Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Pro Sports - Add Cricket to The List

The hot topic of U.S. pro sports these days is Major League Soccer (MLS), but there's another global sport moving into U.S. cities - cricket.  Yes, cricket.  The sport origin of the term "sticky wicket".



Many American's reactions to that may be "nothing but crickets", but expat Brits and Australians are likely disclaiming "Crikey!" (Australian for "surprise"), as are Americans originally from South Asia (Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka) and the Caribbean.  I'm a fan of the "British World" (tea, politeness, good desserts, and "colourful" language), so I was intrigued to read this in Construction Dive, a newsletter covering all things "built and developed".

There's two fascinating elements within this story.  First, there's the doubling of the number of people from India in the U.S. between 2000 and 2013 to 2.04 million people. I grew up in Augusta, Georgia, which even in the 1990s, had a large South Asian population due to employment at the state medical university.  My dad worked as a researcher at the university and several of his co-workers were Indian, so a group of them partnered on funding an early Indian restaurant.  For my sisters and I, that became our go-to spot for birthday dinners - we wanted saag paneer, not McDonald's or Captain D's. I'd bet there's spots in Augusta nowadays where you can watch cricket and get a great meal.

A second interesting element of this story is the stadiums are planned for mixed-use development. That's a smart way to leverage the pricey investment in a stadium ($70-125 million) while having active uses ($80-100 million) around the stadium year-round, cricket match or not.  The rendering below illustrates concepts planned for an Atlanta stadium (no specific site yet), so it will be interesting to see where it lands.




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