A baseball stadium considered a potential location in the United States?

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Oakland, first published May 25, 2022, 1:33 p.m. IST

The 2024 ICC T20 World Cup will be one of a kind. This will be the first tournament of this type co-organized by the West Indies and the United States of America (USA). While there are plenty of venues in the Caribbean, the same cannot be said for the United States. Currently, the only International Cricket Council (ICC) approved ground in the United States is Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, Florida. The ICC is looking for a second seat in the country. Meanwhile, Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Oakland Athletics home ground, the Oakland Coliseum, is being considered as a potential venue for the global event.

According to ESPNCricinfo, Geoff Allardice (CEO of ICC) and Will Glenwright (Head of Development) traveled to California to meet with USA Cricket officials. The Colosseum lacks many luxury amenities, as per ICC guidelines. However, the two things that caught its eye were its location in East Bay, Northern California, a bit north of Silicon Valley, with a few grassroots cricket clubs and a cricket-watching public. On the other hand, it has a capacity of 53,000 spectators.

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Among other potential cricket venues in the United States, capacity appears to be an issue. As follows: Church Street Park (Morrisville, NC) – 4,000; Lauderhill, Florida and Pearland, Texas – 10,000 (temporary expansion from 15,000 to 20,000). The Prairie View Cricket Complex in Houston and the AirHogs Stadium in Dallas have yet to open and officially gain ICC international status.

On the other hand, there might be logistical limitations at the Colosseum. It cannot contain the India-Pakistan clash due to its peaceful time zone, meaning India’s 8pm start time could mean a 7:30am start in Oakland. However, it can easily contain the England-Australia clash, which would suit UK (UK) standard time.

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Additionally, there could be a scheduling conflict, with June falling in the middle of the MLB season. So if the Athletics and MLB could agree on a 10-14 day road trip for the Athletics, that would give the ICC enough time to get the site ready, including open courts, while two to three matches can take place at this time.

In 2015, three baseball pitches were used for the Cricket All-Stars T20 tournament, headlined by Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne. Games were held at Citi Field (New York), Minute Maid Par (Houston), and Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles). Although the large seating capacity of the stadiums attracted fans, some of the square boundaries were extremely small because the venues were conventional ballparks.

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As for the Colosseum, its design is somewhat similar to baseball and football. Thus, the boundaries of the squares could be around the ICC minimum limit of 55 meters. An exception can be made if the edge falls short in a specific area after a thorough inspection, such as Auckland’s Eden Park. Meanwhile, authorities plan to host exhibition matches at the venue before taking the final call.

Last updated May 25, 2022, 1:33 PM IST

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