Auckland Coliseum is a potential venue for the 2024 T20 Men’s World Cup

The Oakland Coliseum, home to the MLB Athletics and formerly the NFL Oakland Raiders, has emerged as a potential venue for the 2024 men’s T20 World Cup, to be hosted by the USA and West Indies. ICC CEO Jeff Allardyce and Chief Development Officer Will Glenwright met with USA Cricket officials in California recently as the idea – which has been rumored since last year – gained traction.

Although the Oakland Coliseum, which opened in 1966, lacks many of the luxury amenities found in most American outdoor stadiums built since the turn of the millennium, it has two main features that cricket directors appeal to. The location, in Northern California’s East Bay just north of Silicon Valley, is home to a thriving local cricket scene as well as a base of expatriate cricket fans that officials hope to capitalize on.

Another attraction is that the stadium can seat up to 53,000 fans, more than double the number of any of the cricket grounds currently available in the USA. Those include venues to host the T20 World Cup games, such as Church Street Park in Morrisville, North Carolina, which is slated to seat nearly 4,000 fans; Plus two USA ODI locations are located in Lauderhill, Florida, and the Houston suburb of Pearland, Texas, both of which have a capacity of 10,000 (but can seat approximately 15,000 to 20,000 with temporary seating). Other places that do not have ODI status but may be considered are the Prairie View Cricket Complex – in the Houston suburbs – and AirHogs . Stadium Just outside of Dallas, which has yet to begin renovations since obtaining the lease in 2020.

However, for the Auckland Coliseum to host matches, many logistical hurdles would have to be overcome. Its location in the Pacific time zone means it is unlikely to host an India-Pakistan match because the 8pm primetime start on TV in India means 7.30am starts in California. But the venue could be an ideal option for a late two- or three-headed match on a given day, which could feature another heavyweight bout like England and Australia to fit into prime time in the UK.

Another hitch is the June slot currently scheduled for the event, which is in the middle of the baseball season. It could mean that the availability of the Colosseum will depend on athletics and MLB agreeing to schedule a 10-14 day road trip to athletics at that time to allow cricket officials time to prepare it for the T20 World Cup, including a drop installation at the stadium. This schedule will not allow more than two or three matches on the field.

It wouldn’t be the first time in recent years that a baseball stadium has been used to host a high-profile cricket event. The Cricket All Stars T20 The show’s tour was played up by Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne in 2015 using drop-down courts at New York’s Citi Field (home of the New York Mets), Houston’s Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros) and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. These places have been selected To attract fans to stadiums that have more seating than those at cricket venues like Lauderhill. The three stadiums are specifically designed for baseball practice with limited space and seating close to the field, which therefore means there are some very short court boundaries.

However, the Oakland Coliseum’s original design as a combined baseball and soccer facility meant that for baseball purposes, it had the largest offending area in MLB with seats trimmed closest to a significant distance from the field. For cricket purposes, this means that the boundaries of the squares will be correct on the boundary line to meet the minimum ICC dimensions of 55 metres. If a more thorough examination determines that the border ends at just below the ICC floor, officials may request an ICC exemption in the same way as Eden Park in Auckland for what may be a unique opportunity to host an unprecedented fan-tie for a match in America.

To demonstrate the feasibility of the Oakland Coliseum, local officials are exploring the idea of ​​possibly hosting exhibition matches before the end of 2023. If such a show continues, it is likely to take place in the October-November window after the conclusion of the baseball season, although there are no firm plans at this point.