By Ricardo Inniss
One would have thought that since the opening of the Stadium at Central Broward Regional Park, on November 09, 2007, cricket fans would have been granted the privilege of seeing some of the current International Stars performing at the over seventy million dollar stadium.
The Cricket Stadium in Lauderhill
Lauderhill, situated thirty miles north of Miami, as well as the whole of South Florida, has a substantial amount of the population hailing from the West Indies, and is part of a metropolitan area with more than three million people, with a ready-made tourism infrastructure, capable of hosting International matches.
Right now, some soccer and Australian football is played on the main event field, but no cricket. So that if this situation continues, cricket-wise, the Lauderhill Stadium could become a 'White Elephant'.
Strategic Yearly Plan
The two local associations, South Florida Cricket Alliance (SFCA) and the Florida Southeast Cricket League (FSCL), cricket administrators across the country, USACA and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) - the supervisor for the development of cricket in the United States, should enlist the support of ICC and evolve a strategic yearly plan to stage a few International Cricket matches at the Lauderhill Stadium (main event field).
Last year Cricket Council USA staged a Twenty/20 Tournament at the Stadium that involved former test cricketers from India, Pakistan and the West Indies, but crowd support for the matches was poor.
At the time of the stadium opening, South Florida cricket fans could not wait to watch some of the local finals (SFCA & FSCL), played there. It was expected that USACA too would conduct national level tournaments there. But from what this writer was told, it became far too expensive to rent the main event field by the local organizations. USACA has not had the money to become an anchor tenant either.
Following is a look at the various charges to put on a cricket match at the Lauderhill Stadium (main event field):
Expected Attendance (Rental Fee)
From 1 to 500 per day ($2,500)
1,501 to 4,999 per day ($5,000)
5,000 Plus per day ($10,000)
5000 to 9,999 per day ($10,000)
10,000 to 14,999 per day ($ 10,000
Showmobile (stage) $ 680
Lights $ 50 (per hour)
Field House First Floor Hall $ 1,400 (12 hours)
VIP Viewing Second Floor $300 (4 hours)
Score Board Rental $ 500
Score Board Tech Fee (prevailing rate).
Other costs to consider are as follows:
Security, Parking details, Clean up crew, Dumpster, Labor fee (required county personnel).
The county must be listed by each vendors insurance as additional insured.
Advertising anywhere in the park is not included.
All areas must adhere to ADA compliance. Refundable clean-up and Security/damage deposit, liability insurance-Field damage Maintenance fee and permit from from the city of Lauderhill.
Atmosphere at cricket grounds dull
Repeatedly, year after year, the same type of cricket competitions (tournaments) are held in South Florida.
While the following suggestion is not a panacea, and is not intended to resolve all the problems that befall cricket in South Florida, it could very well help to inject some variety. The SFCA and FSCL should sit down together and discuss, dividing their clubs Into two divisions (first and second) and competing against each other. For example, at first division level, West Indies Alliance (SFCA) vs. Florida International (FSCL) etc. This can be done in a 45 overs competition or any other, for that matter, and should generate interest.
1. The Lauderhill Stadium main event field, was not passed by the ICC as an International playing (cricket) field, until December 2008. At the AGM, USACA sounded positive about getting the stadium certified.
2. The above rates are being provided as a rough guide. For an official rate card, please contact Broward County officials.