SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — A “world class” cricket stadium is set to be built in Santa Clara County, county and Major League Cricket (MLC) officials announced.

The County and MLC announced Wednesday the approval of an exclusive negotiating agreement (ENA) to move forward with lease negotiations and design approvals to develop an international cricket stadium on a 14-acre parcel of the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds.

The development is part of a multi-million dollar investment by MLC for stadium construction, as they work with international architects to design a “premier cricketing destination in North America.”

“Cricket is a sport that’s increasing in popularity in the U.S. and Santa Clara County,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Otto Lee.

“The addition of an international cricket venue to the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds would help attract large numbers of visitors from around the world to the region. We look forward to finalizing plans with Major League Cricket to move forward with this exciting development for Santa Clara County.” 

Over the next 12 months, MLC and the County will work together to get the approvals required to construct a stadium with a maximum capacity of 15,000.

MLC officials said the location and demographics make the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds perfectly suited for the development of a marquee home for one of America’s largest cricket fanbases located in the Bay Area.

“Major League Cricket’s plans for an international-grade cricket stadium in one of the country’s most vibrant and diverse metropolitan regions adds to the fantastic momentum for cricket’s growth nationwide,” said Paraag Marathe, Chair of USA Cricket Board.

“The Bay Area – and Silicon Valley in particular – is an ideal location for this development that could serve as a potential venue for future major international events and as a home stadium for USA National Team matches.”

The stadium is a key part of the proposed redevelopment of the 150-acre Santa Clara County Fairgrounds site and will be home to MLC’s Bay Area franchise and serve as a key hub for the U.S. National Teams.

It would also be a potential host venue for major international cricket events.

USA Cricket is expected to bid for future men’s and women’s World Cup tournaments, with the 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup already set to be co-hosted by the United States and the West Indies. 

“Major League Cricket is excited by the prospect of developing an international quality cricket stadium in a location accessible to so many cricket fans in the Bay Area,” said Sameer Mehta, co-founder of Major League Cricket.

“We are grateful to the County of Santa Clara for exploring how the Fairgrounds location can serve as a world class home for Major League Cricket and USA Cricket.” 

The new stadium plans to include state-of-the-art training facilities, locker rooms, luxury suites, dedicated parking, concessions, and an international-grade pitch to meet ICC accreditation and allow the venue to host the highest levels of international cricket competitions. 

By the summer of 2023, six teams are expected to begin play in major cities across the country.

The plans for development in Santa Clara County follow the already-announced MLC stadium approved for construction in Grand Prairie, Texas.