If you build it, will they come? Cricket enthusiasts in the Seattle region, whose numbers are tied to the growing population of tech workers, have been saying yes for years to the prospect of a dedicated facility for their sport. Now, King County is on board, too.
The King County Council passed a “motion of support” on Tuesday for a plan to build a Major League Cricket grounds at Marymoor Park in Redmond, Wash.
The facility at a 20-acre site in the park would serve the thousands of players and supporters of cricket in the region, many of whom live in Eastside communities such as Redmond and Bellevue and work in tech for Microsoft, Amazon and other companies.
The region is already home to three adult cricket leagues with more than 3,500 members. A booming interest in youth programs, which GeekWire profiled in 2019, has attracted 500 players. A Minor League Cricket team called the Seattle Thunderbolts, backed by tech investors, also got up and running last year.
The Thunderbolts will play the 2022 season at a facility in Tollgate Farm Park in North Bend, Wash.
All of these teams and programs would use the Marymoor Cricket Community Park, a multi-purpose facility that could also host professional cricket events, including Major League Cricket, U.S. National Team and potential World Cup and other major international matches.
According to Major League Cricket, the plans call for cricket grounds with a lightweight grass berm design featuring a pavilion, light and broadcast towers, a digital scoreboard and restrooms. The spectator lawn could accommodate 4-6,000 fans, with the ability to scale up to a capacity over 10,000 for larger events.
“As our region grows, we see more interest in cricket, which is one of the most popular sports in the world. I can’t think of a better place for a world-class cricket pitch than East King County and especially Marymoor Park,” King County Council Chair Claudia Balducci said in a statement.
The support from the county follows resolutions backing the project passed by both the Bellevue City Council in November and Redmond City Council in January. Major League Cricket will now work with the parties to undertake site diligence, prepare and submit a development plan, and finalize key commercial terms. Construction could begin in 2023.
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