Jul 28, 2022 - Business

North Texas' cricket stadium project is underway

The old signs came down real quick Monday. Photo: Naheed "Aspiring Fast Bowler" Rajwani-Dharsi

The new cricket stadium in Grand Prairie is finally under construction. The stadium will be ready for matches by next summer, Major League Cricket tells Axios.

Why it matters: Major League Cricket is looking to expand the sport's reach in the U.S. The Grand Prairie stadium, which used to be a baseball stadium, will give North Texas the chance to host international matches.

Driving the news: Excavation at the former home of the Texas AirHogs began this week.

  • The $20 million renovation by Dallas-based HKS Architects will include a natural grass turf wicket, expandable seating that can host 15,000 people, and new premium seating experiences near the field.
  • The site will house a new training center and serve as the home of the USA Cricket National Team.

What's happening: Former professional cricketer Burt Cockley moved to McKinney last year to be a strength and conditioning coach for Major League Cricket.

  • He played cricket as a kid and watched it on TV in Australia before playing professionally for eight years.
  • Despite being around since British rule, cricket's reach hasn't expanded much beyond America's immigrant communities.

The intrigue: The U.S. is usually a vacation destination for cricket players, but Cockley tells Axios that's about to change.

  • "My mates are so excited by the prospect of coming to the U.S. to play in Major League Cricket and to be part of this new emerging game here in the U.S.," he says. "I couldn't imagine what it's going to be like with India versus Australia or India versus Pakistan and it's a full house … it's going to be a satisfying day for everyone."

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