USA November 9, 2007

5,000 seater cricket ground opens in Florida

A $70m park has opened in southern Florida – the most expensive new park in the state – including a 5,000 seater cricket ground, the first of its kind in the United States
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A $70m park has opened in southern Florida – the most expensive new park in the state – including a 5,000 seater cricket ground, the first of its kind in the United States.

"It was just a vacant lot, nothing here," Bill Kristen, the county parks and recreation project manager, told sun-sentinel.com. "I think everybody realized the area had to be revitalised."

The Central Broward Regional Park opens officially tomorrow, where local residents will watch exhibition matches for football, cricket and American football

Cost overruns almost killed the project in 2006. The contractor sought as much as $15.3 million more than the $35.5 million the county originally agreed to pay for construction. But cost-saving alterations, such as building a vehicle storage garage underneath the bleachers, helped lower the cost overruns. The county in December agreed to pay the remaining $7.5 million, and work resumed. In total, the county paid about $70 million for land and construction, the most it has paid to open a park, said Bob Harbin, Broward park director.

Some black Americans opposed the park, saying it was too Caribbean-focused. And one housing development planned for north of the park, St. James Luxury Town Homes, was canceled because of the soft real estate market. Construction of Georgetown Homes has slowed for the same reason.

Read the full story (and watch a video of the park) at their website.

Will Luke is assistant editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • russell on August 5, 2009, 11:27 GMT

    When will the ICC look at playing a T20 Game at this oval? There are 1000's of people that have moved to the USA from cricket playing nation's. Why don't the ICC think of hosting a few cricket games at this ground, Think of pakistan they can't play International cricket in there own nation due to the dangers of terrorism, just think of a T20 game at this ground Pakistan Vs West Indies on Tv as well ,Would be a sell out at the ground, So come on the ICC and USA Crciket do this, would be great for Cricket in the USA.

  • rahul joshi on March 4, 2009, 19:40 GMT

    i really want america to be a part of cricketing world and it whould be very useful for cricket game with the addition of usa .the main footstep regarding it whould be the new cricket stadium and it whould really help in popularizing cricket in usa

  • Murli Gagwani on November 20, 2007, 19:52 GMT

    This is great news! Hopefully it would be utilized as intended. I am a cricket fan and agree with Imran's comments. This would popularize the game in this country. My be T20 to start with.

  • Imran Awan on November 14, 2007, 17:57 GMT

    I have been playing in USA Team for over 10 years and this is the best news I ever heard about the future of cricket in USA. Hopefully we can host other countries to come and play with us here.

  • daivney thomas on November 11, 2007, 23:50 GMT

    I am rather exited to see the facility at the central broward regional park. I hoping it may be use to play and improve the game of cricket in every level . It is certainly the best facility for this purpose I seen in the US. Let's maintain and keep it to a high level.

  • Sadick on November 11, 2007, 17:48 GMT

    "And finally there is one" I am very happy that the Broward County has finally done it.I am also pretty optimistic about the future for cricket here in South Florida.As Gavin rightly said the Twenty20 version of cricket is about the same time and carries the same excitement as baseball and besides curious Americans and others will now have a better facility to sit and enjoy a game be it Cricket or soccer. Lets us all support the park for its efforts.

  • Gavin Stevenson on November 10, 2007, 4:18 GMT

    If Americans actually knew that they were part of the first International match recorded (v Canada in 1844) they might have a different view of cricket. They love to tell the world that they are innovators. They may be a little slow at picking up on the intricacies of the game at first class and Test level, but the premature ejaculation of Twenty20 and the slower release of limited overs cricket is obviously the way to go. Baseball can take just as long as a Twenty20 or limited overs match.

  • Graham on November 10, 2007, 0:25 GMT

    I heard that the people who play Aussie Rules in the US (yeah, there's actually quite a few who do) were looking into the likelihood of playing there as well, as the oval shape is perfect.

  • fitz fraser on November 10, 2007, 0:15 GMT

    It is long overdue, and I agree with Prakash that television would greatly popularise cricket in the US. Cricket is the most expensive game to watch on TV. Why? every other game is free on TV.

  • andrewkeogh on November 9, 2007, 23:37 GMT

    I had another look at the commnts in the Sun-Sentinel after my last posting and have to add a further comment 'underpinned by hostility to Jamaican immigrants' as I originally put it, doesn't begin to describe some of the postings - crude, hate filled bile. Take a look if you can stomach them.

  • russell on August 5, 2009, 11:27 GMT

    When will the ICC look at playing a T20 Game at this oval? There are 1000's of people that have moved to the USA from cricket playing nation's. Why don't the ICC think of hosting a few cricket games at this ground, Think of pakistan they can't play International cricket in there own nation due to the dangers of terrorism, just think of a T20 game at this ground Pakistan Vs West Indies on Tv as well ,Would be a sell out at the ground, So come on the ICC and USA Crciket do this, would be great for Cricket in the USA.

  • rahul joshi on March 4, 2009, 19:40 GMT

    i really want america to be a part of cricketing world and it whould be very useful for cricket game with the addition of usa .the main footstep regarding it whould be the new cricket stadium and it whould really help in popularizing cricket in usa

  • Murli Gagwani on November 20, 2007, 19:52 GMT

    This is great news! Hopefully it would be utilized as intended. I am a cricket fan and agree with Imran's comments. This would popularize the game in this country. My be T20 to start with.

  • Imran Awan on November 14, 2007, 17:57 GMT

    I have been playing in USA Team for over 10 years and this is the best news I ever heard about the future of cricket in USA. Hopefully we can host other countries to come and play with us here.

  • daivney thomas on November 11, 2007, 23:50 GMT

    I am rather exited to see the facility at the central broward regional park. I hoping it may be use to play and improve the game of cricket in every level . It is certainly the best facility for this purpose I seen in the US. Let's maintain and keep it to a high level.

  • Sadick on November 11, 2007, 17:48 GMT

    "And finally there is one" I am very happy that the Broward County has finally done it.I am also pretty optimistic about the future for cricket here in South Florida.As Gavin rightly said the Twenty20 version of cricket is about the same time and carries the same excitement as baseball and besides curious Americans and others will now have a better facility to sit and enjoy a game be it Cricket or soccer. Lets us all support the park for its efforts.

  • Gavin Stevenson on November 10, 2007, 4:18 GMT

    If Americans actually knew that they were part of the first International match recorded (v Canada in 1844) they might have a different view of cricket. They love to tell the world that they are innovators. They may be a little slow at picking up on the intricacies of the game at first class and Test level, but the premature ejaculation of Twenty20 and the slower release of limited overs cricket is obviously the way to go. Baseball can take just as long as a Twenty20 or limited overs match.

  • Graham on November 10, 2007, 0:25 GMT

    I heard that the people who play Aussie Rules in the US (yeah, there's actually quite a few who do) were looking into the likelihood of playing there as well, as the oval shape is perfect.

  • fitz fraser on November 10, 2007, 0:15 GMT

    It is long overdue, and I agree with Prakash that television would greatly popularise cricket in the US. Cricket is the most expensive game to watch on TV. Why? every other game is free on TV.

  • andrewkeogh on November 9, 2007, 23:37 GMT

    I had another look at the commnts in the Sun-Sentinel after my last posting and have to add a further comment 'underpinned by hostility to Jamaican immigrants' as I originally put it, doesn't begin to describe some of the postings - crude, hate filled bile. Take a look if you can stomach them.

  • andrewkeogh on November 9, 2007, 18:36 GMT

    I looked at the comments too - apart from the usual lame jokes about insects you get from Americans when cricket is mentioned, many of the comments seemed underpinned by hostility to Jamaican immigrants. I posted my own comment which was to the effect that, rather than simply treating the place as an exhibition centre for expats/tourists and TV cash cow why not do what Compton Cricket Club does in south-central Los Angeles? That would draw the sting of a lot of the criticism.

  • Tim Johnson on November 9, 2007, 18:26 GMT

    Bear in mind this IS NOT a dedicated cricket ground. Remains to be seen how much cricket will actually be played. Once the local soccer moms and footballers discover it cricket might find itself having a hard time booking time at the thing, not to mention maintaining a quality pitch.

  • Asif Ahmad on November 9, 2007, 17:53 GMT

    I think this is great news. You are right Parakash, we need to have some games there. I reside in California and Southern California does have dedicated cricket grounds which have been utilized to their full extent and that is the reason we are able to keep those grounds dedicated to cricket. May be other states can have similar grounds for good clean cricket.

  • Prakash on November 9, 2007, 15:15 GMT

    Hello, I live in North Carolina. I am Glad that there is finally a dedicated cricket field. I went to the link that you posted and read the user comments there and most of them dis-agree with the cricket stadium. All they want is a American Football ground!. Please, ICC or whoever is managing cricket in the US [Even cricinfo can help!], can you make sure that this investment does not go waste and we have some actual macthes here? We need some cricket on television too for the game to be popular in USA. Thanks, Prakash

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Prakash on November 9, 2007, 15:15 GMT

    Hello, I live in North Carolina. I am Glad that there is finally a dedicated cricket field. I went to the link that you posted and read the user comments there and most of them dis-agree with the cricket stadium. All they want is a American Football ground!. Please, ICC or whoever is managing cricket in the US [Even cricinfo can help!], can you make sure that this investment does not go waste and we have some actual macthes here? We need some cricket on television too for the game to be popular in USA. Thanks, Prakash

  • Asif Ahmad on November 9, 2007, 17:53 GMT

    I think this is great news. You are right Parakash, we need to have some games there. I reside in California and Southern California does have dedicated cricket grounds which have been utilized to their full extent and that is the reason we are able to keep those grounds dedicated to cricket. May be other states can have similar grounds for good clean cricket.

  • Tim Johnson on November 9, 2007, 18:26 GMT

    Bear in mind this IS NOT a dedicated cricket ground. Remains to be seen how much cricket will actually be played. Once the local soccer moms and footballers discover it cricket might find itself having a hard time booking time at the thing, not to mention maintaining a quality pitch.

  • andrewkeogh on November 9, 2007, 18:36 GMT

    I looked at the comments too - apart from the usual lame jokes about insects you get from Americans when cricket is mentioned, many of the comments seemed underpinned by hostility to Jamaican immigrants. I posted my own comment which was to the effect that, rather than simply treating the place as an exhibition centre for expats/tourists and TV cash cow why not do what Compton Cricket Club does in south-central Los Angeles? That would draw the sting of a lot of the criticism.

  • andrewkeogh on November 9, 2007, 23:37 GMT

    I had another look at the commnts in the Sun-Sentinel after my last posting and have to add a further comment 'underpinned by hostility to Jamaican immigrants' as I originally put it, doesn't begin to describe some of the postings - crude, hate filled bile. Take a look if you can stomach them.

  • fitz fraser on November 10, 2007, 0:15 GMT

    It is long overdue, and I agree with Prakash that television would greatly popularise cricket in the US. Cricket is the most expensive game to watch on TV. Why? every other game is free on TV.

  • Graham on November 10, 2007, 0:25 GMT

    I heard that the people who play Aussie Rules in the US (yeah, there's actually quite a few who do) were looking into the likelihood of playing there as well, as the oval shape is perfect.

  • Gavin Stevenson on November 10, 2007, 4:18 GMT

    If Americans actually knew that they were part of the first International match recorded (v Canada in 1844) they might have a different view of cricket. They love to tell the world that they are innovators. They may be a little slow at picking up on the intricacies of the game at first class and Test level, but the premature ejaculation of Twenty20 and the slower release of limited overs cricket is obviously the way to go. Baseball can take just as long as a Twenty20 or limited overs match.

  • Sadick on November 11, 2007, 17:48 GMT

    "And finally there is one" I am very happy that the Broward County has finally done it.I am also pretty optimistic about the future for cricket here in South Florida.As Gavin rightly said the Twenty20 version of cricket is about the same time and carries the same excitement as baseball and besides curious Americans and others will now have a better facility to sit and enjoy a game be it Cricket or soccer. Lets us all support the park for its efforts.

  • daivney thomas on November 11, 2007, 23:50 GMT

    I am rather exited to see the facility at the central broward regional park. I hoping it may be use to play and improve the game of cricket in every level . It is certainly the best facility for this purpose I seen in the US. Let's maintain and keep it to a high level.