USA Cricket News

USA Cricket requests proposals for professional T20 cricket league

2018 Nov 26 by DreamCricket USA

USA Cricket announced that is requesting proposals from a partner that will construct, fund, launch, and operate the first professional T20 cricket league in the United States.

Source: USA Cricket

USA Cricket announced that is requesting proposals from a partner that will construct, fund, launch, and operate the first professional T20 cricket league in the United States.

'As USA Cricket seeks to grow and develop the game of cricket in the United States, including by building new structures and pathways for grassroots and domestic cricket, the timing is perfect to seek a partner that focuses on supporting that development by building a world-class U.S.-based T20 professional league,' USA Cricket noted on its website.

Interestingly, the RFP requires bidders to analyze and describe how the proposal would be different from prior attempts to establish a professional cricket league in the U.S. (see Editor's Note below).
  The RFP requests for details on the short term and long term vision and plan for the league; proposed league structure; financial model; details regarding available capital; league management structure; timeline; strategy for the support and development of players qualified to play for USA Cricket's national teams; facilities; and a variety of valuation metrics.

“This is an exciting time for cricket in the United States with the formation of our new Board of Directors, USA Cricket’s pending recognition as an ICC approved National Federation, and the performance of our athletes on the field of play,” said USA Cricket Board Chair, Paraag Marathe.  “This RFP continues on the positive momentum as we seek to build a successful and sustainable league domestically. Newly released global research shows more than 20 million cricket fans in the United States and a well-run T20 professional league is the platform needed to engage existing fans and grow new ones to support the bullish vision this Board has for cricket in the U.S.”

USA Project Manager Eric Parthen said: “Over my last two plus years working with cricket in the United States, I’ve met several globally respected organizations and individuals who had an interest in launching a T20 professional cricket league here. Given the growth of T20 cricket worldwide and the potential marketability of this format in the U.S., now is a great time to seek competitive proposals under the leadership of this new Board.”

While the RFP has some clear minimum requirements, it was intentionally structured for interested parties to be creative with their vision given the unique opportunities afforded in the U.S. market. Interested persons must submit their proposals before January 4, 2019. Additional details about the RFP including other timelines are included in the RFP

Editor's Note:

USA Cricket's predecessor, USACA, announced six different commercial proposals over the last eleven years, none of which took off beyond the planning stage.  That includes a well publicized RFP in 2008, which resulted in an organization called NACL as the rights owner.  However, things didn't go to plan and NACL went to the courts.  The following year, the same rights were awarded to Cricket Holdings America LLC, which everyone had very high hopes for, primarily because both USACA and New Zealand Cricket were key stakeholders in the deal.  That deal went silent after the initial bluster.  Not much is known regarding the cause of its eventual demise.   Following that, USACA went on to sign deals first with the hitherto unknown Overseas League Club, and then with Global Cricket Ventures.  This last deal was announced after USACA had been suspended for the third and last time. 

DreamCricket sincerely hopes that USA Cricket will conduct more robust due diligence on the bidders and signs a deal with a partner whose bid is grounded in reality and doesn't promise the stars.  To that extent, it is heartening to see USA Cricket outline selection criteria within the RFP, including proposer's financial condition, ownership structure, ability to secure and underwrite the cost of the proposal as well as the proposer's experience with commercialization of a sporting property.