The modular design is expected to be completed within three months once construction begins and will utilize the expertise of stadium and field design firms Populous, Arena Americas and LandTek.
Image Courtesy: ICC
By Peter Della Penna (Twitter/X @PeterDellaPenna
The ICC has produced artist’s renderings of the stadium design for the 34,000 seat capacity temporary stadium venue in New York to be built at Eisenhower Park in Nassau County, Long Island for the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. As part of the project, the ICC will be digging up the existing recreational cricket field at Eisenhower Park and will reseed a brand new world-class outfield and build new training facilities while drop-in wickets that are being cultivated in Florida will be shipped north for use inside the venue during the T20 World Cup.
“One of the legacies of the project is that what we will leave behind is a world-class cricket outfield to international standards,” said Chris Tetley, ICC head of events, during a media conference call on Wednesday. “We’ll actually take out the drop-in pitches and leave them with an artificial surface in the middle because that will be much easier for them to maintain. But the drop-in pitches, we’ll work out who will best benefit from them. We’re obviously creating training facilities as well that will be left behind. Once we’ve finished and cleared away, then the local community will have access to this field and the training facilities we’ve left behind.”
According to design plans laid out, the facility’s construction will begin over the next several weeks with a targeted completion date of early May. Tetley said the plan is to have warm-up matches be played at the venue from the middle to the end of May to ensure that the surface plays as expected in time for the first official T20 World Cup match scheduled for the venue between South Africa and Sri Lanka on June 3.
“The last couple weeks of May will be the testing phase,” Tetley said. “There will be cricket and system testing at the venue through that period so that we’re confident that we understand exactly how that facility works.”
Tetley also said that after the eighth and final T20 World Cup match scheduled to be played at the venue on June 12 between USA and India, there may be further plans for Major League Cricket to use the facility in the month of July rather than immediately tear down the modular structure.
“MLC are actually very interested in the opportunity this would afford them to play some of the matches of their second season,” Tetley said, in reference to the MLC season two which is scheduled to begin on July 4. “So they are evaluating at the moment whether it would work for them.”
Several stadium and venue design firms have been subcontracted to produce the modular stadium design according to Don Lockerbie, the former CEO of USACA and the COO of the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies who has been hired by the ICC to serve as T20 USA venue development director. Among the firms brought on board are Populous, Arena Americas, and LandTek. Each company comes with a globally respected reputation in stadium and field design. According to Lockerbie, their experience in modular design at other events on the PGA Tour and most recently the F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix, will allow the temporary cricket venue to be constructed in rapid time.
“Everything you see right here comes from the sports infrastructure event rental side of things,” Lockerbie said. “Everything here is a rental that comes from PGA Golf, F1, the tennis industry. So when we have companies like Arena Americas building pretty much what you see here, all the seating and four-story structures, that’s something they do every week. The only thing that will be legacy that is permanent is the outfield and pitch. So I’d just like to make it clear that the cost is reasonable because it’s done every week around the United States and around the world at the biggest events in the world by an absolute first-class, all-star team that we’ve assembled. We’ve mentioned Populous, Arena, the Adelaide Oval being involved in the pitch, the Landtek Group Is building the field. They built the [fields for] the Yankees and the Mets and David Beckham’s Inter Miami where Leo Messi is playing right now.
“So we’re very excited about the conditions of the field. We’ve got all the top companies that manage power and electrical and audio and visual that do it again every week somewhere – the biggest concerts, the biggest sporting events in the United States and the world – so I just let the media know we’re in good hands and we’re very excited about the all-star team that the ICC has put together here with T20 USA being the contract holder. So, very excited. I think you’re gonna start seeing a lot of progress on or about February 1st
. The field work will start next week. The fencing has already gone up and should be completed by Friday. Everything has been designed for the schedule that we’re proposing. We’ll really get into the steel and aluminum of the buildings in early February. We should be done by late April, early May at the latest. Then operations begins to load in.
“So all the stakeholders that run the event will load in the stadium in May and we’ll get ready with testing events. But this is nothing new. It happens with every major sport. The Olympic Games, London 2012, the Horse Guards [Parade] beach volleyball venue which was cited as one of the best, it’s the same company building the same kind of structure. So we have great confidence in our team.”
As for transportation logistics, Lockerbie stated that there will be approximately 1,000 parking lot spaces expected to be in use for the cricket venue at Eisenhower Park. Long Island Railroad train service runs toward the area of the park, with the closest stop (Westbury) dropping passengers off adjacent to Roosevelt Field on the northern border of Eisenhower Park, leaving fans a 35-45 minute walk to the stadium entrance on the south side of the park. Lockerbie also stated that Nassau County has a contract in the works with the Nassau Coliseum, located approximately one mile west of Eisenhower Park, in which a park and ride shuttle service would be offered to fans who park at the Coliseum.
“Mass transit can be an excellent choice, certainly from metropolitan New York City being 25 miles east of Manhattan here in Nassau County,” Lockerbie said. “Secondly, Nassau Coliseum has been reserved by the county. The county owns the property and we’re in discussions about time of use, day of use, cost of parking, etc. The site itself has an additional 1000 spaces that would be available for purchase when tickets become for sale.
“We have no doubt that for 34,000 people with the Ubers and Lyfts of the world, with the train station and with our park and ride within half a mile to a mile of the site, we’ll have no problem getting everybody in. The exciting part about it is that this stadium in Nassau County is fit for purpose. There’s so many things that are right on site, around site, VIP hospitality within walking distance of the stadium as well. So we’ve got a great great setup and I couldn’t be happier about it.”
The Nassau County venue will not have floodlights. It means that according to multiple sources, all three matches at the venue involving India are tentatively scheduled to have a 10 am local time start, including USA v India on Wednesday June 12, in order to accommodate a 7:30 pm start for television audiences in India. In all, three of USA’s four matches in Group A are currently slated for a 10 am start including USA v Pakistan at Grand Prairie, Texas on Thursday June 6 and USA v Ireland at Lauderhill, Florida on Friday June 14. It means that the only USA match currently scheduled to be played in the evening according to multiple sources is the tournament opener against Canada on Saturday June 1 at Grand Prairie, Texas with an expected 7 pm local time start, 8 pm on the east coast.