.
“I was really happy, it was really exciting news,” Chakraborti told KPIX 5. “It’s very exciting to have a quality stadium because that could act as a catalyst for the youth to generate interest, to pick up the game, to play the game, and hopefully to rise up to the regional level, the national level.”