Lawmakers, residents speak out against proposed cricket stadium in the Bronx

Marcus Solis Image
Sunday, September 3, 2023
Lawmakers, Bronx residents speak out against proposed cricket stadium
There's a proposal to bring next year's Cricket World Cup to New York City, but some officials and residents aren't pleased with the plan. Marcus Solis has more.

VAN CORTLANDT PARK, Bronx (WABC) -- There's a proposal to bring next year's Cricket World Cup to New York City.

The International Cricket Council has tapped Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx to host the event.

The opposition is clear, and according to Bronx elected officials, community groups, and residents, it's unanimous. There's anger over City Hall's support to build a temporary cricket stadium in Van Cortlandt Park.

The 34,000-seat structure would take up 20 acres on the parade ground. It's a massive project that critics say skirts all sorts of rules. Altering public access to parks requires approval from the state legislature.

"It cannot be the case that a local government can freely transfer massive amounts of public land to a private company for a prolonged period of time without a public process," said Rep. Ritchie Torres, (D) Bronx.

The International Cricket Council approached the city about hosting the 2024 World Cup Tournament with matches in May and June. Construction would begin in January.

"For months and months people would be deprived of the use of this area of Van Cortlandt Park, and it's not just for six months like they were saying. If it takes five or six months to build it it's not going to take one day to unbuild it," said Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, (D) Riverdale.

Van Cortlandt Park is the third largest in the city, there are currently eight cricket pitches that would be rendered off limits.

"We play every weekend this is our ground, we have nowhere else to play, so we would have a big issue with no grounds to play," said Godfrey Mitchell, New York Cricket League.

A mayoral spokesperson said holding this tournament in New York City has the potential to generate $150 million in economic activity and create thousands of new jobs. However local lawmakers say that if the city plans to move forward, they are planning to hold it up in litigation and lawsuits that would hold it up for months, well beyond the dates of the tournament next year.

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