GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A stadium built for baseball just over a decade ago in Grand Prairie will be redeveloped to house a sport often compared to the American pastime.
Major League Cricket formally announced plans Wednesday to convert the former Grand Prairie Airhogs stadium into the league’s first major cricket stadium.
The move is part of a long-term plan by USA Cricket to build U.S. interest in the sport, which is already the second-most popular sport in the world.
“We’re not talking about a couple of million people watching, we’re talking about a billion people watching,” said Paraag Marathe, the chairman of USA Cricket, talking about international events that could be hosted at the stadium. “That is a crazy, crazy number, and the flagship where we’re going to be putting up our flag and announcing USA cricket to the rest of the world is going to be right here in Grand Prairie.”
League founders said Dallas was chosen over Houston for the stadium, in part due to a fan base that has been growing faster than anywhere else in the country.
Grand Prairie city leaders said they planned to aggressively market the sport, including starting youth leagues.
“I think people who love baseball, will very easily get into cricket if they’re not already,” said city economic development director Marty Weider.
The stadium redesign is expected to last through 2021, with the MLC starting games in 2022.
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