Chicago, well known for being a die-hard sports town, is getting yet another professional sports team—a professional cricket team. A new initiative led by Global Sports Ventures, LLC hopes to bring cricket—a bat-and-ball game which originates from England—to the United States in a big way. The group plans to launch a new league starting with franchises in eight major U.S. cities, including Chicago. According to a press release, Global Sports Ventures is teaming up with developer JLL to bring new stadiums to all eight cities, which include New York, NY, East Brunswick, NJ, Washington, DC, Atlanta, GA, Orlando, FL, Dallas, TX, and San Francisco, CA.
“By 2020, Chicago will be home to a state-of-the-art mixed-use complex, comprising a cricket stadium, parking, club house, restaurants, hotels, retail, residential and office space,” a Global Sports Ventures rep states in the announcement. “U.S. Cricket League estimates the first eight stadiums and surrounding developments will represent a $2.4 billion investment and create approximately 17,000 jobs nationwide.”
Teaming up with JLL is no coincidence however. The developer has experience in athletics, having recently worked with the Atlanta Braves on the newly opened SunTrust Park and its accompanying commercial and retail development Battery Atlanta. According to the announcement, the new cricket stadiums are expected to cost somewhere in the range of $70 million to $125 million with accompanying mixed-use developments costing an additional $80-100 million each.
Sites for each city are still yet to be announced, although the venture is currently reviewing development opportunities. However, the timeline for the U.S. Cricket League is quite aggressive with its targeted 2020 launch.