Global group lauds Indy's cricket venue during tour

October 24, 2013
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Members of the International Cricket Council made their way to Indianapolis Tuesday for an inspection of the much ballyhooed World Sports Park on the east side of the city.

While some local taxpayers, and even a few City-County Council members, have called the park a boondoggle, U.S. cricket aficionados have raved about it. Add a significant member of the international cricket community to the list of fans of the 48-acre park.

“The facility here is fabulous,” Alan Isaac, president of the International Cricket Council, told IBJ after touring the World Sports Park on Wednesday. “It’s a unique facility in a lot of ways, and I could see it hosting a lot of events.”

Mayor Greg Ballard is hopeful the $6 million park can draw myriad regional, national and even international events. Ballard also said local organizations too can take advantage of the multi-purpose fields.
 
It should be noted that the World Sports Park can also host soccer, lacrosse, rugby and other sports events. But the focus has been on cricket since Ballard made comments to a gathering during a trade mission in India this April about Indy’s attempts to become something of a U.S. cricket capital.

Already, the city has signed an agreement with the USA Cricket Association to host the men’s national championship here in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Next year’s USACA National Championships will be Aug. 21-24.

The International Cricket Council, which is based in Dubai, doesn’t have any events slated for Indianapolis’ World Sports Park yet, but Isaac said that’s a possibility “down the line.”

“The facility needs to be approved to international standards, and the way it’s being designed and developed, I’m confident it will be,” said Isaac, a native of New Zealand.

Isaac thinks city leaders’ support for cricket will help the sport grow and draw events here with a significant economic impact.

“We are hugely impressed by the support of the city for this development and cricket, and we think [the World Sports Park] is going to host a lot of fantastic events in the future,” Isaac said.

Already the facility has begun to enhance the city’s international reputation, especially in the world of sports, Isaac said. The facility won’t fully open until next year.

“This city has already built a fantastic reputation in sports,” Isaac said. “This facility will absolutely help spread the international reputation of the city.”

In addition to inspecting the local facility, Isaac was in Indianapolis this week to talk to local officials about ways to grow the sport here. While there are only 60,000 cricket players in the U.S., according to USA Cricket, Isaac pointed out that there are millions more cricket players and fans in places like India, Southeast Asia and England.

“People have to realize that cricket is the No. 2 sport worldwide next to [soccer],” Isaac said. “The ICC World Cup is right behind the [soccer] World Cup and Olympics in terms of [television] viewership.”

 

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  • lets build a full stadium
    Since there are so many Tata IT people at Lilly and other companies in central Indiana as H1B's and otherwise brought in Internationally from India, why not just build a stadium. There is a significant population from India in India"na". That way we can bring even more H1B's and Green Cards from India.
    • Who Cares
      Given his position why should he say anything else. Why should we care what a noon Indy resident and noon taxpayer has to say
    • TO THE MODERATOR
      A question for the moderator of this thread: Can you please tell me why most recent post to this thread has been deleted? Yes, I called someone out for what is an overtly discriminatory post. Yet, miraculously, that post remains while mine was deleted. If you care to do so, you may post a response here publicly for all to view. Gracias!
      • Comment removal
        Marshall, we don't have a record of a post being removed from this thread, but name-calling is a common reason why posts are removed.
      • Stop With The Jock Sniffing
        We have to stop making big, capital-intensive decisions that have no fundamental fiscal benefit or ROI based solely on the rest of the country (or the world) saying nice things about Indianapolis. We've got an Indy-feriority complex...I get that. But it's no reason to waste my tax money on cricket stadiums and super bowls whose only tangible benefit is an 'atta boy that a glad-handing, jock-sniffing elite few can spank to. Infrastructure. The Arts. Education. Invest in something that matters, I'll listen. But a cricket stadium? Please.
      • You don't like sports, fine. I don't like arts
        Garland, you don't like sports. I get it. And I understand you don't want you tax money going toward it. Fair enough. I don't like arts and I don't want my money going toward that. I'm sure you could argue that there is a social and economic benefit to either sports or arts. But if we're basing this conversation purely on what we do and don't personally like, then I don't like arts. Get rid of any and all subsidy for any form of arts. And then I'll let you tear down Lucas Oil Stadium and ship the Colts off to L.A. Then both of us can live our our lives in the sticks.
        • Not a matter of like, Matt.
          It's not a matter of "like" it's a matter of empirically what actually adds to our culture and our city. We don't look back on ancient Rome and assess its culture based on whether or not Rome got to host the Gladiator Games World Championships. We look at art, aqueducts, architecture, infrastructure, philosophy, culture. So too will we be judged. Oh and arts contribute $350 million - PER YEAR - to our economy. The Super Bowl was a money losing proposition and cricket is just stupid. And we already live in the sticks. The problem is getting folks to come to terms with it, accept it and sell Indy based on real value and not an artificially bloated jock sniffing ethic that only benefits a select few. But nice try. I'm originally from Pittsburgh. By every measure, a better sports AND cultural city...they can co-exist, you just need to put them in perspective and for us, art and culture and education and infrastructure needs to be what we're measured by and not by how much attention an elite cadre of jock sniffers can garner for themselves. It's not a matter of like. It's a matter of need. It's a matter of realistic assessment.

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