Indian-American to build 8 cricket stadiums in US

27 October 2016; Pictured at the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) unveiling of the new ownership of the St. Lucia Zouks franchise are Damien O'Donohoe (CEO, CPL), Jay Pandya (Owner, St. Lucia Zouks) and Pete Russell (COO, CPL) at Soho Square, London. Photo by Henry Browne/CPL/Sportsfile

An Indian-American cricket enthusiast has announced plans to build as many as eight cricket stadiums across the US at an estimated cost of $2.4 billion to professionalize the game in the country.

The eight proposed stadiums, each having a capacity of 26,000 people in New York, New Jersey, Washington DC, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Illinois and California, would create as many as 17,800 new jobs in the US, said Jignesh (Jay) Pandya, chairman of Global Sports Ventures.

Gujarat-born Pandya is a real estate developer in the US and had been travelling across the globe with his two sons to watch popular international cricket matches.

Pandya, chairman Global Sports Ventures, feels he can professionalize cricket in the United States by creating a league that allows athletes to compete at the highest level and allow fans to enjoy the game at  these world-class facilities.

These cricket stadiums, Pandya said, would be a part of “lifestyle centers” comprising high-rise residential complexes, shopping centers, entertainment centers and office complexes.

Pandya feels that Americans, are the biggest sports lovers in the world and sports economy in the US is around $87 billion. This leads him to be confident that there is “a great market and a readymade audience for cricket in the US”.

He hopes that this plan will fructify when the International Cricket Council (ICC) hosts any tournaments in line with its strategic framework for USA cricket, potentially hosting the ICC World Twenty20 in 2024.

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