The Knight Riders Group (KRG), backed by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, alongside actor Juhi Chawla and businessman Jay Mehta, is investing in a 10,000-seat cricket stadium near Los Angeles.
Located on a 15-acre parcel of land in Great Park, Irvine, Southern California, approximately 40 miles from downtown Los Angeles, the plan is driven by Major League Cricket (MLC). The organization revealed that an exclusive negotiation agreement with the City of Irvine to advance lease negotiations and design approvals has been approved. The investment in the stadium should be around 30 million dollars, Variety understand.
KRG owns the Kolkata Knight Riders team in the lucrative Indian Premier League cricket tournament and the Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League.
The stadium, which will have the capacity for expansion, will be designed by HKS Architects and will host the Southern California-based MLC franchise, home to one of the largest cricket-loving populations in the United States, including approximately 100,000 cricket fans with another 200,000 located in Los Angeles County. Two minor league cricket teams, the SoCal Lashings and Hollywood Master Blasters, along with local adult and youth leagues in the area provide a grassroots support base for cricket in the area.
Stadium plans include state-of-the-art training facilities, dressing rooms, luxury suites, dedicated parking, concessions, pitch lighting and an international quality pitch to meet International Cricket Council (ICC) accreditation ). There are two major events that the proposed stadium, if completed on time, could host – the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in 2024, which will be co-hosted by the United States and the West Indies, and whether cricket is included in the 2028 Olympic Games to be held in Los Angeles, for which the ICC is a candidate. USA Cricket is also expected to bid for future men’s and women’s World Cup tournaments.
“Our investment in MLC in America is based on our belief in the exciting future of cricket in the United States and is well aligned with our strategy of establishing Knight Riders as a global brand of T20 cricket,” said Khan, according to an MLC press release. “The plans to build a world-class cricket stadium in the greater Los Angeles area are exciting for us and MLC. It will undoubtedly have a transformational impact for cricket in one of the world’s most iconic metropolitan destinations.
Sameer Mehta and Vijay Srinivasan, co-founders of MLC, added: “Great Park’s position as a hub for community recreation and its array of first-class sports facilities make it an ideal location for the addition of a venue serving local cricket fans. community and the Greater Los Angeles Area with major international cricket events taking place there.