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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.
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Assistant editor Will opted against a lifetime of head-bangingly dull administration in the NHS, where he had served for two years. In 2005 came a break at Cricinfo where he slotted right in as a ferociously enthusiastic tea drinker and maker, with a penchant for using "frankly" and "marvellous". He also runs The Corridor, a cricket blog where he can be found ranting and raving about all things - some even involving the sport. He is a great-great nephew of Sir Jack Newman, the former Wellingtonian bowler who took two wickets at 127 apiece for New Zealand.