Grand Prairie, Texas (USA)
Major Cricket League
Natural Turf | Cricket
The Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium project was a remarkable transformation of a former baseball stadium, formerly known as Air Hogs Stadium, into a state-of-the-art cricket venue.
Located in Grand Prairie, Texas, this project aimed to convert the existing baseball facility into a purpose-built cricket stadium, making it one of the first major cricket investments in the United States. The stadium is managed and operated by the Major League Cricket and boasts a capacity of approximately 7,500 spectators. It features broadcast level sports lighting for night games, a digital scoreboard, and eight turf cricket wickets.
SPORTENG was engaged to undertake a multifaceted role in this ambitious conversion project. Initially, our team conducted a peer review of the design and construction documentation for the outfield and documented the centre cricket wicket block. Recognizing the unique challenges posed by cricket in the United States, we then proceeded to design the outfield to complement the centre cricket wicket block.
This involved the design of the natural turf outfield, turf wickets and associated drainage and irrigation infrastructure. We were brought into the project during its late stages, which meant a condensed design program to meet tight deadlines. Our involvement extended to tender interviews and assessment, working closely with the chosen contractors, and assisting with construction supervision.
Several challenges presented themselves during the Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium project:
. Unit Conversion: Adapting from the metric system to the imperial system was a significant initial challenge. We had to update our documentation, processes, and systems to work seamlessly with imperial units.
. Coordination Issues: Ensuring effective coordination with hydraulic and civil engineers was vital for proper drainage in the outfield and water supply for the irrigation network. Addressing clashes and finding solutions to drainage systems' coordination challenges was a priority.
. Construction Programming: Coordinating the construction schedule was complex due to limitations on the site. The infield needed to be preserved for other ongoing works, so we had to work closely with the field of play contractor to stage the works efficiently.
. Turf Growth Timeframe: Planting the grass and getting it ready for play within a short timeframe was critical. Turf had to be established rapidly to meet the project's deadlines.
To overcome these challenges, SPORTENG implemented several innovative solutions:
. Drainage Innovation: To address a significant clash in the drainage infrastructure, we devised a solution that combined several inlets into a single pit that had two outfall pipes. While unconventional, it addressed the clash issue between the Field of Play drainage and the stadium plat pipework. Additionally, due to coordination issue with the retaining wall and drainage outlet, we redesigned the Field of Play drainage to account for the higher drainage outlet.
. Construction Programming: We collaborated closely with the contractor to optimize construction sequencing. This approach allowed us to make the most of available areas, ensuring that work could continue without unnecessary delays.
. Turf Health Management: We maintained strong communication between the curator and the turf farm to ensure the turf's health before installation. This proactive approach ensured that the grass was in optimal condition for rapid growth.
The Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium has been a resounding success. The finals for the inaugural Major League Cricket T20 tournament were held at the stadium, which showcased high-quality cricket, with positive feedback from players regarding the pitch quality. The results demonstrated the success of the project, as the stadium met its objectives and contributed to the growth of cricket in the United States.
“Grand Prairie has taken a real leap of faith, embracing the spirit of innovation and diversity that defines our great nation,” said Vijay Srinivasan, MLC Co-founder. “There are hundreds of thousands of fans here in Texas who love cricket, and billions more worldwide: together, we’ve built a world class home in America for the world’s second most popular sport, one local residents will embrace and draw fans from across the globe.”
"It’s a historic day for cricket in America and cricket in Texas," said Tom Dunmore, with Major League Cricket. "These are the world’s best players coming here to the Dallas area to play professional cricket."
North Texas fans of all ages are stoked for the Texas Super Kings to play local matches this summer.
"I like the batting and balling and fielding," said fan Dev Tanna.
Firoz Samnani was the first fan to enter Thursday’s inaugural match: "I just wanted to be there, the first person to enter the ground," he said.
The conversion of the Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium from a baseball facility to a purpose-built cricket venue was a significant achievement in the development of cricket infrastructure in the United States. SPORTENG's involvement in addressing and overcoming challenges related to unit conversion, coordination, construction programming, and turf management played a crucial role in the project's success. The stadium now stands as a testament to the dedication and expertise of all involved, providing a top-tier venue for cricket enthusiasts and contributing to the growth of the sport in the region.