The Knight Riders Group in partnership with Major League Cricket (MLC) and the City of Irvine on Friday announced the approval of an exclusive negotiating agreement (ENA) to move forward with lease negotiations and design approvals to build a world-class cricket venue on a 15-acre parcel at Great Park.
It is seen as a significant step considering the possibilities of cricket's inclusion at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. "MLC is committed to building outstanding infrastructure for cricket in key markets accessible to legions of cricket-loving fans. We're grateful to the City of Irvine for agreeing to explore this development in the heart of Orange County."
"Great Park's position as a hub for community recreation and its array of first-class sports facilities makes it an ideal location for the potential addition of a venue serving the local cricket-loving community and the broader Greater Los Angeles region with major international cricket events set to take place there," said Sameer Mehta and Vijay Srinivasan, Co-Founders, Major League Cricket.
The development would see a multi-million-dollar investment, with the internationally renowned architects HKS chosen to design the stadium in the Greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. The Knight Riders Group is a founding investor in MLC and is working closely with MLC on various aspects related to the launch of the league in 2023.
KRG, owners of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), will bring significant experience from one of the most successful brands in global T20 cricket to building MLC.
"Our investment in MLC in America is based on our belief in the exciting future of cricket in the USA and is well-aligned to our strategy of establishing Knight Riders as a global brand in T20 cricket. Plans to build a world-class cricket stadium in the greater Los Angeles area is exciting for us and MLC. This will no doubt have a transformational impact on one of the world's most iconic metropolitan areas," said KRG owner and Bollywood actor-producer Shah Rukh Khan.
The stadium plans include state-of-the-art training facilities, locker rooms, luxury suites, dedicated parking, concessions, field lighting and an international-grade pitch to meet International Cricket Council (ICC) accreditation and allow the venue to host the highest level of international cricket competitions.
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 of America and the West Indies. If the ICC is successful in getting cricket to the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, the stadium at Great Park would be seen as a centerpiece venue for the event in Southern California.