ALLEN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Dozens of homeowners in Allen showed up at a city council meeting Tuesday calling for greater scrutiny of plans to build a cricket stadium there.
The crowds, they worry, could pose problems for their neighborhoods less than a quarter mile away.
One of the most popular sports in the world, cricket is gaining a foothold in the United States.
“Many people refer to it as a religion,” said Poorvesh Thakker, CEO of Thakkar Developers, of its popularity within South Asian communities.
North Texas is already home to two different leagues, more than 130 teams, and a training facility, the English Indoor Cricket Academy in Farmer’s Branch.
Thakkar has proposed building the 15,000-seat stadium, only the second in the United States dedicated to cricket, with the hope of making it home to its own professional team and hosting international exhibition games.
“We are expecting professional teams from around the world to come and take benefit of the stadium and play here,” said Thakkar.
Neighbors living near the planned site, though, say it’s far from the ideal location.
“We’re very concerned about traffic, the overflow of parking into our neighborhood,” said Terry Watson, who spoke on behalf of the Cumberland Crossing Homeowners Association at Tuesday’s Allen City Council meeting.
“This open air stadium is going to generate a lot of noise,” said Fawaz Bham with the Fall Creek Homeowners Association. “What we want from the city are sound studies and a deep understanding of the full impact on our community before approving or coming close to approving anything.”
The city of Allen says the proposal is still in its early stages.
“Final approval will require a rigorous staff review, consideration by our Planning and Zoning Commission, and ultimately a vote by Allen City Council. We welcome and encourage our citizens to provide input during any step of this process including public hearings,” read a statement from the city.
Thakkar has also pledge to meet with neighbors to address their specific concerns about the stadium, which he hopes to open in 2021.
“To make sure it doesn’t adversely affect any of the properties nearby,” he said.
Some neighbors are still hoping to dissuade the developer.
“We would like to have conversations with developer about the proper development for that area,” said Watson.