Major League Cricket (MLC) has received approval to begin an extensive redevelopment of AirHogs Stadium as the organization’s first major cricket stadium in the United States.
Design firm HKS has been appointed to repurpose AirHogs Stadium and design a world-class stadium for cricket in the United States. The current stadium, located conveniently between Arlington and Dallas, currently seats a capacity of 5,445 and features 13 luxury suites and ample space for improved amenities to enhance the experience of fans and cricketers alike. The stadium will be repurposed to be completely dedicated for cricket, with an increase in the seating capacity planned to accommodate more than 8,000 spectators with additional and upgraded hospitality features.
The new cricket stadium will see the existing baseball diamond converted to an international size and quality cricket field capable of hosting major international competitions, a number of training nets and batting lanes added, as well as two additional outside turf fields that will be used for training and by the affiliated MLC academies. Upon completion, it will be the most extensive fully-dedicated cricket facility in the United States.
The venue will also be a centerpiece of USA Cricket’s efforts to bring major international events to the United States, including regional International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup and T20 World Cup Qualifiers for Men and Women, Cricket World Cup League 2 series, and International Series against local rivals Canada and the West Indies, as well as other contemporary nations. The stadium will also be a featured aspect of USA Cricket’s efforts to bring the ICC T20 World Cup and other major events to the United States by 2031, in a process that is ongoing as part of a joint bid with Cricket West Indies.
The redevelopment of the venue is scheduled to take place throughout 2021 before playing host to the Texas MLC franchise that is planned to launch in 2022, as well as a base for the USA Cricket National team and a premier High Performance Center.
“We are very excited about this opportunity to bring cricket to Texas by converting our minor league baseball stadium,” said Grand Prairie Mayor Ron Jensen. “Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world behind soccer, with a large and growing audience in the states. We look forward to an exciting future with our partners.”
USA Cricket has recently undergone a significant transformation that includes the release of the organization’s first Foundational Plan with a vision to establish cricket as a leading sport in the USA and become a full member of the International Cricket Council by 2030. Cricket is the world’s second-most popular sport in terms of global viewership, attracting billions of viewers worldwide with a significant, growing American fanbase. USA Cricket counts more than 150,000 regular players across the country, with roughly 20 million fans and more than 4 million regular viewers of cricket.
“In association with our partners at ACE, we now have a world-class facility to develop our domestic talent and help us fulfill the goals we announced in our Foundational Plan,” said Paraag Marathe, USA Cricket Chairman. “The successful development of a cricket-dedicated stadium has long been a priority for us, and it is a significant stride forward for the growth of cricket in America. We also look forward to bringing international cricket events, and the crowds that go with them, to our new stadium, and to help introduce the sport to a broader audience.”