ICC Americas office to relocate from Toronto to Colorado
In another move signifying the ICC's intent to speed up the growth of cricket in the United States of America, ICC head of global development Tim Anderson announced on Friday that the ICC Americas regional office will be relocating later this year from Toronto to Colorado Springs, Colorado.
"The ICC Americas Office has been based in Toronto, Canada for many years. The historic reasons for this have largely been based around convenience as opposed to strategy, with previous regional development managers being from Toronto," Anderson wrote in a letter to US stakeholders.
The ICC office was shared with Cricket Canada until 2015. When Cricket Canada moved out of their shared Toronto facility, the ICC office rented out a temporary space at the Rogers Centre, home of baseball's Toronto Blue Jays. "These circumstances, together with the strong strategic desire for the ICC to see cricket develop more rapidly in the USA, resulted in the ICC Executive Committee and Board agreeing in October 2015 that the ICC Americas office should be moved to the USA," Anderson said.
"Excluding the big American professional sports (i.e. NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS), Colorado Springs is the centre of sports administration in the USA, hosting close to 30 governing bodies, as well as the United States Olympic Committee. The Colorado Springs Sports Corp has demonstrated a strong desire to host the ICC Americas office and, as part of their support package, we are in discussions about the possibility of developing a new cricket facility in Colorado Springs."
Currently there is one artificial-wicket cricket facility at the city's Memorial Park athletic complex, just four blocks from the USOC training complex. It is unclear if the proposed new facility referred to by Anderson would include plans to redevelop the ground at Memorial Park into a turf wicket or if it would mean adding a new ground elsewhere in the city.
According to multiple sources, several other cities were also considered for the new home of the ICC Americas office, with Indianapolis a particularly strong contender. ICC Americas officials held multiple events in Indianapolis in 2015, including the ICC Americas Division One T20 championship and inaugural ICC Americas Combine at the newly opened turf ground at Indianapolis World Sports Park.
While Indianapolis is also home to the headquarters for the NCAA, USA Track & Field, USA Diving and USA Gymnastics, there are many more national sports governing body offices located in Colorado Springs. These include the USOC, USA Hockey, USA Basketball, USA Boxing, USA Swimming, USA Cycling and USA Wrestling.
It is for these reasons that Colorado Springs turned into an increasingly appealing strategic option in late 2015. USOC chief external affairs officer Patrick Sandusky was named to the seven-man local advisory group appointed by the ICC to oversee US cricket's regrowth strategy following USACA's suspension in June. It is also worth noting that Colorado Springs hosted an ICC youth cricket development seminar in February.
Colorado Springs is the second largest city in the state of Colorado with an approximate population of 500,000 people. It is located 70 miles south of the state capital and largest city Denver. Although it is a relatively remote outpost in the US cricket scene, it is equidistant from several major cricket hubs, sitting approximately 1000 miles, or a two and a half hour flight away, from Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco.
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna