MLC, Knight Riders group, owned by Shah Rukh Khan, team up for 10,000-seat stadium near Los Angeles

MLC (Major League Cricket), the official US franchise league to be launched in 2023, is working with the Knight Riders Group – the main owners of Kolkata Knight Riders and one of MLC’s main investment partners – on plans to build a brand new 10,000 build capacity location in Southern California.

The proposed site of the new site is in Great Park in the city of Irvine, located in Orange County, approximately 40 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles. According to an MLC source, the new location is expected to cost $30 million.

If approved, there would be an exciting race to build it in time for the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which the US will co-host with the West Indies, but would certainly be open in time to provide a prime venue for the US bid to include cricket as part of the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. By extension, it will also be the home of the Southern California franchise for Major League Cricket.

“Our investment in MLC in the Americas is based on our belief in the exciting future of cricket in the US and fits well with our strategy to establish Knight Riders as a global brand in T20 cricket,” Shah Rukh Khan, co-owner of the Knight Riders, was quoted as saying in an MLC press release.

“Plans to build a world-class cricket stadium in the greater Los Angeles area are exciting for us and MLC. This will undoubtedly have a transformative impact for cricket in one of the world’s most iconic metropolitan destinations.”

Right now, the premier turf wicket location in Southern California is Woodley Park, located 20 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles in the suburb of Van Nuys. The facility has four turf cricket pitches and hosted the ICC World Cricket League Division Four tournament in 2016, but has no infrastructure to host larger events.

However, Great Park is part of a larger multi-billion dollar sports complex that was funded by the government and opened in 2007. It features a superior infrastructure capable of hosting large crowds for revenue-generating events.

The 1,300-acre site of a former Marine Corps Air Station currently features 25 tennis courts, 18 soccer fields (one of which is a 2,500-seat stadium), seven baseball fields, five softball fields, five volleyball courts, four basketball courts, and four ice fields. hockey rinks. There is also an auto drag race track adjacent to the facility.

“MLC is committed to building an excellent infrastructure for cricket in key markets accessible to legions of cricket-loving fans. We are grateful to the City of Irvine for agreeing to explore this development in the heart of Orange County” , said Sameer Mehta and Vijay. Srinivasan, Co-Founders, Major League Cricket.

“Great Park’s position as a center for community recreation and its array of top-class sports facilities make it an ideal location for the addition of a venue serving the local cricket-loving community and the wider Greater Los Angeles region with major international cricket events taking place there.”

The proposed facility at Great Park is part of MLC’s nationwide plans to build seven facilities over the next few years with a proposed budget of USD 110 million.

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo @PeterDellaPenna’s US correspondent

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