- Major League Cricket granted exclusive negotiating term by the County of Santa Clara to develop plans for an international cricket venue in the San Francisco Bay Area
- Flagship facility would host Major League Cricket, U.S. Cricket national team matches and be potential venue for major international events
Major League Cricket (MLC) and the County of Santa Clara announced today the approval of an exclusive negotiating agreement (ENA) to move forward with lease negotiations and design approvals to develop a world class cricket stadium on a 14-acre parcel of the Santa Clara Fairgrounds site in San José. The development would see a significant multi-million dollar investment by Major League Cricket for stadium construction, with MLC planning to work with the internationally renowned architects HKS to design a premier cricketing destination in North America.
The ENA marks a significant step forward in the development process and outlines key dates and obligations over the next 12 months for both Major League Cricket and the County of Santa Clara to agree to terms and gain the approvals required for the construction of a stadium with a maximum capacity of 15,000. The location and its demographics make the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds suited perfectly for the development of a marquee home for the world’s second-most popular sport, with one of America’s largest cricket fanbases located in the Bay Area.
The stadium is a key part of the proposed redevelopment of the 150-acre Santa Clara County Fairgrounds site, located in the heart of Santa Clara County and San José. The stadium will be home to Major League Cricket’s Bay Area franchise and serve as a key hub for the U.S. National Teams. It would also be a potential host venue for major international cricket events. USA Cricket is expected to bid for future men’s and women’s World Cup tournaments, with the 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup already set to be co-hosted by the United States and the West Indies. The International Cricket Council (ICC) is also bidding for the inclusion of cricket in the 2028 Olympic Games to be held in Los Angeles.
“Cricket is a sport that’s increasing in popularity in the U.S. and Santa Clara County,” said Otto Lee, County of Santa Clara District 3 Supervisor. “The addition of an international cricket venue to the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds would help attract large numbers of visitors from around the world to the region. We look forward to finalizing plans with Major League Cricket to move forward with this exciting development for Santa Clara County.”
“Major League Cricket’s plans for an international-grade cricket stadium in one of the country’s most vibrant and diverse metropolitan regions adds to the fantastic momentum for cricket’s growth nationwide,” said Paraag Marathe, Chair of USA Cricket Board. “The Bay Area – and Silicon Valley in particular – is an ideal location for this development that could serve as a potential venue for future major international events and as a home stadium for USA National Team matches.”
The stadium plans include state-of-the-art training facilities, locker rooms, luxury suites, dedicated parking, concessions, and an international-grade pitch to meet International Cricket Council (ICC) accreditation and allow the venue to host the highest levels of international cricket competitions.
“The Santa Clara County Fairgrounds has a strategic plan and vision for our future as a premier sports and entertainment destination and the addition of this stadium is one of those key components,” said Abraham Andrade, Executive Director of Fairgrounds Management Corporation (FMC) which manages the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. “We will continue to announce additional, exciting growth strategies in the coming months and also celebrate major milestones, such as this one, along the way.”
“Major League Cricket is excited by the prospect of developing an international quality cricket stadium in a location accessible to so many cricket fans in the Bay Area,” said Sameer Mehta, co-founder of Major League Cricket. “We are grateful to the County of Santa Clara for exploring how the Fairgrounds location can serve as a world class home for Major League Cricket and USA Cricket.”
Major League Cricket, America’s first professional T20 cricket competition, represents the most ambitious and transformational venture ever undertaken in the American cricket landscape. Focused on staging world class Twenty20 cricket for American cricket fans, MLC will feature top players from around the globe and provide a stage for domestic cricketers to showcase their talents to a worldwide audience. Six teams are expected to begin play in major cities across the country, starting in the summer of 2023. The plans for development in Santa Clara follow the already-announced Major League Cricket stadium approved for construction in Grand Prairie, Texas.
The Fairgrounds development would add a flagship home for cricket to the area’s rich sporting landscape, already home to the San Francisco 49ers (NFL), the San José Earthquakes (MLS), and the San José Sharks (NHL).