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

  • fanedlive 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.

  • fanedlive 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

  • fanedlive 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.

  • fanedlive 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.

  • fanedlive 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.

  • fanedlive 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.

  • fanedlive 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.

  • fanedlive 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.

  • fanedlive 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.

  • fanedlive 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.

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